I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this book. It was a very sweet love story about a pregnant young girl who is abandoned by her boyfriend at a Wal-Mart, where she meets many people who change her life, touching, heartwarming. It was interesting reading this book after having already seen the movie because I had all of the actors' faces in my head and didn't have to imagine what the characters looked like. Some of the actors in the movie didn't quite fit their character's descriptions in the book, and the movie's ending was changed slightly, but that is to be expected with any movie adaptation and it didn't bother me at all. I am glad I read this book. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a nice feel good book!
If you've only watched the movie, you've got to read the book - too good to miss!
A funny thing happens to Novalee Nation on her way to Bakersfield, California. Her ne'er-do-well boyfriend, Willie Jack Pickens, abandons her in an Oklahoma Wal-Mart and takes off on his own, leaving her with just 10 dollars and the clothes on her back. Not that hard luck is anything new to Novalee, who is "seventeen, seven months pregnant, thirty-seven pounds overweight--and superstitious about sevens.... For most people, sevens were lucky. But not for her," Billie Letts writes. "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..."
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.
One of the few Oprah Book Club books that I have actually enjoyed.
heartwarming, clever and captivating. The lives of a small town in nowhereland Oklahoma jump alive in this wonderful book. Characters you wont forget, heartbreaking stories and stories of triumph. Despite hard times Novalee Nation is a standout and never lets the crap in life get her down.
Wonderful! This is a stunning book about a young girl making her way in the world, from dismal beginnings, to true riches: friends, family, and a purpose in life. The writing is fresh and lovely, the characters quirky and utterly unforgettable. You'll be glad you read this one.
Having seen the movie some time ago, I never thought I would pick up this book. I am so glad I changed my mind. Ms. Letts' character development is fantastic. So many more details than the movie! I found this to be an endearing novel about human strengths, flaws, and passion. An excellent read.
I found this book to be very good. It shows how your life can change from a bad situation to end up wonderful. And that there are good people out there that do not mind helping out strangers. It also shows how people can be considered Family even closer than real blood relatives. The only thing that bothered me about this book was the brief event of a young boy who was raped. It did not go into details but I saw no reason for the subject to even be presented in the book.
This is a GOOD story with a universal appeal, since Walmart is so much a part of so many people's lives. But Walmart is only the hook that gets you into the story. There is
much more after that. Definitely worth reading.
I got this book from my mother-in-law and really didn't think I would like it. It just looked to sappy. As I read it, I really got into the quirky life of Novalee Nation. The storyline was original, funny and also (and here's the part I usually hate) uplifting.
It almost made me want to live in a Wal-Mart--and trust me, that's saying something!
I reallly liked this book, a great read...movie by the same name. Warning: There is a child rape scence which is very upsetting** If you can get past that part, this is a great story. (or skip it, you'll know when it's coming)
This is a great book...If you love happy endings this ones for you. Reading this you feel like your part of Novalee the lead character in this book she hits rock bottom and in the end its fairy tale everything she deserves after riding out the various storms in her young life.
I just requested this book and finished it in one sitting. A wonderful book on the pain and sorrow of being young and poor and sometimes not to o smart. Also had some great lighthearted moments. You can really live in Walmart.
This was the sweetest, most thought provoking book I've read for a long time. I didn't expect to like it and I was pleasantly surprised.... I loved it. I'll never walk into a WalMart without thinking about this book and it's characters!
Normally, Oprah's book club stuff is really drab and depressing but this book is not at all. A movie was made based on the book, but it seems to be quite bad, don't let it influence your decision to read the book.
The story follows Novalee Nation. The books opens with her a pregnant teenager with a limited education traveling across country with her jerk boyfriend to go to California. He gets tired of her dragging him down and drives off and leaves her at a Walmart in Oklahoma. She accidentally begins living in WalMart. She can't avoid detection when she has the baby but people really rally around her and she gets offered a job at WalMart by Sam Walton himself. She creates a family from the caring people she meets in this small town and raises her baby. As the back of the book says, it is "a moving journey". It may remind a little bit of The Secret Life of Bees.
