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Where the Heart Is

(1995)
A novel by

 
Awards
Oprah's Book Club Best Book (nominee)
A funny thing happens to Novalee Nation on her way to Bakersfield, California. Her ne'er-do-well boyfriend, Willie Jack Pickens, abandons her in an Oklahoma Wal-Mart and takes off on his own, leaving her with just 10 dollars and the clothes on her back. Not that hard luck is anything new to Novalee, who is "seventeen, seven months pregnant, thirty-seven pounds overweight--and superstitious about sevens.... For most people, sevens were lucky. But not for her," Billie Letts writes. "She'd had a bad history with them, starting with her seventh birthday, the day Momma Nell ran away with a baseball umpire named Fred..."

Still, finding herself alone and penniless in Sequoyah, Oklahoma is enough to make even someone as inured to ill fortune as Novalee want to give up and die. Fortunately, the Wal-Mart parking lot is the Sequoyah equivalent of a town square, and within hours Novalee has met three people who will change her life: Sister Thelma Husband, a kindly eccentric; Benny Goodluck, a young Native American boy; and Moses Whitecotton, an elderly African American photographer. For the next two months, Novalee surreptitiously makes her home in the Wal-Mart, sleeping there at night, exploring the town by day. When she goes into labor and delivers her baby there, however, Novalee learns that sometimes it's not so bad to depend on the kindness of strangers--especially if one of them happens to be Sam Walton, the superchain's founder.

Where the Heart Is oddly mixes heart-warming vignettes and surprising, brutal violence. Novalee's story is juxtaposed with occasional chapters chronicling Willy Jack's downward spiral into prison, disappointment, and degradation. And even in Sequoyah, sudden storms, domestic violence, kidnapping, and deadly fires punctuate Novalee's progress from homeless, unwed teen mom to successful, happy member of the community. This is not a subtle book; there's never any doubt that our heroine will make a home for herself and her baby or that Willy Jack will get what he deserves for abandoning them. Still, Billie Letts has created several memorable characters, and there's always room for another novel that celebrates the life-affirming qualities of reading, the importance of education, and the power of love to change lives. --Alix Wilber

 
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Used availability for Billie Letts's Where the Heart Is


See all available used copies of this book at Abebooks UK or Abebooks US
 

Hardback Editions

July 2004 : USA Library Binding
thumbTitle: Where the Heart Is (Oprah's Book Club (Prebound))
Author(s): Billie Letts
ISBN: 1-4177-1339-9 / 978-1-4177-1339-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: San Val
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

April 2001 : USA Hardback
Title: Where the Heart is (Gemstar)
Author(s): Billie Letts
ISBN: 0-7595-0285-4 / 978-0-7595-0285-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Twtp Assorted
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   

April 2001 : USA Hardback
thumbTitle: Where the Heart is (Oeb)
Author(s): Billie Letts
ISBN: 0-7595-2288-X / 978-0-7595-2288-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Twtp Assorted
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   

April 1999 : USA Turtleback
thumbTitle: Where the Heart Is
Author(s): Billie Letts
ISBN: 0-606-16248-8 / 978-0-606-16248-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Demco Media
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

February 1999 : USA Library Binding
thumbTitle: Where the Heart is (Oprah's Book Club)
Author(s): Billie Letts
ISBN: 0-7569-0273-8 / 978-0-7569-0273-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Perfection Learning
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

June 1998 : USA Library Binding
thumbTitle: Where The Heart Is (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) (Oprah's Book Club)
Author(s): Billie Letts
ISBN: 0-613-17592-1 / 978-0-613-17592-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Turtleback Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

November 1995 : USA Hardback
Title: Where the Heart Is (G K Hall Large Print Book Series)
Author(s): Billie Letts
ISBN: 0-7838-1478-X / 978-0-7838-1478-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: G K Hall & Co
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

July 1995 : USA Hardback
thumbTitle: Where the Heart is
Author(s): Billie Letts
ISBN: 0-446-51972-3 / 978-0-446-51972-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Warner Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

