Shoot the Moon
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Shoot the Moon

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  7,268 ratings  ·  747 reviews
Her first novel, Where the Heart Is, was a selection of Oprah's Book ClubTM, won the Walker Percy Award, and became a #1 New York Times bestseller. Now Billie Letts returns with a tale filled with taut suspense, emotional truth, and what she is known and loved for most-authentically portrayed characters from America's heartland... In 1972, windswept DeClare, Oklahoma, was...more
Hardcover, Large Print, 416 pages
Published July 1st 2004 by Grand Central Publishing (first published January 1st 2004)
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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
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.
Oct 19, 2007 korey rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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...more
Carol Waters
Nah, never happened. Too many quantum leaps. Oh, good, she's not my cousin.
Barks & Bites
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...more
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...more
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...more
Nov 25, 2007 Crystal rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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...more
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
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,...more
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...more
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...more
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...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...more
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
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
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
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.
Ginnie Leiner
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
Shoot the Moon was a fun, engaging read populated with a wide variety of characters. (I think Teve is my favorite.) Is Mark Nicky Jack? If so, what happened between Oklahoma and his adoption in California? Who was Nicky Jack's father? Who killed Gaylene? There are many mysteries and secrets within these pages. By the time we discover who the father was it hardly seems to matter and while I didn't guess the killer, it made perfect sense when all was revealed.
Right after reading this novel I read...more
Zoe Blackwood
I didn't want this book to end. When it did end, I went whew! I wish I'd written this book. It's the reason I read, books like this.

I will give a brief synopsis, in the beginning we are introduced to a small town rocked by the murder of a young woman and the kidnapping of her baby. There is a suspect whose suicide satisfies some but only increases the suspicion of others...and there the mystery begins...what happened to the baby??

30 years later a man walks into the town having learned he was ado...more
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.
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.

I enjoyed it and it was a quick read. I never guessed who killed Gaylene until it was finally revealed. I liked how all the characters got wrapped up in the end.
This is a good read. Not as good as Where the Heart is, but still a good book. Several quirky characters and a small town mystery made for a quick light read.
Interesting book, but it could have been much better. I didn't buy the ending--at all. SPOILER: Why would Lantana and Mark propose an unsubstantiated theory as fact to a mild mannered druggie in a psych ward who wouldn't hurt a fly? He escapes AGAIN, AND he kills his stepdad? Not buying it any more than I buy the idea that Carrie slashes Gaylene for the possibility she might cause trouble for her Down's syndrome son, Kippy. Slashing someone with a knife severe enough to kill them is a personal,...more
I liked it -- not as much as Where the Heart Is, but good.
I loved Where The Heart Is but found this book to be lacking in comparison. It's not terrible. I just expected better. Billie Letts does a good job at describing small town life, but not at explaining the motives behind the characters' actions. In a place that thrives on gossip, we are not privy to much of it. Gaylene's diary gives us insight into her thoughts as a young girl but not many actual facts. Not the smoking gun it could have been. We have to learn things piecemeal as Mark does and too...more
I loved her first book, liked her second, and feel rather blah about this one. The author describes every person that ever lived in the town before the story starts. She lost my interest right there. Had this not been a book club read I would probably not have finished it. A character's back story would be better told as they are introduced to the story.

The book begins with description of "the players" in an incident that occurred thirty years ago. Then begins with Mark/Nick coming to a small t...more
Almost 30 years after Nicky Jack Harjo was presumed dead, he returns to the town where he was born, DeClare, Oklahoma.Nicky had just recently found out he was adopted and came to find his birth mother and father and the reason why he was given up. What he finds is something entirely different from what he could have ever imagined. Nicky's mother, Gaylene Harjo, was found murdered (30 years ago), Nicky Jack was missing and his pajamas were found next to a he was presumed dead. Nicky J...more
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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.
More about Billie Letts...
Where the Heart Is The Honk and Holler Opening Soon Made in the U.S.A. Unadvertised Special You've Got Mail, Billie Letts

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