This book builds on the character\\\'s inner thoughts and relationships with strangers who become important in her life. The author shows us the struggles of single mothers and lower income parents and how they overcome their hardships. You\\\'ll find yourself sad one minute, yet laughing hysterically the next. It\\\'s an incredible journey of a young girl that finds herself becoming a strong and confident woman. This is an \\\"Ophra\\\'s Book Club\\\" selection.
I really enjoyed this book. A quick, easy read, it was very enjoyable as well. It's different from the movie, but both are good. I happen to like the movie a tiny bit better, but I do love the book as well! Letts writing style is flowing, and easy to follow, but she throws some tough, real-life stuff at you as well.
This is one of my absolute favorite books! I recommend this to everybody, even people who dont like to read! Its a heartfelt story and you cant help but connect with all of the characters. I wouldnt mind jumping right into their little world and being part of their not so traditional family. I watched the movie after I read the book and to my surprise it stayed true to the book. So if you liked the movie then you'll LOVE the book!
Novalee Nation is 17 and pregnant when her no-good boyfriend abandons her at a Walmart. Although some really sad things happen to Novalee, this is generally a feel-good book about love and friendship and looking out for oneself.
Billie Letts has a very laid back writing style, and a good imagination -- these two things compounded into great book. I love characters with flaws, and Where the Heart Is has them in spades! It was a joy to delve into the relationships that the main character was making, and you felt as if you were 'growing up' right along with her. Much better than the movie, and that's saying quite a bit.
One of the ways I measure a book is the amount of time I spend thinking about it afterwards. Each time I see or hear the name WalMart, I think of Novalee Nation and how she must have felt hiding, waiting in a nameless town, for the store to close so she could sleep. I think of her carefully making a list of things she needs each night, so she can remember to pay for them in future. I think of what I might have done at the tender age of 17, and know I would not have been as brave.
Sister Husband, who was probably my favourite character, came into Novalee's life at the right time. Sister is ditsy and good and honest and everything delightful. Her prayers over the buttermilk and cornbread lunches provide wonderful insight into her sense of humour! She provided laughter when the book tended towards heavy, and good when the world tended towards bad.
Novalee Nation, Moses Whitecotton (who took pictures of baby Americus), Sister Husband and her Welcome Wagon Baskets, and Forney, among others, add up to the goodness and can-do attitude of America. Ms. Letts does a wonderful job of weaving together a tapestry of the way things CAN be. Great read!
I really enjoyed this book. Have read it countless times. It is about 17 year old Novalee. She was abandoned at Wal-mart by her boyfriend when she was almost 9 months pregnant. She ends up living at Wal-Mart for a period of time, then finds true friends and family in the small town in Oklahoma.
So much better than the movie!
Don't get me wrong, I liked the movie - Natalie Portman was wonderful, and I love Stockard Channing in ANYTHING. But why in the world did they change the "unlucky sevens" to unlucky fives in the movie????? I can't figure out why they would do that, and it just irritated me through the whole film. But as everyone here knows, the book is always better. It's not just a "feel good" kind of book though, so be prepared for violence, kidnapping, and child abuse. But the true theme of the book, beginning to end is love. Love for friends, family, strangers, God's love of everyone, and even a little romantic love. I've already read the book two or three times, and it is one I will read again.
A pleasant surprise! Heartwarming and funny at the same time, it tells the story of Novalee's life as she turns it around in a very realistic way. There are no knights in shining armor or handsome princes, just loving folks in a small town who know pain and trouble themselves. They reach out to her, she reaches back, and Novalee finds in those relationships the foundation she needs to make her own history a good one.
Great "chick lit"! The fun story of a young woman who through a series of flukey circumstances, winds up creating a new life and new family for herself and her baby daughter. Quirky characters and surprising plot. This edition includes the Oprah Book Club Reading Group Guide.
I will never forget this book. It is only the second of Oprah's book club list I have enjoyed,the first being the book Night. I can't even describe what this story did for me. I guess I just came across it at the right time in my life and I will always remember it.
Didn't want to read because our book club was doing another Oprah Book. Found myself liking the characters and relating to them. Great story of perseverance, dedication, character and love. Never give up is the lesson you learn from Novalee as she struggles to raise her baby, make friends and create a life for herself in a small southern town. Well worth it if you can trudge through the beginning.
