*Note, while I will try to avoid major spoilers, I sometimes won't be able to help it.

Monday, May 26, 2014

"Where the Heart Is" by by Billie Letts

This book is wonderful. It's one that I re-read often, to the point where my copy is showing many signs of wear. Novalee Nation is seventeen years old and just months away from having a baby. She and her boyfriend are on their way to California to start a new life. Only Novalee never makes it to California. Desperate for a restroom break, Novalee convinces Willy Jack to stop at Sequoyah Oklahoma's WalMart. She hurries, but when she leaves the store she finds that he has left without her. She doesn't know anyone in the town and so she sits and waits. On this day, she meets three people that will later become very important to her, Benny, Moses, and Sister Husband. When it's time for the WalMart to close, Novalee accidentally gets locked inside and realizes that she can live in the WalMart. Carefully hiding each night and morning as the employees come and go, she makes this happen. While living in secret, she makes friend with Forney Hull, the man that runs the library. He too will become a very important person in her life. Novalee's life falls into a pattern, but everything changes the night she goes into labor.

So much happens in this book. The plot takes place over the course of several years. We follow Novalee through the ups and downs of motherhood, new friendships, love and loss. The characters are lovingly crafted and the stories intertwine so realistically. It seems that just about every time Novalee gets both feet on the ground and things start going good, something comes about to send her world spiraling out of control again. Readers can relate to ups and downs that take place in Where the Heart Is. I have not read any other work by Billie Letts, but at some point I would like to. I don't know if any of her other books will capture me like this novel has, but I am hopeful they will. In addition, the film adaptation is one of my favorite movies and is one of the best adaptations I personally have seen. If you like the book, you will likely enjoy the movie.

Happy Reading!

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