Monday, August 18, 2008
Where the Heart Is
If quirky names, photography, social issues and families intrigue you then this the perfect book. Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts takes you to rural America in Oklahoma where Novalee Nation finds herself pregnant, penniless and dumped at a Walmart store. She lives in Walmart for two months where she gives birth to her baby and then becomes something of a celebrity for that. She meets Sister Husband who finally becomes her closest ally and family, Moses Whitecotton who becomes her mentor and Forney Hull who becomes her best friend and ultimately lover. Novalee is introduced as an unwed, pregnant, illiterate teenager who is dumped by an equally good-for-nothing boyfriend and the beauty of the book is in showing the rise of Novalee and her determination to pursue knowledge in any form. She is entranced by photography and with the help of Moses she develops her hobby while working at Walmart.
Heart-warming and peppered with light humor, the book gives the same relaxing feeling as having your feet soaked in warm water with a freshly baked apple pie in your hand. Selected as an Oprah's Book Club member, the book is fast paced, encouraging the thought that there are good people in the world after all. The unique names of the characters add to the personality of the book and one can almost hear the twang and drawl of the people as they speak. What stands out is the power of their names and the shine of their inner strength. A complete American novel through and through, it is definitely a feel good book, which lifts you up when you are feeling low. Reminds me of books by Fannie Flagg, with her rich stories from life, especially Fried Green Tomatoes.
Verdict - Perfect for a lazy weekend read
Rating - 3.5/5