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Shoot the Moon

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  9,508 Ratings  ·  916 Reviews
From one of America's best-loved storytellers - the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller WHERE THE HEART IS - comes a tale of a small Oklahoma town and the mystery that has haunted its residents for years.

In 1972, windswept DeClare, Oklahoma, was consumed by the murder of a young mother, Gaylene Harjo, and the disappearance of her baby, Nicky Jack. When the child's
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published July 1st 2004 by Warner Books (first published January 1st 2004)
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The people of the small town of De Clare, Oklahoma were shocked by the murder of a young mother and the disappearance of her infant son in 1972. Thirty years later a man comes to town looking for his birth parents.

The book was part murder mystery, and part love story. The plot featured several unwed pregnant mothers who had to decide what was best for their children. Characters included mothers who were struggling to raise their children, and an adoptive child searching for his identity. Discrim
Feb 06, 2011 Melinda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Waiting for my book order to arrive, knowing I had another few days, and a blizzard that made traveling to the nearest bookstore more than I wanted to take on, I found this book in the back of my bookcase. After reading "Where the Heart Is", I had followed up with "The Honk and Holler Opening Soon". Ms. Letts' characters charmed me in the first book, but by the second, they began to wear thin and even border on annoying, so this third aquisition had gone unread. I forced myself to begin reading, ...more
Rebecca McNutt
Set in Oklahoma and filled with intensity, suspense and Seventies nostalgia, Shoot the Moon is an unforgettable blast from the past steeped in murder and mayhem.
Carol Waters
Nah, never happened. Too many quantum leaps. Oh, good, she's not my cousin.
Aug 27, 2008 L rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a sort of Hallmark card of a story. The cover promises "a little bit of mystery, a small piece of romance" and that's what you get. It's the sort of thing you're gonna like if you like that sort of thing. It's not a great story, but it's a story. If you like absurdly happy endings, don't mind absurdities & reading about Wal-Mart as THE place to shop, and can deal with simplistic characters grab some Billie Letts.
May 06, 2013 Corina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A rare book. I am so glad that I stumbled on to this one. It's a complicated story, simply told. It has the feel of the author sitting down with a friend and telling the story.

It's the story of Nicky Harjo who is ten months old when his mother, an unwed teen, is brutally murdered and Nicky goes missing. After days of searching, the baby is presumed dead. A suspect is arrested and although there is little, if any evidence against him, he kills himself before trial. And so the case is closed. How
Aug 03, 2013 Rickey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I chose this book because it was once a #1 New York Times Bestseller and because the author, Billie Letts, is an Oklahoman. Being an Okie author myself, I wanted to get a feel for what it takes to be a New York Times Bestseller. Shoot the Moon was an enjoyable read. It was easy to get into the story, was a quick page-turner, and had some unexpected twists and turns.

The story begins when Mark Albright, an upscale Hollywood veterinarian, learns that he is adopted and returns to Oklahoma to discove
Mar 30, 2014 Hyouten rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The first thing that I see people talk about this book is its small town Oklahoma setting. Having lived in a small town myself (though not as small as DeClare, but comparable), I appreciate the simplicity of its institutions as well as its residents. In terms of writing, I think it’s a smart move. It keeps your character count small and confined conveniently in one small town.

Don’t be fooled, however. I did not like Shoot the Moon. If I were to sum up my thoughts about this book in a few words,
Bark's Book Nonsense
read this as an unabridged audiobook and though the reader did a great job with all of the voices (and there sure were a heck of a lot of characters!) and kept up a nice casual pace which didn't put me to sleep, I found the book to be disappointingly average.

Shoot The Moon starts out describing life and gossiping about the inhabitants of a small town that is shocked when a young boy goes missing and his mother is found dead. The boy "Nicky Jack" is never found but his pajama bottoms are ominio
Nov 25, 2007 Crystal rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Stephanie
It was a smooth read with some great unexpected turns along the way. Teaches the importance of motherhood and the special role a mother has in a child's life, no matter what. Also a little brutal in parts.

