Where the Heart Is

( 595 )

Overview

Talk about unlucky sevens. An hour ago, seventeen-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 just $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. From Bible-thumping blue-haired Sister Thelma Husband to eccentric librarian ...
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Overview

Talk about unlucky sevens. An hour ago, seventeen-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 just $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. From Bible-thumping blue-haired Sister Thelma Husband to eccentric librarian Forney Hull who loves Novalee more than she loves herself, they are about to take her--and you, too--on a moving, funny, and unforgettable journey to . . . Where the Heart Is.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
This Oprah pick is the hilarious tale of teenager Novalee Nation, who sets out for a new life in California but finds herself stranded and pregnant in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Oklahoma. The eccentric inhabitants of the town -- including Sam Walton, the late owner of Wal-Mart -- pitch in to take care of Novalee in their own unusual ways. Read by Susie Breck.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Letts's debut novel concerns a pregnant teenage girl who finds a new life among the quirky inhabitants of a small town in Oklahoma.
School Library Journal
Novalee Nation, 17 and pregnant, finds herself stranded outside a Wal-Mart in Sequoyah, Oklahoma, with $7.77 in her pocket and no one to turn to for help. This is an unlikely beginning for a humorous and hopeful novel, but that is just what this is. As she sits outside the store taking stock of her situation, plucky Novalee meets several of the town's more unusual inhabitants: Sister Husband, who presents her with a shop-worn welcome-wagon basket; black photographer Moses Whitecotton, who conveys to her the importance of a name for her unborn child; and Indian Benny Goodluck, who gives her a buckeye tree for good luck. These and other Sequoyah citizens rally around Novalee when she has her baby on the floor of Wal-Mart, and form the basis for this most enjoyable novel. -- Pamela B. Rearden, Centreville Regional Library, Fairfax County, VA
Kathleen Hughes
The tribulations of 17-year-old Novalee Nation, daughter of the Tennessee trailer parks, make up a surprisingly long, none-too-subtle tale.

The story opens with pregnant Novalee, abandoned by boyfriend Willie Jack Pickens, living in a small, dusty Oklahoma town's Wal-Mart. After she is discovered writhing in labor and rushed to the hospital, Sam Walton (Wal-Mart's late, billionaire owner) offers her a job. Conveniently, her housing dilemma is solved, too, when she moves in with the local eccentric with a heart-of-gold. The rest of the book (300-plus pages) follows the next five years in the lives of Novalee and her daughter. We meet more idiosyncratic yet lovable characters and learn the fate of Willie Jack.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446672214
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 6/28/1998
  • Series: Oprah's Book Club Series
  • Edition description: REISSUE
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 179,221
  • Age range: 14 - 18 Years
  • Lexile: 950L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

First Chapter

Chapter One

    Novalee Nation, seventeen, seven months pregnant, thirty-seven pounds overweight--and superstitious about sevens--shifted uncomfortably in the seat of the old Plymouth and ran her hands down the curve of her belly.

    For most people, sevens were lucky. But not for her. She'd had a bad history with them, starting with her seventh birthday, the day Momma Nell ran away with a baseball umpire named Fred. Then, when Novalee was in the seventh grade, her only friend, Rhonda Talley, stole an ice cream truck for her boyfriend and got sent to the Tennessee State School for Girls in Tullahoma.

    By then, Novalee knew there was something screwy about sevens, so she tried to stay clear of them. But sometimes, she thought, you just can't see a thing coming at you.

    And that's how she got stabbed. She just didn't see it coming.

    It happened right after she dropped out of school and started waiting tables at Red's, a job that didn't have anything to do with sevens. A regular named Gladys went crazy one night--threw her beer bottle through the front window and started yelling crazy things about seeing Jesus, all the time calling Red the Holy Ghost. Novalee tried to calm her down, but Gladys was just too confused. She jumped at Novalee with a steak knife, slashed her from wrist to elbow, and the emergency room doctor took seventy-seven stitches to close her up. No, Novalee didn't trust sevens.

    But she didn't have sevens on her mind as she twisted and squirmed, trying to compromise with a hateful pain pressing against her pelvis. She needed to stop again, but it was too soon to ask. They had stopped once since Fort Smith, but already Novalee's bladder felt like a water balloon. They were somewhere in eastern Oklahoma on a farm-to-market road that didn't even show up on her Amoco map, but a faded billboard promoting a Fourth of July fireworks show promised that Muldrow was twelve miles ahead.

