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Where the Heart is (Oprah's Book Club)by Billie Letts
Synopses & Reviews
Novalee Nation has always been unlucky with sevens. She's 17, seven months pregnant, 37 pounds overweight and now she finds herself stranded at a Wal-Mart in Sequoyah, Oklahoma, holding just $7.77 in change. An hour ago, she was on her way from Tennessee to a new life in Bakersfield, California. Suddenly, with all those sevens staring her in the face, she is forced to accept the scary truth: her no-good boyfriend Willy Jack Pickens has left her with empty pockets and empty dreams. But Novalee is about to discover treasures hidden in Sequoyah a group of disparate and deeply caring people, among them blue-haired Sister Thelma Husband, who hands out advice and photocopied books of the Bible... Moses Whitecotton, the wise, soft-spoken, elderly black photographer eager to teach Novalee all he knows... and Forney Hull, the eccentric town librarian who hides his secrets and his feelings behind his world of books.
"What I love about this book is the message that home and family are not always what you are born into, but in the people and the places where you find love." Oprah Winfrey
For 17-year-old Novalee Nation, seven months pregnant, the phrase "home is where your history begins" has a special meaning. Leaving behind a trail of foster homes in Tennessee trailer parks to live in a real house with her boyfriend, Willy Jack Pickens, Novalee instead finds herself abandoned in front of a Wal-Mart in Sequoyah, Okla. With nowhere to turn, she cleverly conceals herself within the store, keeping careful accounts until giving birth to the "Wal-Mart baby" turns her into a local celebrity. Happily, the community reaches out to Novalee and baby Americus. Sequoyah's one-woman welcoming committee, Sister Husband, takes them in; cultured librarian Forney Hull takes a shine to them; photographer Moses Whitecotton encourages Novalee's raw talent for photography by teaching her all he knows; Lexie Coop, who has a huge appetite for food, diet fads and the wrong men, befriends her; and legendary Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton gives her a job. Meanwhile, Willy Jack, an aspiring musician, gets a shot at the big time before hitting bottom and realizing what he's left behind. Letts's wacky characters are depicted with humor and hope, as well as an earnestness that rises above the story's uneven conceits, resulting in a heartfelt and gratifying read. Film rights sold to 20th Century Fox. (July)
Talk about unlucky sevens. An hour ago, seventeen-year-old, seven months pregnant Novalee Nation was heading for California with her boyfriend. Now she finds herself stranded at a Wal-Mart in Sequoyah, Oklahoma, with just $7.77 in change. But Novalee is about to discover hidden treasures in this small Southwest town--a group of down-to-earth, deeply caring people willing to help a homeless, jobless girl living secretly in a Wal-Mart. From Bible-thumping blue-haired Sister Thelma Husband to eccentric librarian Forney Hull who loves Novalee more than she loves herself, they are about to take her--and you, too--on a moving, funny, and unforgettable journey to . . . Where the Heart Is.
Abandoned by her boyfriend at a Wal-Mart in Oklahoma, Novalee Nation, 17 years old and seven months pregnant, soon discovers the treasures hiding in this small Southwest town. "A heartfelt, gratifying read".--"Publishers Weekly".
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