Most helpful positive review
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
My heart was with this book!
on May 26, 2004
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.