Now you know your friend Foggy can be froggy. I am a degenerate Rooster with a wry sense of humor and I now sport a fanny pack. Note, but your own fanny pack. Anyhow I digress. On a serious note this book is good! How good, Oprah narrated the CD and I highly recommend that because her reading is gripping.
Though her mother is narcissistic, intelligent and extremely beautiful she condemns her sweet 10 year old Astrid to a life of horrors. You see the kid was strikingly beautiful and innocent too. She was buying her mom’s self-love but the result ended up being a bunch of scars.
As her mother was arrested for murdering a Hollywood writer. Her method of death was the administration of White Oleander through a chemical medium. Her mom played in the movie was Michelle Pfeiffer, a woman who most men would drool over.
Astrid the child was imaginative. She was as beautiful as her mom but she pretty much suffered the same fate. The narrative is really about the suffering of a young girl. At any age when most children are becoming aware of crude nuances of life, she was battling jealous kids who loathed her beauty and her relative toughness.
Her first trauma was a children’s home where she was hurt often but still with the strength of her mother’s imaginings was able to mitigate the horrors of abuse, both intended and unintended. Parts of Astrid started to die. The innocence was raped by a system that allowed Foster Parents free reign. Starving kids until the kids acted out. It is much as an indictment of Foster Homes and Adoptive Parents.
Astrid’s unflinching love of her mother and her rapturous adoration begun to wilt. As her sexuality grew it caused a major conflict that led to a very hard time for the girl just barely a teenager. That is the time when the little girl had sexual relations with an older man.
Things always seemed to go from bad to worse. Her one saving grace was her articulation through art. I will not give away too much of the story but the book was great, the reading by Oprah outstanding and the movie falls way short. Then again how do you capture seven years of abuse by the system with a mini-series.
The show also walks one through innocence to compromises and one feels angry and jaded that this kind of thing really goes on but I know it does.
Case in point, while my daughter was in elementary school a certain foster mom had like ten foster children. The mother dressed in jewels, fine clothes and expensive cars while the children actually went hungry. The teachers felt so bad and when the teachers fed the kids the mother went off on the teachers.
Teachers in my mind do a lot more than have kids color. Many kids are being abused by the parents, foster parents and even the system. It is a lonely, painful and sad trip through the mind of an extraordinary baby girl with the mind of a savvy adult.
A compelling aspect is the story of survival. My girlfriend and I watched this movie a few times in the theatre. I can tell you this, she was a former runaway and almost wise beyond her years. But this kind of suffering does that. And I was privy to things that broke my heart and made me an advocate for women.
None-the-less, Please read this wonderful book and if you can listen to the audio version.
As a man I wept for her and the soundtrack is orchestral and haunting but it hammers home the point that there are many sick and disgusting people who hurt the hearts of the innocent.