Where the Heart Is
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Where the Heart Is

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  162,959 ratings  ·  2,458 reviews
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 t...more
Paperback, 376 pages
Published June 1st 1998 by Grand Central Publishing (first published January 1st 1995)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Where the Heart Is, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Where the Heart Is

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. RowlingTwilight by Stephenie MeyerHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. RowlingThe Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
The BOOK was BETTER than the MOVIE
61st out of 1,273 books — 16,684 voters
She's Come Undone by Wally LambThe Poisonwood Bible by Barbara KingsolverI Know This Much Is True by Wally LambNight by Elie WieselMiddlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Oprah's Book Club Picks
8th out of 75 books — 1,140 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Ya'll, this is the sweetest book in the history of books! I read this one in high school, right before the movie with Natalie Portman came out. That turned out to be a bad idea, because the whole time I was in the theater I was analyzing how the book and the movie differed.

Where the Heart Is tells the story of Novalee Nation, a pregnant teenager who's abandoned by her skank boyfriend in an unfamiliar Walmart. Novalee seems to charm everyone she meets, but she is naive at times and learns the ha...more
What a colassal waste of time...i'm giving this book the finger as we speak.
This book was pretty much a worthless piece of fluff. Anything this book does, any Barbara Kingsolver book will do about 2000 times better. This book is right on the border of dreadful.

I must have gotten this book out of the trash. I hope I didn't pay even 20 cents for it at the Social Services League. Maybe I got it on $5 bag day at the Friends of the Library book sale. All I can say is that any amount I paid for this book was TOO MUCH!

I read it when I was on a trip to visit Cassidy. I read it...more
Feb 14, 2008 Marnie rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
This book was horrible, if I could give it half a star I would. It's really unrealistic, if someone was living in a Wal Mart in real life, they'd be arrested, not given a job. And I thought Forney was a complete loser & Novalee was dumb to be so attracted to him, & I think the author had way too much fun thinking of ways that God could punish Willy Jack, the loser father of the baby, because all these horrible things happen to him. It makes teenage motherhood look glamorous & sends t...more
I read this book in high school and it sparked an interest in reading that was pretty much non-existent until then. Thanks Miss Illingworth! I also saw this movie, and although it was cute, I am much more connected to Letts's fabulous characters as they were described on paper. She has a true gift of making you connect with the people in her stories. Their "real-ness" is something to be applauded.
i loved this book. i have read many reviews by people that don't and the words "white trash" were always in there somewhere... they couldn't enjoy a book about a "white trash" heroine. i think that it's easy to judge, easy to devalue something because of personal prejudice... but if you've ever been in, known someone, or just heard about another human being in any of the situations resting in these pages, you can see the plain truth of it and it's beauty.
This is an Oprah recommended book which is why I began it. I didn't finish it --- a rare thing for me, but really, I couldn't spend any more time with the naive, starry-eyed, po' white trash heroine. She's 17, pregnant, and has been abandoned at a Walmart by her do-wrong boyfriend. When she gets her hands on some money the first thing she does is turn it over to her mother who abandoned her when she was nine (or something). Loser Mom read about her daughter in the paper because daughter had her...more
The upbeat side of tragedy comes through at every turn and the reader is pleasantly left with the optimism that good will prevail. A joy to read and emotionally satisfing along the way.
First, let me start off by saying this book was made into a movie (starring Natalie Portman and Ashley Judd) in 2000. It is one of those feel good flicks (you know the type, the kind that plays on Lifetime) and I saw it a few years ago. I'm one of those people who prefers to read a book prior to watching the movie adaptation, because I like to visualize the characters and scenes myself. There is a certain thrill of a story unfolding on a page vs. a movie screen (and the book is almost always mor...more
Where the Heart Is is a story about a 17-year old pregnant girl called Novallee on a road trip to California from her home in Tennessee with her boyfriend, hoping to find a happy home with her boyfriend working on the railroads. Never has Novallee ever lived in a house and she wants to make sure that her baby grows up in the best environment that she can create. Novallee keeps a journal full of magazine pictures of houses and she looks through them, imagining her dream house in her head. But get...more
Siobhan Colley
I was introduced to this book since i watched the film first, and thought it was beautiful. This book didn't dissapoint me, it had beauty and love. Some may say its unbelivable or incourages teenage pregancy, since all ends well. But i don't believe thats true this book is about the good and bad in life, how sometimes a bad situation that looks like it will never get better, can be the begginning. A start to someones history, a start to someones life, a chance to become someone new. I related to...more
This shameless promotion for Wal-Mart, I mean, novel is filled with clumsy writing, a jumpy plot, and a God awful names. The name Novalee isn’t so grating, but she names her daughter Americus. Americus Nation. Novalee is your stereotypical heroine - innocent, unsuspecting, perfect. The only two characters I did like were Sister Husband because she’s the comedic relief in Where the Heart Is and Moses Whitecotten, an older gentleman who teaches Novalee about photography and life in general.