One of my favorite books of all time. Grabs you from the first paragraph. The character developement is incredible...they grow so much throughout the story. You'll laugh and cry while reading this book. What more can you want? Truly a masterpiece.
Wow...I loved this book! I have been disappointed in the past with some of Oprah's Book Club pics, but this one did NOT disappoint! What a wonderful story about determination, love, and friendship. The character development was superb...and there were so many different characters...and you grow to love them all. I definitely recommend this book. I didn't want it to end!
This book is Awesome! From the beginning I was drawn in to the story and pulling for Novalee. Maybe I aligned myself with her since I had a baby girl at a young age. I really don't know, but whatever the reason this remains one of my top 10 books and the story is still with me over 10 years after reading it!
A wonderfully sweet book about people you grow to care very much about. The people of Sequoyah, Oklahoma take Novalee Nation to their hearts; love her, protect her and most of all teach her to love and respect herself.
Novalee finds herself abandoned in a small town, 7 months pregnant with $7.77 to her name. Wal-Mart looks like a good place to hide out for awhile, there's plenty of food, a bathroom and even a home accessories department with a bed. But she not going to steal anything, she keeps careful track of what food she eats and anything else, fully intending to pay Wal-Mart back for it all as soon as she can get a job. She finds a special friend at the local library and others who befriend this young seventeen-year-old girl without asking a lot of questions.
A book you don't want to end, the people have become special friends and make you realize there's a lot of good people in the world.
Novalee is seven months pregnant and is traveling from Tennessee to California with her boyfriend Willy Jack. Novalee has to stop for a bathroom and to buy some shoes. While shopping Willy Jack leaves her behind at Walmart. Novalee is befriended by a few people who take her in after she has lived and given birth in Walmart.
I could not put this book down. Strong interesting characters with a great story line.
I've never seen the movie so I can't draw any comparisons to that; however, after reading this book, I do think I'd like to see the movie. This is a relatively light and quick read. If you are looking for a "feel-good" story, then this is it. It tells the story of Novalee Nation who is superstitious about 7s because bad things seem to happen to her in connection to that number. It all started when she was stranded at 17 by her boyfriend at a Wal-Mart while they were on their way to live in California, seven months pregnant with $7.77 in her pocket. She starts to secretly live in the Wal-Mart at night and begins to make friends with the locals. With the help of her new friends, Novalee discovers who she is, what her true potential could be, and learns to navigate all of life's "sevens" with her baby. At its core, this book is about how the people we come in contact with everyday have a special way of touching our lives, sometimes good and sometimes bad, but ultimately these connections help to make us stronger.
This is a wonderful story of how a teenage girl in dire straits meets up with people who help her to turn her life around. It's wonderful to see how she makes a life for herself and that life is affected by the people who become her "family".
I had the day off and sat down to read this a while....and by dinner time, was more than involved in it. The characters are deep yet make you laugh... each one reflected my memory to someone I have known in the past. A+++
Wonderful, and a quick read. Touches on some rough subject matter, but really shows Novalee's growth, and makes the reader care what happens to her. I was skeptical, as I've seen the movie, and so often the book and movie are worlds apart, but the movie seems to have kept relatively well to the book.
The story is about Novalee Nation a 17 year old, pregnant and abandoned at a Wal Mart. How she is assimilated by the small town, learns the true meaning of love and how it supports and sustains you through all circumstances.
cute story about growing up; reads quickly, better than the movie. Noalee Nation (7 mos. preg)gets ditched in a walmart by her boyfriend about her trials and tribulations of putting down roots, and making herself a life.
Fantastic read! I love the book more than the movie. It has more detail and more of a story line.
This book was passed on to me by another trade website. It is a bit tattered but still in good condition. I few bent edges but no ripped pages or water damage! :)
Novalee was 7 months pregnant and managed to hide out in the local Walmart, where she ended up having the baby there. All about her raising the Americus, the baby, Novalee growing up and finding her way in the world. Good book and so is the movie!
A wonderful set of characters, many of whom will resonate in my mind and heart for some time. Novalee is a heroine worthy of the name. Abandoned, pregnant, at a Walmart by her boyfriend during a cross-country trip, she builds a rich and wonderful life for herself and her daughter.