    The road was a narrow, buckled blacktop, little used and long neglected. Old surface patches, cracked and split like torn black scabs, had coughed up jimsonweed and bedrock. But the big Plymouth rode it hard at a steady seventy-five and Willy Jack Pickens handled it like he had a thousand pounds of wild stallion between his legs.

    Willy Jack was a year older, twenty-five pounds lighter and four inches shorter than Novalee. He wore cowboy boots with newspaper stuffed inside to make himself look taller. Novalee thought he looked like John Cougar Mellencamp, but he believed he looked more like Bruce Springsteen, who Willy Jack said was only five foot two.

    Willy Jack was crazy about short musicians, especially those who were shorter than he was. No matter how drunk he got, he could remember that Prince was five one and a quarter and Mick Jagger was five two and a half. Willy Jack had a great memory.

    Roadside signs warned of tight curves ahead, but Willy Jack kept the needle at seventy-five. Novalee wanted to ask him to slow down; instead, she prayed silently that they would not meet any oncoming traffic.

    They could have been driving on a turnpike if they had gone farther north, a toll road that would have taken them through Tulsa and Oklahoma City, but Willy Jack said he wouldn't pay a penny to drive on a road paid for with taxpayers' money. Though he had never been a taxpayer himself, he had strong feelings about such things. Besides, he had said, there were lots of roads heading to California, roads that didn't cost a penny.

    He misjudged the first curve, dropping the right front tire onto the shoulder and sending a shimmy through the car that made Novalee's bladder quiver. She unsnapped her seat belt and scooted her hips forward on the seat, trying to shift her weight in a way that would ease the pressure, but it didn't help. She had to go.

    "Hon, I'm gonna have to stop again."

    "Goddamn, Novalee." Willy Jack slapped the steering wheel with both hands. "You just went."

    "Yeah, but ..."

    "Not more'n fifty miles back."

    "Well, I can wait awhile."

    "You know how long it's gonna take us to get there if you have to pee ever fifty miles?"

    "I don't mean right this minute. I can wait."

    Willy Jack was in a bad mood because of the camera. Novalee had bought a Polaroid before they left because she wanted him to take a picture of her at every state line they crossed, with her posed beside signs like, WELCOME TO ARKANSAS, and OKLAHOMA, THE SOONER STATE. She wanted to frame those pictures so someday she could show their baby how they had traveled west like the covered wagons did on their way to California.

    Willy Jack told her it was a stupid idea, but he had taken her picture when they crossed into Arkansas because he had seen a bar called the Razorback just across the highway and he wanted a beer. They were twenty miles down the road when Novalee missed the camera and discovered Willy Jack had left it in the bar. She begged him to go back for it and he did, but only because he wanted another beer. But when they drove into Oklahoma, Willy Jack had refused to stop and take her picture so they'd had a fight.

    Novalee felt warm and sticky. She rolled down her window and let the hot outside air blast her in the face. The air conditioner in the Plymouth had stopped working long before Willy Jack bought it with her fifty dollars. In fact, almost everything in the car had stopped working so it had ended up in a junkyard just outside Knoxville where Willy Jack had found it. He had replaced a universal joint, the carburetor, the distributor, a brake drum and the muffler, but he had not replaced the floorboard where a piece the size of a platter had rusted out. He'd covered the hole with a TV tray, but Novalee was afraid the tray would slide and her feet would slip through the hole and be ripped off on the highway. When she would lean forward to check the tray, she could see at its edges the pavement whirling by, just inches below her feet, an experience that only increased her need to relieve herself.

    She tried to get her mind off her bladder, first by counting fence posts, then by trying to remember the lyrics to "Love Me Tender," but that didn't work. Finally, she pulled her book of pictures out of the plastic beach bag on the seat beside her.

    She had been collecting pictures from magazines since she was little ... pictures of bedrooms with old quilts and four-poster beds, kitchens with copper pots and blue china, living rooms with sleeping Lassies curled on bright rugs, and walls covered with family pictures in gold frames. Before, these rooms had existed only in the pages of magazines she bought at garage sales in Tellico Plains, Tennessee. But now, she was on her way to California--on her way to live in such rooms.

    "Look, hon." She held a picture out to Willy Jack. "Here's that Mickey Mouse lamp I told you about. That's what I want to put in the baby's room."