The oth...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick read, and even though some of the subject matter was a little heavy, for the most part this was a light-hearted book. When the subject matter was heavier, I thought the author did a wonderful job writing about those subjects without making anything feel forced or sappy.

I read some of the other reviews on goodreads that said people couldn't stand how naive Novalee was. I think that was the whole point of the book. She did make some stupid decisions becau...more
This is the only book I've ever read that I wanted to throw across the room. It's very sappy and poorly written. Oh, and the story is stupid. Don't read it. Ever.
What may appear as fluff and cheap chick lit is a masterful account of the ebb and tide of love, while there are saccharine notes there are some hard hitting truths exposed within the pages. What would happen if Romeo and Juliet survived? A young ingénue is abandoned by her paramour to face the teenage pregnancy which has become a tell of their union. Set amidst a trailer park and a Walmart in the heartland of America these motifs are indictments of the truth of the American dream and offer a st...more
I admit my review is a little skewed as I had seen the movie several times before ever reading this book. I think that made the book a little less exciting, hence the 3 stars. I did however enjoy reading it and noting all the differences between the book and the movie. I think that I like the book better, as usual. I still found it satisfactory enough that I read it quite quickly, by my standards. It only took me about a week to complete. I was disappointed that the book seemed like it would be...more
Mar 13, 2009 Sabrina rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Sabrina by: teacher and friend
This book is so great to read if you like action. I would recommend this book to men and women and also young adults. This book is about a girl who is 17, 7 months pregnant and has hardly any money. One day her and her boyfriend are going somewhere. She realizes that she has lost her shoes and she has had to pee for a long time. He takes her to Walmart and he leaves her. She has to stay at Walmart for a while because she has no where else to go. she meets this man named Forney and he works at th...more
♥♥ hattie♥♥
Mar 04, 2008 ♥♥ hattie♥♥ rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone!!!!!
Recommended to ♥♥ hattie♥♥ by: My Motherrrrrr
this book is about a girl who is 17 years old and her name is Novalee Nation. Novalee and her boyfriend Willy-Jack Pickett are moving to Las Vegas so Willy-Jack can get a job uop there with his uncle in the manufacturing business. Novalee is 7 months pregnant and as we all know when women are prganant they have to pee...a lot. Novalee asks Willy-Jack to stop at Walmart so she may use the restroom and get some house shoes because the car that Willy-Jack bought for $50 has a hole in the floorboard...more
This is a book that somehow keeps making you feel good on one level while bad things happen. It is ultimately a very positive book. I think that is because of protagonist Novalee Nation's spirit. She is not educated but she is genuine and she is full of love and a quiet, unassuming wisdom. She is not superhuman, she does not win the lottery (literally or figuratively) but she starts with nothing and wins at life. She represents something deep and true.

Amidst difficulty and hardship, Novalee has...more
I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick, cute, easy read. It seems that this is a love/hate book. Don't read it expecting some great piece of high-minded literature. Take it for what it is - a feel good story about growing and changing.

