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Book Review-Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts

Updated on January 13, 2012
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Sunshine is a wife, mother of four, a relationship expert, a journalist, a photographer, a public speaker, and author.


In 1995, Billie Letts debut novel, Where the Heart Is, took us on a journey through the life of Novalee Nation, a superstitious girl from Tennessee abandoned by her mother as a child. Novalee, bouncing from foster home to foster home all her life suddenly finds herself pregnant at seventeen. Following dreams of having a porch and an table with an umbrella where she can drink chocolate milk and watch the sun go down, agrees to go with her boyfriend, Willy Jack, to California. Willy Jack has dreams of his own, and abandons her at a Wal-Mart in Sequoyah, Oklahoma. Novalee Nation is forced to rebuild her life. With no family to speak of, and only Seven dollars to her name, Novalee is forced to live in the Wal-Mart in secret. That is, until the baby comes, and her secret is out.

Where the Heart Is takes us on a journey of hardship, tragedy, love, and the importance of rising above where we come from. It teaches us that home is a state of mind, and eventually we all find the place where we belong. The friends Novalee meets along the way inspire her to grow roots for the first time in her life.

The vibrant characters all have strong names, and even stronger personalities. Where the Heart Is shrinks the world down and brings life into perspective. What you give is what you get, and mistakes can always be undone.


Billie Letts puts a face on the average American person, and her characters will dig their way into your heart, and never let you go. By the time you set this book down, you will be inspired. This book is a must to add to your collection. Since its release, Oprah has added it to her book club. In 2000, it was made into a movie was made staring Natalie Portman and Ashley Judd, just to name a few. If you're in the mood for a feel-good book , Where the Heart Is has just what you're looking for.


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      cynthia ines  7 years ago

      Oh my God! I cried after watching the movie yesterday.I would love to read the book too.I do not have words to expressed fully what I felt. Power of not giving up in life from a despreate situation We can rise stronger and blessed more than ever. Thank you BILLIE PLETTS good work

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      kenzie's momma 8 years ago

      i love this movie and cant wait to read the book (=

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      Libsmommy 9 years ago

      I love "where the heart is"!! =)