    Willy Jack turned on the radio and started twisting the knob, but all he got was static.

    "I hope we can get a two-story house with a balcony that overlooks the ocean."

    "Hell, Novalee. You can't see the ocean from Bakersfield."

    "Well, maybe a pond then. I want to get one of those patio tables with an umbrella over it where we can sit with the baby and drink chocolate milk and watch the sun go down."

    Novalee dreamed of all kinds of houses--two-story houses, log cabins, condominiums, ranch houses--anything fixed to the ground. She had never lived in a place that didn't have wheels under it. She had lived in seven house trailers--one a double-wide, a camping trailer, two mobile homes, a fifth-wheel, a burned Winnebago and a railroad car--part of a motel called the Chattanooga Choo Choo.

    She held up another picture. "Look at these ducks here on this wall. Aren't they cute?"

    Willy Jack turned the wheel sharply, trying to run over a turtle at the edge of the road.

    "I just hate it when you do that," Novalee said. "Why do you want to kill turtles? They don't bother anything."

    Willy Jack turned the radio dial and picked up "Graceland," by Paul Simon, who Willy Jack said was three and a half inches shorter than he was.

    When they passed the Muldrow water tower, Novalee put her picture book away. The thought of so much water was almost more than she could bear.

    "I bet they'll have a bathroom in this town."

    "Oh, I wouldn't be surprised," Willy Jack said. "Almost ever town has one. You think they'll have a little hot water, too? Maybe you'd like to soak in a hot tub. Huh? That sound good to you?"

    "Dammit, Willy Jack, I have to go to the bathroom."

    Willy Jack turned the volume up on the radio and beat out the song's rhythm on the dash. As they roared through Muldrow, Novalee tightened the muscles between her legs and tried not to think about swimming pools or iced tea.

    She dug the map out again and figured the next chance she would have to stop, short of a head-on collision, was another twenty miles down the road in a town called Sequoyah. She peeked at the gas gauge and was discouraged to see they still had a half tank.

    For a while, she played a silent game of running through the alphabet searching for a name for the baby. For A she thought of Angel and Abbie; for B she liked Bordon and Babbette, but she was just too miserable to concentrate, so she quit before she got to C.

    She had aches and pains from her top to her bottom. Her head had been hurting all morning, but she didn't have any aspirin with her. Her feet were killing her, too. They were so swollen that the straps of her red sandals bit into her ankles and pinched her toes until they were throbbing. She couldn't reach the buckles, but by rubbing one sandal against the other, she was finally able to wiggle out of them, and for that, she was grateful.

    "Wish I had some gum," she said.

    Her mouth was dry and her throat felt scratchy. She had a half bottle of warm Coke in the back seat, but she knew if she drank it, it would only make her bladder fuller.

    "Red's wife says she had trouble with her bladder when she was pregnant. She thinks that's why she had to have a C section."

    "What the hell's a C section?"

    "A caesarean. That's when they cut your belly open to get the baby out."

    "Now don't you go planning on that, Novalee. That'll cost a damned fortune."

    "It's not something you plan, Willy Jack. Not like you plan a birthday party. It's just something that happens. And I don't know how much it costs. Besides, you're going to be making good money."

    "Yeah, and I don't want it spent before it's in my pocket, either."

    Willy Jack was going to California to go to work for the railroad. He had a cousin there named J. Paul who had made it big working for the Union Pacific. And when Willy Jack had heard from J. Paul, just two weeks ago, he got excited and wanted to leave right away.

    Novalee thought it was strange for Willy Jack to be excited about work, but she said she was not about to lick a gift horse in the mouth, so as soon as she picked up her check at Red's, they left Tellico Plains and she didn't look back.

    It was the chance she had dreamed about, the chance to live in a real home. She and Willy Jack had been staying in a camping trailer parked beside Red's, but the plumbing didn't work so they had to use the bathroom inside the cafe. She knew a job with the railroad would guarantee she would not have to live on top of wheels ever again. She knew that for sure.

    But what she didn't know was that Willy Jack was going to Bakersfield to chop off one of his fingers. He hadn't told her the whole story.

    He hadn't told her that a month after J. Paul started to work, he got his thumb cut off in a coupling clamp, an injury for which he received a cash settlement of sixty-five thousand dollars and an additional eight hundred dollars a month for the rest of his life. J. Paul used the money to buy a quick-lube shop and moved into a townhouse at the edge of a miniature golf course.

