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 a patient way of dealing with things that allows goodness to arise from ashes. This happens many times in the story and I love how it was done.