I enjoyed this book. Would suggest this book to anyone who loves to read.
A pregnant teen stranded at wal-mart with very little money discovers treasures in a small town and down to earth, caring people to help.
This is a story about a 17 yr old girl, pregnant and on the road with her boyfriend. She finds herself broke, alone and about to give birth in a Wal_mart store. This is the story of how a woman finds herself and the love of a town in Oklahoma. An Oprah book club selection and a great movie!!
Novalee's boyfriend abandoned her at a Wal-Mart while heading west to California. She was seventeen, seven months pregnant and had $7.77 to her name. No wonder she believes sevens are unlucky! Despite her homelessness, Novalee manages to make a few friends in the small town. She hides her homelessness by secretly living in Wal-Mart, a secret that is exposed when her daughter is born.
Billie Letts' Where the Heart Is, an Oprah's book club book, is a heartwarming read. Pregnant Novalee Nation is abandoned by her boyfriend. She takes shelter in a Wal-Mart, of all places, and begins life anew. She makes friends with many people who frequent the store. Her journey and how everyone in her life impacts that journey make this book a great read. The people are slightly caricatures, slightly stereotypes, and yet become very real and personable to the reader.
With a warm and utterly honest voice right out of Steinbeck's Oklahoma and Fannie Flagg's green tomato South, Billie Letts has spun an irresistible story that won the Walker Percy Award and goes on to win every reader's heart.
I don't always enjoy "Oprah books," but I certainly did this one. It reads easily and the conversations sound natural. The fact that I forgot most of the plot rather quickly tells me that it is not 'memorable literature,' but it is a very, very good read--uplifting, as another reviewer called it--and leaves you feeling good.
The older I become, the more I favor books that do not (1) leave you up in the air or peter out at the end, or (2) act as if, just because terrible things can happen in life, you need your nose rubbed in them, and (3) under the guise of being realistic, have a bitter--or in some other way very unpleasant--ending. Some classics, like Madame Bovary or Anna Karenina HAVE to end sadly or they would miss their point, but I deplore the way nowadays even some children's books pretend to be upbeat while actually ending quite unpleasantly (A Day No Pigs Would Die being my special hate in that respect). Where the Heart Is escapes all those pitfalls and has a lot to offer.
If you liked The Bean Trees and Pigs in Heaven (but not necesssarily The Poisonwood Bible), by Barbara Kingsolver, you should like this one, too.
Oprah's Book Club
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, hey are about to take her and you, on a moving, funny and unforgettable journey to....Where The Heart Is
Loved this book. Unusual and captivating characters that draw you in. Very unusual story that keeps your interest the whole book. It makes you shake your head and laugh out loud. Worth the read. I will keep my book to read again.
I am sort of split in my thinking about this book. I enjoyed the community that welcomed Novalee into their lives. I thought that was really sweet. There were alot of hard parts to the book though too. There was some language and some creepy sexual stuff. I did not like any of the Willy Jack storyline. I was also thinking that some of the things that happened to Lexie were because of her bad choices. I wanted her to learn before it got so bad that it hurt her little family.
from the back cover: "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 Southwestern town--a group of down-to-earth, deeply caring people who will come to love her more than she does herself, and start her on a moving, heartwarming and unforgettable journey."
An hour ago, seventeen-year-old, seven month pregnant Novalee Nation was headed for California with her boyfriend. Now se finds herself stranded at a Wal-Mart in Sequoyah OK. with just $7.77 in change.
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 Southwestern town - a group of down-to-earth, deeply caring people who will come to love her more than she loves herself, and start her on a moving, warmhearted and nforgettable jourey to.....
I thought that this book was OK. The writing wasn't bad, the character development wasn't bad, and the subject matter was OK. There was nothing terrific about it. My biggest gripe about the book though would have to be that the author made it read like a soap opera. I love a good emotional book once in a while, but this just seemed to go too far.
Meet Movalee Nation and her unlucky sevens. Seventeen, seven months pregnant just dumped at Walmart in Sequoyah, Oklahoma by her boyfriend with $7.77 in change. But Novalee is about to discover hedden 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 Walmart.
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 Seyuoyah, Oklahoma, with just $7.77 in change. But Novalee is about to discover hidden treasure in this small Southwestern town