    Hearing that had created in Willy Jack an intense interest in his own fingers. He noticed them, really noticed them for the first time in his life. He began to study each one. He figured out that thumbs and index fingers did most of the work, middle fingers were for communication, ring fingers were for rings, and little fingers were pretty much unnecessary. For Willy Jack, a southpaw, the little finger of his right hand was absolutely useless. And it was the one he would sacrifice, the one he intended to trade for greyhounds and race horses. It was the one that would take him to Santa Anita and Hollywood Park where he'd drink sloe gin fizzes and wear silk shirts and send his bets to the windows on silver trays.

    But Novalee didn't know all that. She only knew he was going to Bakersfield to go to work for the railroad. He figured that was all she needed to know. And if Willy Jack was an expert on anything, it was what Novalee needed to know.

    "Want to feel the baby?" she asked him.

    He acted as if he hadn't heard her.

    "Here." She held her hand out for his, but he left it dangling over the top of the steering wheel.

    "Give me your hand." She lifted his hand from the wheel and guided it to her belly, then laid it flat against her, against the mound of her navel.

    "Feel that?"

    "No."

    "Can't you feel that tiny little bomp ... bomp ... bomp?"

    "I don't feel nothin'."

    Willy Jack tried to pull his hand back, but she held it and moved it lower, pressing his fingers into the curve just above her pelvis.

    "Feel right there." Her voice was soft, no more than a whisper. "That's where the heart is." She held his hand there a moment, then he jerked it away.

    "Couldn't prove it by me," he said as he reached for a cigarette.

    Novalee felt like she might cry then, but she didn't exactly know why. It was the way she felt sometimes at night when she heard a train whistle in the distance ... a feeling she couldn't explain, not even to herself.

    She leaned her head back against the seat and closed her eyes, trying to find a way to make time pass faster. She mentally began to decorate the nursery. She put the oak crib beneath the window and a rocker in the corner beside the changing table. She folded the small quilt with cows jumping over the moon and put it beside the stuffed animals ...

    As she drifted into sleep, she saw herself thin again, wearing her skinny denim dress and holding a baby, her baby, its face covered with a soft white blanket. Filled with joy and expectation, she gently peeled the blanket back, but discovered another blanket beneath it. She folded that back only to find another ... and another.

    Then, she heard a train whistle, faint, but growing louder. She looked up to see a locomotive speeding toward her and the baby. She stood frozen between the rails as the train bore down on them.

    She tried to jump clear, to run, but her body was heavy, weighted, and the ground beneath, spongy and sticky, sucked at her feet. She fell then, and from her knees and with all her energy, she lifted the baby over the rail and pushed it away from the tracks, away from danger.

    Then, the blast of the whistle split the air. She tried to drag herself across the rail, but she moved like a giant slug, inching her way across the hot curve of metal. A hiss of steam and rush of scalding air brushed her legs when, in one desperate lunge, she was across. She was free.

    She tried to stand, but her legs were twisted sinew and shards of bone. The train had severed her feet.

    The scream started deep in her belly, then roared through her lungs.

    "What the hell's the matter with you, Novalee?" Willy Jack yelled.

    Yanking herself from sleep, Novalee was terrified to feel the rush of hot air coming through the floorboard. She knew without looking that the TV tray was gone.

    She turned to look out the back window, dreading what she would see--her feet, mangled like road kill, torn and bloody in the middle of the highway.

    But what she saw were her red sandals, empty of feet, skidding and bouncing down the road.

    "What are you smiling about?" Willy Jack asked.

    "Just a dream I had."

    She didn't want to tell him about the shoes. It was the only pair she had and she knew he'd gripe about the money another pair would cost. Besides, they were on a real highway coming into a real town and Novalee didn't want to get him mad again or she'd never get to a bathroom.

    "Oh, look. There's a Wal-Mart. Let's stop there."

    "Thought you had to pee."

    "They have bathrooms in Wal-Mart, you know."

    Willy Jack swerved across two lanes and onto the access road while Novalee tried to figure her way around a problem. She didn't have more than a dollar in her beach bag. Willy Jack had all the cash.

    "Hon, I'm gonna need some money."

    "They gonna charge you to pee?"

