Friday, December 5, 2008

Where the Heart Is

Title: Where the Heart Is
Author: Billie Letts
Pages: 358
Genre: Fiction/Drama
Rating: 5/5
"Novalee Nation, seventeen, seven months pregnant, thirty-seven pounds overweight- and superstitious about sevens- shifted uncomfortably in the seat of the old Plymouth and ran her hands down the curve of her belly."
Novalee and her boyfriend Willy Jack are leaving Tennessee and moving to California with possibilities. Willy Jack to make money and Novalee to live by the ocean with her house facing the water. The two have very different ideas about what is ahead of them.
Novalee needs to stop for a potty break and to get herself some new shoes because she lost hers through the floor board of their beat-up car. They pull off in a small town in Oklahoma at a Wal-Mart. While Novalee is inside, Willy Jack takes off with out her, not wanting to be bothered by her or the baby anymore.
Scared and uncertain, Novalee has no choice but to live in the Wal-Mart until she delivers her baby. During this time, she meets some people that become her family, and later will shape who she becomes.
This is her story about finding the true meaning of the word home.
I have to say that I absolutely loved this book. I have seen and loved the movie, and have always wanted to pick this book up and read it but until recently, I just never have.
The book is so different from the movie, and in a way, I am glad. I felt as though I was reading a story that I knew nothing about. The movie left so many things out.
There is always a point in the book that you say to yourself "Oh that is where the title comes from". This happened twice to me. The first time when Novalee is telling Willy Jack to feel her tummy.
"Can't you feel that little bomp... bomp... bomp?.......That is where the Heart is."
The second is a little more hidden. Home is where the heart is. The books theme is about Home. It is fascinating that the author keeps reiterating that conversation Novalee and Willy Jack have about that bomp, bomp, bomp being the heart. That and the true meaning of home. I wonder if that was intended or if I am feeling extra sentimental. Maybe I am not making sense...
Needless to say, I loved the book, rated it 5/5, will reread it and would recommend this book to everyone. You can't help but feel good about the story. I loved the characters, the circumstances that help Novalee find herself, and just the overall feeling.


Jessica said...

Michelle, great review. I read this book years ago and really enjoyed it. Do you plan on seeing the movie? Congratulations on finishing a Lit Flicks Challenge selection!

Trish said...

I read this one a long time ago and really liked it. I guess I should wipe off the dust and read it again! I remember thinking the movie was a little cheesy--but I did really like Natalie Portland as Novalee.

Anonymous said...

I love to hear the book is just as good AND different and doesn't diminish the film appreciation. I love your enthusiasm here.