1995 : USA Hardback
thumbTitle: Where the Heart Is
Author(s): Billie Letts
ISBN: 0-7394-1130-6 / 978-0-7394-1130-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Bookspan
Availability: Amazon   

Paperback Editions

June 2015 : USA Paperback
thumbTitle: Where the Heart Is
Author(s): Billie Letts
ISBN: 1-4555-3511-7 / 978-1-4555-3511-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

June 1998 : USA Paperback
thumbTitle: Where the Heart Is (Oprah's Book Club)
Author(s): Billie Letts
ISBN: 0-446-67221-1 / 978-0-7336-2018-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Warner Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

January 2004 : Australia Paperback
thumbTitle: Where the Heart Is
Author(s): Billie Letts
ISBN: 0-7336-1901-0 / 978-0-7336-1901-4 (Australia edition)
Publisher: Hachette Livre Australia/Hodder
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

April 2000 : USA Paperback
thumbTitle: Where The Heart Is
Author(s): Billie Letts
ISBN: 0-446-78770-1 / 978-0-446-78770-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Warner Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

January 1999 : Australia Paperback
Title: Where the Heart Is
Author(s): Billie Letts
ISBN: 0-7336-1096-X / 978-0-7336-1096-7 (Australia edition)
Publisher: Sceptre
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

December 1998 : USA Paperback
thumbTitle: Where the Heart Is
Author(s): Billie Letts
ISBN: 0-446-78929-1 / 978-0-446-78929-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Warner Books> C/o Little Br
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

July 1995 : UK Paperback
thumbTitle: Where The Heart Is
Author(s): Billie Letts
ISBN: 0-340-66035-X / 978-0-340-66035-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Sceptre
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

July 1996 : USA Mass Market Paperback
thumbTitle: Where the Heart Is
Author(s): Billie Letts
ISBN: 0-446-60365-1 / 978-0-446-60365-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

August 1995 : UK Paperback
Title: Where the Heart is
Author(s): Billie Letts
ISBN: 0-340-64699-3 / 978-0-340-64699-1 (UK edition)
Publisher: Coronet Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

August 1995 : UK Paperback
thumbTitle: Where The Heart Is
Author(s): Billie Letts
ISBN: 0-340-64698-5 / 978-0-340-64698-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: Coronet
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Audio Editions

November 1999 : USA Audio Cassette
Title: Where the Heart is
Author(s): Billie Letts
ISBN: 1-56740-120-1 / 978-1-56740-120-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Paperback Nova Audio Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   

January 1999 : USA Audio Cassette
thumbTitle: Where The Heart Is (Oprah Book Club Edition)
Author(s): Billie Letts
ISBN: 1-56740-438-3 / 978-1-56740-438-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Brilliance Audio Unabridged
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   

January 1999 : USA Audio Cassette
thumbTitle: Where The Heart Is (Oprah Book Club Edition)
Author(s): Billie Letts
ISBN: 1-56740-664-5 / 978-1-56740-664-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Nova Audio Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

July 1995 : USA Audio Cassette
thumbTitle: Where The Heart Is (Oprah Book Club Edition)
Author(s): Billie Letts
ISBN: 1-56100-269-0 / 978-1-56100-269-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Unabridged Library Edition
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   

July 1995 : USA Audio Cassette
thumbTitle: Where The Heart Is (Oprah Book Club Edition)
Author(s): Billie Letts
ISBN: 1-56100-644-0 / 978-1-56100-644-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Bookcassette
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

June 1995 : USA Audio Cassette
thumbTitle: Where the Heart Is (Nova Audio Books)
Author(s): Billie Letts
ISBN: 1-56100-435-9 / 978-1-56100-435-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Brilliance Corp
Availability: Amazon   

Kindle Editions

April 2001 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
thumbTitle: Where the Heart Is
Author(s): Billie Letts
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   


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