This book was based on an adopted child that searches for his biological mother as an adult. It was unexpected to the Californian Veterinarian to find back in Oklahoma, that his mother was murdered, the adoption clearly beyond her control. Get to know the town personalities while you i
Oct 17, 2007 korey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Shelves: mustread
Although not as good as "Where the Heart Is", this book should be on your must read list. Billie Letts is an incredible writer. Her characters are so well defined they just bounce off the pages. You can actually "see" them, and what's fun in this book, is that she holds off on giving you all the details of some characters, you make assumptions of what they might look like, and you're wrong. I love when she does that.

This book is a crime mystery, but in a very personal way and not spooky or gross
May 25, 2013 Donna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fellow literary lover lent me an entire bag of books to read and I selected this one to read first since I recognized the author's name. I was not at all disappointed by this story. I quickly came to to care about the characters and wanted Mark, or Nicky Joe, to find out all about his mother, and then who killed his mother. Just when I thought I'd figured it out, the author threw in another curve ball that kept me wondering who all was involved in this and what their motives were. I like a sto ...more
Wendy Welch
Hmm... The Honk and Holler Opening Soon was full of weird characters and dysfunctional functioning and just plain fun rollocking action.

The writing in this book is sweet and clear, but it's fairly predictable what's going to happen. Maybe she peaked with the second book. Dunno. The other books were more atmospheric too.

But I LIKE Billie Letts, the person/brand/writer. She has a nice feel, a decency, she doesn't try to impress with craft at the expense of clarity and she's got such sweet honesty
May 21, 2011 Sharon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, crime
I love Billie Letts' stories and writing. Shoot the Moon is an engaging story, easy to read or listen to as I did. Someone killed a young mother years ago and her baby disappeared. A man was charged with the murder and for over two decades, his son tried to clear his name. A stranger arrives in town quietly claiming to be the murdered woman's child, now grown. So unravels the story of the people of a small town and what really happened all those years ago, and what's still happening now. Believa ...more
Cait S
Jan 27, 2015 Cait S rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm realizing recently that this is my favorite genre. This small town, buried secrets, serious drama murder mystery. The books always go so fast and I get entirely wrapped up in the storyline and how it's all unfolding.

This book was great. I wasn't as taken with some of the characters as I usually am but the mystery itself made up for it in this case. I just went through Billie Letts' list of works and I wish she had more books! I would pick them all up after reading this one.
Feb 05, 2015 Jodi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, first of all....I'm not sure if I'd give this a 3.5 or a 4. The beginning to me was extremely slow, I'm not a quitter, but had the mentality of ok, hurry & read this so I can move on to the next book. But as I started reading further, I found I was actually entangled in a web of who did it, and enjoyed it more then I thought. By the end I was happy that I stuck with it, I certainly didn't see the "who did it" coming.
NW Book Discussion group on Sept. 14, 2012
Typical Billie Letts = unmarried pregnancy and the choice a girl must face. This book includes adoption issues, physical abuse, drug abuse, self-identiy issues, and racialism.

Feb 07, 2009 Chana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-southern
Very readable. I read it in nearly one sitting despite all I should have been doing instead. Kind of addictive, made me anxious to know what would happen next. The ending was a bit predictable but nice anyway. A satisfying read.
Cassie Selleck
Jun 08, 2013 Cassie Selleck rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While I have to say that I liked Honk and Holler and Where the Heart Is the best, I love everything Letts writes. I'm a fan!
Reading this book was like getting caught up in a Lifetime Movie.
Book Concierge
Book on CD read by Kathe Mazur

In 1972 the citizens of DeClare, Oklahoma were shocked by a brutal crime. Gaylene Harjo’s body was found in her trailer with multiple stab wounds, and her baby, Nicky Jack, was missing. Nicky Jack’s body was never found, though the sheriff dug up most of the land around the presumed killer’s home after finding the infant’s torn and bloody pajamas nearby. Nearly thirty years later, a tall man comes to town and claims to be the missing Nicky Jack. His reappearance stu
Laura VonKampen
Mar 13, 2016 Laura VonKampen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Readers will fall in love with this compelling book as they uncover the mystery of a murder, encounter a bit of a love story, and meet the vivid characters of small town Declare, Oklahoma. "Shoot the Moon" begins in 1972 in Declare, Oklahoma, with the brutal murder of Gaylene Harjo and the disappearance of her baby, Nicky Jack. The story then fast forwards thirty years as Nicky Jack Harjo mysteriously appears back in Declare, looking for answers regarding who his mother was and what really happe ...more
Sheena  at Hot Eats and Cool Reads
This book has been on my book shelf for a few years, and I really wished I would've picked it up and read it a long time ago! This book was so good and it really kept my attention right through the end. Mark aka Nicky Jack discovers he was adopted after his parents pass away and he decides to go back to the city where his birth Mom is from to meet her. He discovers his birth Mom was murdered and he disappeared the very same night.