    He drove across the parking lot like he was making a pit stop and whipped the big Plymouth into the handicapped parking space nearest the entrance.

    "Five dollars will be enough."

    "What for?"

    "I'm gonna buy some houseshoes."

    "Houseshoes? Why? We're in a car."

    "My feet are swollen. I can't get my sandals back on."

    "Jesus Christ, Novalee. We're going clear across the country and you're gonna be wearing houseshoes?"

    "Who's gonna see?"

    "You mean ever time we stop, you're gonna be traipsing around in houseshoes?"

    "Well, we don't stop very much, do we?"

    "Okay. Get some houseshoes. Get some polky dot houseshoes. Some green polky dot houseshoes so everyone will be sure to notice you."

    "I don't want polka dot houseshoes."

    "Get you some with elephants on them then. Yeah! An elephant in elephant houseshoes."

    "That's mean, Willy Jack. That's real mean."

    "Goddamn, Novalee."

    "I have to buy some kind of shoes."

    She hoped that would be enough of an explanation, but she knew it wouldn't. And though he didn't actually say "Why," his face said it.

    "My sandals fell through the floor."

    She smiled at him then, a tentative smile, an invitation to see the humor in what had happened, but he declined the offer. He stared at her long enough to melt her smile, then he turned, spit out the window and shook his head in disgust. Finally, digging in the pocket of his jeans, he pulled out a handful of crumpled bills. His movements, exaggerated and quick, were designed to show her he was right on the edge. He pitched a ten at her, then crammed the rest back in his pocket.

    "I won't be long," she told him as she climbed out of the car.

    "Yeah."

    "Don't you want to come in. Stretch your legs?"

    "No. I don't."

    "Want me to bring you some popcorn?"

    "Just go on, Novalee."

    She could feel his eyes on her as she walked away. She tried to move her body as she had when they first met, when he was unable to keep his hands away from her, when her breasts and belly and thighs were tight and smooth. But she knew what he was seeing now. She knew how she looked.

    The single stall in the bathroom was taken. Novalee pressed her legs together and tried to hold her breath. When she heard the toilet flush, she was sure she was going to make it, but when the door didn't open, she was sure she wasn't.

    "I'm sorry," she said as she tapped on the door, "but I've got to get in there now."

    A little girl, still struggling with buttons, opened the door, then jumped out of the way as Novalee rushed by.

    Once inside, Novalee didn't take time to lock the door or cover the seat with paper. She didn't even check to make sure there was paper on the roll. She just peed and peed, then laughed out loud, her eyes flooded with tears at the joy of release. Novalee took pleasure in small victories.

    As she washed at the sink, she studied herself in the mirror, then wished she hadn't. Her skin, though unblemished and smooth, looked sallow, and her eyes, a light shade of green, were ringed with dark circles. Her hickory-colored hair, long and thick, had pulled loose from the clip at her neck and was frizzed into thin tight ringlets.

    She splashed cold water on her face, smoothed her hair with wet hands, then dug in her beach bag for lipstick, but couldn't find any. Finally, she pinched her cheeks for color and decided not to look in any more mirrors until she could expect a better picture.

    She went directly to the shoe department, knowing she had already taken too much time. The cheapest houseshoes she could find had little polka dots, so she settled quickly for a pair of rubber thongs.

    At the checkout stand, she fidgeted impatiently while the man in front of her wrote out a check. By the time the checker dragged the thongs across the scanner, Novalee was caught up in the headlines of the National Examiner. She handed the checker the ten-dollar-bill while she puzzled over the picture of a newborn who was two thousand years old.

    "Ma'am. Here's your change."

    "Oh, sorry." Novalee held out her hand.

    "Seven dollars and seventy-seven cents."

    Novalee tried to jerk her hand back, but before she could, the coins dropped onto her palm.

    "No," she shouted as she flung the money across the floor. "No." Dizzy, she staggered as she turned and started running.

    She knew he was gone, knew before she reached the door. She could see it all, see it as if she were watching a movie. She could see herself running, calling his name--the parking space empty, the Plymouth gone.

    He was going to California and he had left her behind ... left her with her magazine dreams of old quilts and blue china and family pictures in gold frames.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 595 )
Rating Distribution

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(410)

4 Star

(130)

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(31)

2 Star

(11)

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(13)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 596 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Interestng read, and sad at times.

