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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My heart was with this book!
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...
Published on May 26 2004 by Kelsey B.

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Neat premise, good start but a bit of disappointment...
This is my first book by this author. I picked this book because I had seen a few clips of the movie that was made from it and because it was listed on the Oprah's Book Club. So, I was curious about the story and I expected a great book since it was endorsed by Oprah. Well...I've got mixed feelings about it. It starts very well and the premise of the story is very...
Published 3 months ago by Pat the cat


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My heart was with this book!, May 26 2004
By 
Kelsey B. (Anchorage, AK USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Where the Heart Is (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. Novalee was such a strong character and the way she worked hard to provide the best life she could for her daughter was so clear. She had her share of struggles throughout the story, such as losing her job, the loss of someone very close to her, lessons on heartache and love, and facing her fears of becoming an adult while she's still a teenager. Lexie is also a character who learns many lessons about the importance of family after a traumatic event leaves her and her kids with nothing but hope left to get them through life. Lexie was my favorite character, though, as she not only added humorous levels to the book, but also showed great elements of strength and hope.
"Where the Heart Is" is such a strong book and it was very hard to put down. I enjoyed every character and though the situations did get intense at times, the feeling of love and compassion that the characters had for one another shone through establishing the element of hope found in the novel. Billie Letts is a great author who knows how to write a book that will touch your heart and provide you with a real page-turner.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Neat premise, good start but a bit of disappointment..., April 12 2014
By 
Pat the cat - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This is my first book by this author. I picked this book because I had seen a few clips of the movie that was made from it and because it was listed on the Oprah's Book Club. So, I was curious about the story and I expected a great book since it was endorsed by Oprah. Well...I've got mixed feelings about it. It starts very well and the premise of the story is very intriguing. It's about a young homeless pregnant 17-year old girl (Novalee) who finds herself in trouble and decide to hide in a Wal-Mart until she figures out what to do. She ends up delivering her baby in the Wal-Mart and, thanks to the help of wonderful strangers, makes a new life for herself in a small town in Oklahoma. So, as I said, it starts well and it hooks you but, to my sadness, it kind of fizzles after a while. As the years go by, the author seems to run out of imagination and sticks to mentionning, without much development, events that happen to Novalee and those she loves. While the ending seems nice, the author kind of leaves us hanging as to how Novalee's life turns out. So, a good start but a superficial treatment makes for an unsatisfying novel. I give it 3 out 5 stars (good, but barely).
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5.0 out of 5 stars I don't like fiction but this is my absolute favorite, Aug. 31 2012
This review is from: Where the Heart Is (Paperback)
I normally start fictional books and just stop...Book of Negros, The Kite Runner, Water for Elephants. This book was different. I honestly loved every single minute and was so upset when it was finished. Highly recommended!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, June 12 2006
This review is from: Where the Heart Is (Paperback)
This is a wonderful novel that will make you feel good after reading it. The characters are very likable and the overall tone is tender and warm. Although a bit predictable, Where the Heart Is will not disappoint.
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5.0 out of 5 stars LOVED IT!!!!, June 23 2004
By 
This review is from: Where the Heart Is (Paperback)
I absolutely LOVED this book! I can't even tell you how many times I have read this book!
The characters are awesome and reading about them makes me want to meet them. They are all so fun-loving and they seem like really great people!
After reading the book, I bought the movie and the movie doesn't do justice to how incredibly great this book was!
Everyone should read this book, it teaches you about life and how you shouldn't take things for granted! Again, AWESOME book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good, Nov. 14 2009
By 
S. El-Hilo "Adores Books" (Burnaby, BC CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Where the Heart Is (Paperback)
Very easy read. It is a one day type of book. Very inspiring story, full of good humor and reality. The characters seem real, and gives you hope that the world is not all that bad. Its a very entertaining read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Easy read, June 8 2010
This review is from: Where the Heart Is (Paperback)
If you are looking for something entertaining, this is it. The book takes you on a journey with characters you want to meet. Novalee starts off being a follower and ends up being a doer. Inspiring, you won't want to put it down.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming, Aug. 2 2008
By 
J. Macgillivray "Maritime Bookworm" (Moncton, NB, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Where the Heart Is (Paperback)
I read this quite some time ago, a few years before it became an Oprah book. I found it charming and sweet then, and have enjoyed re-reading it several times over the years. It reminds you that there are still good people out there.
I enjoyed the movie with Natalie Portman as well.
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4.0 out of 5 stars fun, Jan. 18 2008
By 
T. Bigney (Nova Scotia, canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Where the Heart Is (Paperback)
I read this book a couple of years ago, maybe three, but it was a good, fun read. it's very different from what i'm usually into, but letts is a great writer and hauls you right into the story. very good.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Billie Letts did an excellent job of portraying a young Novalee Nation, Oct. 14 2007
This review is from: Where the Heart Is (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. However, these two aspects of the book are easily overlooked because the reader quickly becomes wrapped up in the problems that Letts presents Novalee and the other characters with. I would recommend Where The Heart Is to all teenagers, both boys and girls. The novel teaches many lessons of the heart, and would be beneficial for any teenager to read. Where The Heart Is teaches the reader how tender and delicate a person's heart is, as well as how powerful the words "I love you," are. With each new character introduced in the novel something new is learned. Such as how love is a powerful thing, and should never be determined by the financial status of a person. Forney's love for Novalee and her daughter, Americus, demonstrated this life lesson clearly. Overall, Letts compassionately told the story of the young and innocent Novalee, who she seems to hold sympathy for. I would recommend Where The Heart Is by Billie Letts to anyone who wants to read a heart-warming novel, that is very hard to put down.
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Where the Heart Is
Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts (Hardcover - Nov. 1995)
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