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Where the Heart is (Oprahs Book Club) Paperback – 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books (1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034066035X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340660355
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 17.9 x 2.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,203 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,016,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
NOVALEE NATION, seventeen, seven months pregnant, thirty-seven pounds overweight-and superstitious about sevens-shifted uncomfortably in the seat of the old Ply-mouth and ran her hands down the curve of her belly. Read the first page
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kelsey B. on May 26 2004
Format: Paperback
In Billie Letts' novel "Where the Heart Is," she creates a loving and heartwarming story about a young woman trying to establish herself as a positive role model for her daughter and keep up with the fast paced changes life throws in her direction. The novel follows Novalee Nation, a young woman of 17 who gives birth to a baby girl in the most unlikely place: a Wal-Mart store. Knowing no one in the small town of Sequoyah, Oklahoma where she was abandoned by her boyfriend, she is forced to find friends and support from a whole host of characters. There's Sister Thelma Husband, who opens her home to Novalee and helps raise her daughter Americus. Forney, the librarian, who teaches Novalee some of the most important lessons about love and friendship. Lexie, the nurse who befriended Novalee in the hospital after Americus was born, who taught her important lessons about family, and that life can change in a single moment and not to take anything for granted. All of the characters are so well developed and they add something unique to the story that makes it such a great read.
Billie Letts does an excellent job of placing the reader in Sequoyah, mostly because she has lived there before and knows the ways to make a reader feel as though they are experiencing the dry heat of Oklahoma and the tornado that whips through the town, leaving a huge impact on the life of Novalee. It was a very easy read, not a lot of overwhelming detail. Just enough to evoke an image in your mind of the characters and the setting, and to get a solid understanding of the feelings and emotions of the characters.
I really loved the bond between Novalee and Americus, and how the emphasis on family was so important.
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Format: Paperback
A girl who finds herself pregnant and abandoned in a Wal-Mart, in the novel Where The Heart Is. At the age of seventeen, Novalee is left to survive on her own with just $7.77 when her boyfriend, Willy Jack Pickens, abandons her at a Wal-Mart in the small town of Sequoyah, Oklahoma. Throughout Novalee's stay at the Wal-Mart Letts develops a variety of unique and considerate people with whom Novalee has encounters. Letts shows how Novalee learns many lessons from all of the people who she meets, and that learning is a life-long journey.

Letts introduces Novalee to many people who have a significant impact on her life, from the Bible pushing Sister Thelma Husband to the elderly photographer Moses Whitecotton. Where The Heart Is allows teenagers to see how life can be if they do not make the right decisions. Letts created a situation and confronts problems to which most teenagers can relate in this novel. Such as the awkward , and most times uncomfortable topic as the consequences of sex. Through Letts' realistic style of writing the reader feels as if they are taking each step that Novalee takes right beside her. Letts develops a plot that moves along at a perfect pace. The plot development is not so fast that you can not comprehend what is going on, but it always leaves you on the edge of your seat wanting to know what will happen next. In addition, Letts always has other characters in the novel facing problems which help to keep the reader interested. At the end of the novel I had only two negative criticisms. The first was that I found it unrealistic that Novalee could have lived in a Wal-Mart without ever being caught.

The other was that I was not necessarily interested in the life of Willy Jack Pickens, after he abandoned Novalee.
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Format: Paperback
In this story Novalee Nation discovers what it is like to have a real and loving family. The book starts of with Novalee being left at Wal-Mart by her out-to-get-rich-quick boyfriend. While trying to figure out what to do Novalee runs into a woman who calls herself Sister Husband. After being let down by her own greed mother, Novalee decides to take Sister up on her offer of welcome. From then on Novalee experiences even more of what she was always missing in life. To raising her daughter, helping others, and discovering her love to take pictures Billie Letts' character Novalee and all the others will take you for one of the greatest adventures of your life. I recommend this book for people of all ages. You will laugh and cry all the way through the entire book. Mrs. Letts has done a remarkable job of writing this book. This book was also chosen for Oprah's Book Club. After reading this book I am very sure you will agree with me that it is one of a kind. Since this book is more modern than any of Shakespeare's works you will not have to learn a totally different language to comprehend it. This book is much easier to read than anything Shakespeare could come up with. All will easily understand the themes and social issues involved. Themes of loneliness, trying to fit in, and looking for a place to call home are all themes we can relate to. Many of the social issues we deal with daily are in this book. Like for example teen pregnancy, drugs, alcohol, sex, and many more we see around us daily.
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