    A story about a young minded 17 year-old girl who was dumped off in a Wal-Mart parking lot, who had only $7.77 to her name? Her boyfriend leaves her in a Wal-mart parking lot. Novalee thinks her life is at its worst before she realizes that this mistake will only lead her on her way. While living in Wal-mart, she meets some interesting people whom later on lead her to the woman she's meant to be and through to her life calling. <BR/>I really enjoyed this book. Where the Heart is helps you to realize who you are. This book helped me realize that, your heart is what gets you to where you want to be. It shows you that heart can get you through anything, and that love is the strongest weapon life could hand to you. <BR/>There were very few parts in the book that I didn't like. I mainly didn't like the sad parts of the book. While reading Where the Heart is, you feel connected to the characters, and when something happens to one of them, you can't help to feel their pain. <BR/>Girls would probably enjoy this book more than guys, but they can also read it. If you're looking for a book to help you find yourself and change your views on life, I would suggest to you, Where the Heart is. <BR/>This is a good read that had me interested throughout.

    13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    My Favorite Book

    I watched the Where the Heart Is movie, and I absolutely fell in love with it. I wasn't a reader when the movie came out, and I didn't know that it was based on a book, but when I found out it was I made my aunt take me to Barnes & Noble to find the book. I read this book and I was so surprised to find characters in it that were no where to be found in the movie. The characters and story..and Wal-Mart :) made me love this book & movie and now 9 years later, both versions are still my favorites. I recommend this book to everyone...it may become your favorite as well.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Want a story of Love and Adventure? This is a MUST READ!!!

    Have you ever had an unlucky number? Well, Novalee Nation has one and it's 7. She's 17, 7 months pregnant, and left in a Wal-Mart in OK by her rotten boyfriend with $7.77 in change. Talk about unlucky! While living in Wal-Mart, she meets many people, like Sister Husband, who takes care of Novalee when she doesn't have a place to stay. She also meets Moses Whitecotton, a photographer who works for the Wal-Mart. The final person she meets at the Wal-Mart is Benny Goodluck, the son of the local greenhouse and garden owner. Benny gives Novalee a buckeye tree for good luck, and it becomes very sick. So, Novalee goes to the library, hoping to find a book on buckeye trees, and she meets Forney Hull, the librarian who dropped out of college to take care of his alcoholic sister. Forney come to the rescue when Novalee has to have her daughter, Americus, in the Wal-Mart. At the hospital, she befriends Lexie, a nurse who named her 4 kids after snack foods. Where the Heart is is a great story on family, friends, lost love and new adventures.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2009

    VERY VERY GOOD READ..COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN!

    I borrowed this book from a friend so I'd have enough to read while on vacation in the Bahamas. As soon as I picked this book up I could not put it down and read it in 24 hours. I did not realize it was on Oprah's book list. It was funny, dramatic, tearful...the whole nine yards. The main character was very well developed as well as the other characters. I was sad when I finished it only because I wanted the story to go on and on!!! I will purchase this again to put in my library; I'm sure I'll read it again. Plus, I'm going to send it to my 16 year old granddaughter who loves to read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2012

    Amazing

    This book is so amazing that I read once a year! I suggest this to all of my friends amd family. I could feel like I was there on the situations! So awesome book! You NEED to get it!!!!!!! :D

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2012

    Yu must read the book

    Th e books alwaya better

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2011

    Buy it buy it buy it

    I love it i watched the movie alot 2

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 9, 2011

    Such+a+sweet+book

    I+read+this+years+ago.+I+believe+it+was+on+Oprah%27s+book+club%2C+before+it+became+a+movie.++Such+a+cute%2C+heart+warming+story.++Like+many+have+said+the+book+is+much+better+then+the+movie%2C+has+most+are.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2011

    a beautiful book

    just when you thought your life was rough you soon realize that you may not actually have it so bad. this book takes you on a journey that gives you a sense of enpowerment leading you along side novalee as she battles the birth of her daughter in walmart to the love she learns to accept and friendship which she learns to cherish. this is a beautifully written book you will not be able to put it down once you start.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 27, 2010

    Great story

    Hollywood made a movie about this book and as always, the book is so much better. Definitely a thumbs up read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2010

    Loved It!!!!!

