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Where the Heart Is (Oprah's Book Club) Paperback – September 3, 2011
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Four girls on a trip to Paris suddenly find themselves in a high-stakes game of Truth or Dare that spirals out of control. Learn More
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Still, finding herself alone and penniless in Sequoyah, Oklahoma is enough to make even someone as inured to ill fortune as Novalee want to give up and die. Fortunately, the Wal-Mart parking lot is the Sequoyah equivalent of a town square, and within hours Novalee has met three people who will change her life: Sister Thelma Husband, a kindly eccentric; Benny Goodluck, a young Native American boy; and Moses Whitecotton, an elderly African American photographer. For the next two months, Novalee surreptitiously makes her home in the Wal-Mart, sleeping there at night, exploring the town by day. When she goes into labor and delivers her baby there, however, Novalee learns that sometimes it's not so bad to depend on the kindness of strangers--especially if one of them happens to be Sam Walton, the superchain's founder.
Where the Heart Is oddly mixes heart-warming vignettes and surprising, brutal violence. Novalee's story is juxtaposed with occasional chapters chronicling Willy Jack's downward spiral into prison, disappointment, and degradation. And even in Sequoyah, sudden storms, domestic violence, kidnapping, and deadly fires punctuate Novalee's progress from homeless, unwed teen mom to successful, happy member of the community. This is not a subtle book; there's never any doubt that our heroine will make a home for herself and her baby or that Willy Jack will get what he deserves for abandoning them. Still, Billie Letts has created several memorable characters, and there's always room for another novel that celebrates the life-affirming qualities of reading, the importance of education, and the power of love to change lives. --Alix Wilber
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Such great names as Novalee and Americus Nation, Willy Jack Pickens, Sister Husband, Moses Whitecotton, make the reader want to see what this is all about. And Novalee's superstition over the number 7 adds to the folksie manner in which Letts develops her story. As to plot, a baby born in a Wal-Mart, why not?
In one episode, you find yourself laughing out loud, and in another there is suspense, sorrow, and a teary eye. Letts gives you the full experience in a book that can't be put down. Add these characters to your friends in print. And read The Honk And Holler Opening Soon, too. While not a sequel, exactly, it does depict another set of Sequoiah, Oklahomans who are a part of another good story.
Letts is a talented story teller. For a relaxing good read, try her books.
"Where The Heart Is" is a wonderful book that digs deep into your heart and tells a wonderful story. I found it very enjoyable, a nice and easy read. Certainly one for anybody looking for a good story with interesting characters. Very enjoyable!
Sleeping in Wal-Mart every night, surviving on canned foods from the shelves (of which she keeps an exact detailed price list, in order to pay her debt someday) Novalee sneaks out through the employees entrance into the world of small town, America. The library draws her in search of a cure for her sick tree, and here she finds a man who will grow to love her more than she loves herself. Overcoming her childhood of abandonment and growing up with neighbors, Novalee becomes a woman, a mother and finds herself along the way. Living under the tin roof of Sister Husband's trailer, Novalee loyally works at Wal-Mart while discovering her deep love for her daughter and her passion for photography. She grows to love herself as she develops from the empty frame of feeling unloved and unwanted to the picture of a confident, self fulfilled woman who learns to look fear straight in the eye.
Billie Letts' debut novel is a glimpse into the every day of American people. Letts has breathed life into her characters that lead you by the heartstrings through their stories.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A story which develops endearing characters. Almost magical use of language to describe even mundane sights and sounds. A book I will remember for quite some time.Published 9 days ago by Susan Rea
Despite the criticism I've heard of the "quirky" names the author gave her characters, I love this book. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Jaynie Nowell
Billie Letts is an American treasure. She writes about people of the Midwest and what she writes is true to life. Where the Heart is is my favorite of her books. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Jill miller
Just a fun book that's an easy read but still is meaningful. You'll find the characters unique and delightful. Focuses on what's truly important in life.Published 1 month ago by christylou
I really, really wanted this to be a great read. The storyline seemed to be a good one, the idea seemed like it would make a great story. Read morePublished 1 month ago by patrick e bates
Had seen the movie and really liked it. Follows the book pretty much. Was on Oprah's book club list so decided the read it.Published 1 month ago by Jody
Just love this book and all the family of characters. Novalee found her home and her family. Enjoy and share with your friends.Published 1 month ago by Chabucagranda
Where the Heart Is, by Billie Letts, is a great novel with very many descriptive scenes and a captivating writing style. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Bridgette Adams