The details surrounding the murder and kidnapping are a mystery t
Ginnie Leiner
Mar 29, 2014 Ginnie Leiner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Always guarenteed to provide the reader with colorful characters, Billie Letts does not disappoint. I find myself thinking, "but these folks are not my kind of people - too uneducated, too common, too -dare I say - white trash? but I end up loving them anyway with their down home ways and redneck names (I give you Nicky Jack for the main character). Maybe that is because I am closer to them than I want to think. When we get right down to it, we are all just trying to find ourselves, be it throug ...more
Apr 23, 2010 Marleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I have yet to read a book of Billie Letts that I haven't enjoyed and this one is no exception. She writes the kind of books that touch me very much; she writes about characters that are warm and friendly, not to mention incredibly real. I have to say I like my characters to be of all ages; with realistic physical appearances, with flaws and imperfections.
This is a spellbinding story of a murder that rocked a small Oklahoma town some 27 years ago. Despite the subject matter, this book is not a th
Anna Engel
2.5 stars

Sometimes you just want to read something you can speed through without thinking too much. Shoot the Moon is such a book.

Part detective story, party family drama, Shoot the Moon follows Nick/Mark in his search for his birth mother. Except she was murdered, so Nick/Mark decides to look for the truth, which leads him on a violence-strewn path of familial revelations: I'm Cherokee! My cousin isn't really my cousin! I'm really an Okie!

The end is as lame as I expected it to be – heartwarmin
Jan 13, 2010 Vanessa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shoot The Moon was a very interesting book to me. At first the book's blurb does give you an exciting book to read but then in the beginning of the book, it doesn't show what i was looking for. Even when something happened like a robbery or a attempt murder, she didnt really discribe it enough for me to picture it in my mind. However,I liked the end of the book and i felt Billie Letts did a great job on describing what the culprit really did at the end. Also, i enjoyed her epilogue because it wa ...more
Back in the Oprah's Book Club days, I read another Billie Letts book, "Where the Heart is", but I had never read any other books by this author. This book was given to me by a friend for Christmas and I enjoyed it. It's kind of hard to categorize it. There is a bit of a mystery and it is a bit of women's fiction. I'm going to look up the other couple of books she wrote, as I discovered that she has died. I think she only wrote a total of about 4 books, all small town type reads like this one and ...more
Nov 18, 2008 Bob rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There is something of a boomlet for Billie Letts among the critics, but I can't really see it. This book doesn't hold together very well. For instance, the central character morphs from the mild-mannered, Gucci-wearing, latte-sipping, Volvo-driving veterinarian to the stars from Beverly Hills into the part-Indian, tough-as-nails, Oklahoman getting to the bottom of a family mystery. Not convincing. Neither was the love story between him and his cousin. The minor characters were very colorful, but ...more
Aug 13, 2010 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcrossing, audio
Billie Letts does small town America very well. This book took us to a small, close-knit town in Oklahoma where secrets are many and the Oakie twang is thick.

The story and mystery behind it all was intriguing, but more interesting to me was the interplay between characters, old relationships, blood relationships etc. I thought both Letts and the reader (Lou Diamond Phillips) did an exceptional job portraying Kippy.

All in all 6 hours of good listening.
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Billie Letts (born in Tulsa, Oklahoma) is an American author. Earlier she worked as a professor at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. She was married to Dennis Letts until his death in 2008, and is the mother of playwright and actor Tracy Letts and jazz musician and composer Shawn Letts.
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