Janet Fitch and her 1999 bestselling novel White Oleander is a must read.
It is the story of Astrid Magnussen, a twelve-year-old girl living in LA. She lives with her mother, Ingrid, a poet. Astrid's father is not involved in her life and she relies only on her mother. Because of her shaky home life she has trouble fitting in at school. Her mother Ingrid is self seduced and cold. She abides by a list of her own rules and demonstrates little interest in her struggling daughter. As a result of her mother's constant neglect, Astrid fears abandonment more than anything. After an altercation with a male friend Ingrid is imprisoned for murder and Astrid is thrust into the unpredictable and unforgiving world of foster care. Throughout her trials she makes friends, personal relationships and deals with her own battle with drug addiction.
Imaginative and eventful Fitch demonstrates the sour nature of the nation's foster system and the effects of bad parenting. Though the book is quite depressing at times and rather shocking at others, it is a testament to the unbridled girl power that girls and women must exhibit to survive in a male run world. And the struggle for us to escape our mothers, who hold such sway over our lives. Astrid decides to take hers back.
I totally recommend this book,
it is a great read.