Just as part of a coincidence, I happen to grab this book from a bookstore. Little I knew, how good the reading experience is going to become. Where the heart is, from Billie Letts, is a novel that engulfs modern day relationships and their outcomes, relationships with unknown people that find a cure cast as an indelible mark. It’s a story of a young girl Novalee Nation, bitten by unlucky number seven in her life, is stranded at a Wal-Mart in Sequoyah, Oklahoma by her boyfriend Willy Jack Pickens. She is seventeen year old, seven months pregnant, thirty seven pounds overweight with $ 7.77 in change, when left all alone in an unfamiliar town, jobless, lives secretly in a Wal-Mart. Concealing herself and unnoticed for days, Novalee give birth to the ‘Wal-Mart baby’ which turns her into a local celebrity.
Novalee is broke and has touched the bottom when she finds the people around her, who love her more than she could have ever imagined. She names the little baby Americus, and thus a journey begins.
Billie Letts characterization is very apt as the characters blue-haired, Bible distributing Sister Thelma Husband, Forney Hull the eccentric librarian, Moses Whitecotton, the old black photographer, Lexie Coop, the wrong men who befriends Novelee, Willy Jack Pickens, an aspiring musician and Novalee’s boyfriend, seems quite real and living. Billie’s characters have flavors of humor and hope, faith in destiny, tryst with destiny and love and loss. The book honestly portrays the closeness of the people and emptiness of the trailer parks and small town malls of America. It pushes you to believe in the strength of friendship, the power of love and prayers, the genuine and compassionate affection of down-to-earth people.
I have read this fiction in short time as its mesmerizing and intriguing portrayals of characters, dramatization, smooth and uncanny language, has betrayed my senses in putting it off till tomorrow. It’s seems impossible sometime to imagine how Billie was able to pull so much of hope, faith, sadness, love, affection and wit together to tie around a beautiful story that binds you and doesn’t let go.
A highly recommended book for people, who believe in relations and will love to read, laugh and cry, dream and believe as they progress…
Published in Udaipurtimes.com on 15th Dec 2013.