Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts

where-the-heart-isSeventeen-year-old, seven months pregnant Novalee Nation was heading for California with her boyfriend. Now she finds herself stranded at a Wal-Mart in Sequoyah, Oklahoma, with jut $7.77 in change. But Novalee is about to discover hidden treasures in this small Southwest town – a group of down-to-earth, deeply caring people willing to help a homeless, jobless girl living secretly in a Wal-Mart.

This shameless promotion for Wal-Mart novel is filled with clumsy writing, a jumpy plot, and a God awful names. The name Novalee isn’t so grating, but she names her daughter Americus. Americus Nation. Novalee is your stereotypical heroine – innocent, unsuspecting, perfect. The only two characters I did like were Sister Husband  because she’s the comedic relief in Where the Heart  Is and Moses Whitecotten, an older gentleman who teaches Novalee about photography and life in general.

The other characters, though, are extremely annoying. There’s Lexie, who gives her children the name of baked goods/snacks – Brownie, Baby Ruth, Peanut – and get pregnant over and over again. There’s Forney, who sacrifices everything for his alcoholic sister and seems drunk, or stoned, during his first interaction with Novalee.

The book is an easy read, especially since there isn’t much to think about. But I thought the movie version of the book was much more endearing and flowed a lot better than the book.

Book Mentioned:

  • Letts, Billie. Where the Heart Is. New York: Grand Central Publishing, 1998. Originally published 1995. Print. 376 pgs. ISBN: 9780446672214. Source: Library.

Book Cover © Grand Central Publishing. Retrieved: February 1, 2009.

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