Novalee Nation matures throughout the book because of the people she meets in her new home. Where the Heart is is a book about the journey that you take as you grow up.
A great book - great characters, great writing, great story. The only thing that I didn't like was the occasional chapters about Willy Jack. I really disliked him and thought the book would have been better off without these chapters. I found them dull and skimmed through most of them. Other than that, a worthwhile read.
Heather Victoria
This was a very easy read. A very good story. Of course considering I've seen the movie 1000 times the whole way through it I was comparing the two. Of course the movie didn't have all the personal relationships Novalee gains but as a whole the movie kept the same story. The movie just mixed the events up.
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
Great book. I read it in 4 hours and spent most of that time crying. Definitely a book that stays with you and warms your heart. The movie version was actually pretty darn faithful but doesn't take the place of this gem.
Jennifer DeLucy
Not sure why, but this one always appealed to me. Something about the idea of surviving in a Walmart...just intrigues me.
Pinky222 Almeroth
One of my all-time fav books. The first time I read it, I bought it from the bookstore at Indro shopping centre (before it closed down...sigh!!) one Saturday afternoon with my ex husband (husband at the time...another sigh!), then went home, went to bed, didn't sleep that night and read it all in one sitting. I was blown away by it then, and even named my daughter after one of the characters (Cherry).

Rereading it now, it hasn't lost any of its power and beauty. I find it's really a book about th...more
One of my favorite stories of ALL TIME! Own the book and Loved it! Own the movie and Loved it! This is one of those stories that just guts you open. Rips your heart out of your chest and squeezes it gently ever just so. You know the gentle squeeze. The one that makes you silently. gasp. Yes, like that. Just enough to bring you to your senses where you can glimpse with clarity which things are the ones worth living for. Fighting for. Dying for. Marvelous storytelling and a moving story about the...more
ahhh novella!!! yani seni böyle boğmak istiyorum ,inan bana ! kedi hayatının içine ediyosun ,başına gelenlerin %90 ı senin yüzünden oldu var mı böyle bir şey..
kitaba gelirsek bayaaaaa bir sıradandı, ana karakterimiz 17 yaşındaki novella ,hanım kızımız bayyaa bi saf vur kafasına al lokmayı o derece aynı zamnda kör,burnun dibindeki aşka sürekli arkadaşlık diyip duruyo arkadaşlık aşktan da öte vs. diye düşünüyo.. ha şunu da unutmamak lazım 7 rakamı onun için başına gelebilecek en büyük felaket,anne...more
I read this book in...hhhhhmmmm....sixth grade, maybe seventh. I don't know why I'm just writing a review for it now.

It is, my favorite book of all time. Plain and simple.
This may sound bad, but it started with the movie. It's my mom's favorite movie, and the first time I saw it I was maybe eight years old.
It's my favorite movie, along with Gone With The Wind and Pretty in Pink.

I know I read the book after I saw the movie, but nonetheless it's my favorite book and movie. I love it with all my...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Jewel
  • The Best Way to Play: A Little Bill Book for Beginning Readers, Level 3
  • River, Cross My Heart
  • Back Roads
  • Mother of Pearl
  • Songs in Ordinary Time
  • Open House
  • A Virtuous Woman
  • What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day (Idlewild, #1)
  • Gap Creek
  • Tara Road
  • The Book of Ruth
  • Patty Jane's House of Curl
  • Midwives
  • Black and Blue
  • Icy Sparks
  • The Deep End of the Ocean (Cappadora Family, #1)
  • Drowning Ruth
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.
More about Billie Letts...
The Honk and Holler Opening Soon Shoot the Moon Made in the U.S.A. Unadvertised Special You've Got Mail, Billie Letts

Share This Book

“...tell them that we have some good in us, too. And the only thing worth living for is the good. That’s why we’ve got to make sure we pass it on.” 71 likes
“Then tell them we've all got meanness in us...But tell them we have some good in us too. And the only thing worth living for is the good. That's why we've got to make sure we pass it on.” 54 likes
More quotes…