One of the most basic and most insightful bonds women form with each other is that of a mother and daughter (Nadeau). It is a bond that should not be taken for granted, and it is a relationship built on trust and love. The two books White Oleander and Unless each have the central theme of self-discovery. White Oleander is a story about a girl named Astrid who is forced into foster care following the imprisonment of her mother. Each foster home has its own life, its own laws, its own dangers, and each includes hard lessons to be learned. This novel centers on the path of self-discovery in which Astrid is forced to embark. Unless is a narrative about a mother named Reta whose daughter Norah inexplicably leaves college to beg on a street corner. This novel centers on Reta who must discover why her daughter has made these choices. Norah is also on a path of self-discovery. Both of these novels entail young women struggling to find themselves, both novels contain a mother daughter relationship that is delicate and separated, but the main difference remains the fact that Astrid from White Oleander was forced from her mother, therefore it is from her perspective, while Norah from Unless had the choice to leave, therefore it is from the perspective of her mother. Both novels involve young women who are struggling to find themselves. In the book White Oleander the young woman named Astrid is on her own and separated from her mother for the first time, therefore she must discover who she is by herself. Astrid fears: “I was afraid she would fly away, and I would end up alone, living in some place where there were too many children, too many smells, where beauty and silence and the intoxication of her words rising in air would be as far away as Saturn” (Fitch 10). All her life she never saw herself as anything other than her mother’s daughter and best friend, now that she is on her own she is free to create her own path i…
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