Book Review: Where the Heart is by Billie Letts

My Rating: ★★★★★

Genre(s): Fiction; Adult Fiction

Plot: Seventeen-year-old Novalee Nation is left stranded at a WalMart in Oklahoma. She’s alone, she’s poor, and she’s seven months pregnant. With no options and no money, Novalee secretly lives in the WalMart. However, Novalee soon finds that this Sequoia, Oklahoma, is a special place to call home, and the people in the town change her life forever, in ways she could have never imagined.


  • Lexie. She cracks me up.
  • Novalee is still a teenager. Yes, she’s pregnant. Yes, she has to grow up fast. But at the start of the book, she’s still a kid, and that shows. As the book progresses, so does her character.
  • Forney is everything. And he’s a librarian so that’s even better.
  • This book is actually better than the movie.
  • I like that it switches between the way Novalee’s life is getting better while Willy Jack’s is getting worse. Karma.
  • Moses. Having his backstory makes him THAT much better of a character.
  • So so so so so much more.


  • Poor Lexie.
  • I really want to know if Novalee ever paid WalMart back for everything she took but I can’t remember if the book covered that or not.

Favorite Quotes: 

  • “You ever think about this? Every year you live, you pass the anniversary of your death. Now you don’t know what day it is, of course.”
  • “Our lives can change with every breath we take.”
  • “Novalee watched his lips shape the words…the sounds, like whispered secrets, hanging in the air.”
  • “Awake, she struggled to fill the hours until she could sleep again. But nothing she did made her feel whole. If she ate, she didn’t taste the food. If she read, she couldn’t remember the words. If she rested, she still felt tired”
  • “Well, sometimes love seems easy. Like … it’s easy to love rain … and hawks. And it’s easy to love wild plums … and the moon. But with people, seems like love’s a hard thing to know. It gets all mixed up. I mean, you can love one person in one way and another person in another way. But how do you know you love the right one in every way?”

My Thoughts: This book. THIS BOOK. I seriously love this book so much. I watched the movie first, as a kid, and I didn’t really understand everything that was happening. I knew what was happening, but I didn’t grasp it. Not until I was older. In high school, I came across this book in the library and assumed that the titles were a coincidence. And when I started reading, I was floored. The movie stays mostly true to the book, which is fantastic, but the book goes so much farther in depth with the characters, and it’s truly amazing. I cried like a baby, I laughed, I got pissed off and scared. This book sends my emotions for a crazy ride. I’ll definitely re-read this again in the near future. Such. A. Great. Book.

(Also, I just found out that Billie Letts passed away in 2014 and I’m really sad now…)

Billie Letts

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