White Oleander is a tear-jerking account of what happens to a teenage girl forced into foster-care system because her irresponsible mother kills her boyfriend. Astrid is sent from one foster home to another with disastrous consequences. Finch takes her readers into the sinister world of the foster-care system. It's skillfully written and hurtful to read. Finch nails the despondency and anguish of what happens to children who are uprooted from an established home atmosphere and thrust into being a ward if the state where some families see foster children as disposable income.