    I am a Junior at Holt High School & i read the book Where the Heart Is. This is one of the best books i have read, I would read this book again it was that good. I got the book from the school library & it was recremonded to me by a friend for a class project. I thought it was going to be one of those ooks that would be easy simple & i don't have to pay much attention to but I couldn't stop reading after i began. Where the Heart Is is about a teenage girl that is pregnet & her boyfriend leaves her in a Wal-mart in some strange town. She ends up living in the Wal-mart until she has the baby. This book has so many shocking moments that you can't help but be intresred. I would recremond this book to all it is that good.You cannot help but be intrested in the story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 14, 2010

    Wonderful fell good book

    Downloaded this book into my nook and read it all the way through the first day. I had seen the movie but it didn't come close to capturing the essence of the characters. In the movie they mesh together or just plain leave out some of the important people that are very pivotal to the plot. Although the movie itself did stay true to a lot of the book, there are some instances the movie completely left out or changed dramatically to give it the Hollywood touch. I guess it is true when they say the book is always better than the movie. A must read for everyone.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I've Read It Twice

    This is my all time favorite book and have recommended to everyone that has every asked for a great read. This author did an amazing job with characters and shows every emotion one could possible feel. The movie did this book no justice at all (still a good watch though). You can really feel what the characters are going through and you see several different viewpoints.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Where the Heart Is

    I can't believe that I waited so long to read this book. It is one of my favorites. I loved the characters and the story. All of the characters had something to offer and experiences to learn from. There are some sad parts in the book, but that's what makes it so special. I was able to connect with the characters and I cried when bad things happened to them. I felt so good about the world after I read this book. It's nice to know that the characters were based on real people, and that there are some generous people still out there.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Definite "Feel Good" Read

    This book is an easy read...and definitely a way to get your mind off of things. This story is about Novalee Nation, a 17 year-old fledgeling, who is pregnant. She is escaping her town in Tennessee for a life in California with her boyfriend, Willy Jack Pickens. He abandons her at a Wal-Mart in Sequoyah, Oklahoma where Novalee makes a home, and a bunch of colorful characters ensue. I highly recommend this read. It picks you up when you are down, and one may actually regain faith in humanity.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 15, 2009

    My Absolute Favorite

    I would never have thought to read this book if it wasn't recommended to me by my teacher. I was intrigued from the first page till the last, not bored for a second about the journey Novalee (the main character) went through. I would highly suggest this book if looking for an ispirational, riveting story that always has an unexpected twist, gluing you to the next page. The author's originality in her writing gives your imagination a more vivid picture of the story and shows it in a breathtaking way. This book undeniably deserves five stars for its little bit of everything.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2008

    Great Book!!!

    I loved this story it was so much fun to read.I thought it was well written and very enjoyable.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2008

    a reviewer

    If you like books that are touching then you should read this. I am 13 and my sister told me about this book. She recomended it to me. This is a great book to help people to understand how things are and to tell teenagers not to have kids at a young age. To find out more you should read this book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2008

    A reviewer

    I read this not long after getting back on my feet after an abusive relationship. Letts starts off with pregnant Novalee, a loving, beautiful girl with no real smarts except street smarts. She's lived her whole life in houses that have 'wheels under them', and she has been tossed from one foster family to the next. Novalee has also made bad choices on her own accord, and Willy Jack, her current boyfriend is an obvious really bad choice on introduction. The two of them set out west where Novalee looks forward to living in a house on the water. Then, thank God, he abandon's her in the parking lot of a WalMart with less than I had when I walked into the shelter! But with the birth of her baby Americus Nation, Novalee seems to will her life to transform. She accepts love from stranger who become family and friends, and she takes huge risks. There is a bit of Noavalle Nation in every one of us who has pulled it together when things were really rough. This book is a part of my soul.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2007

    A reviewer

    Where the Heart Is, by Billie Letts is honestly one of the most amazing books I¿ve ever read. I thought that the plot was interesting and surprising, and by the end of the book I had a new perspective on young girls that get pregnant. The main character, Novalee Nation makes you feel like you are a part of the book. She is the kind of person that I wish I knew in real life. Through all that she¿s been through, 'and throughout the story, this is a lot' she keeps a smile on her face and hope in her heart. The other great thing about Where the Heart Is is that not only is Novalee Nation an excellent character, but all of the other ones and just as good. They all have distinct personalities and there is something to love about each one. I recommend this book to anyone that wants a book that they won¿t be able to put down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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