Where the Heart Is Summary & Study Guide

Billie Letts
This Study Guide consists of approximately 38 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Where the Heart Is.
This section contains 354 words
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Where the Heart Is Summary & Study Guide Description

Where the Heart Is Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts.

Where the Heart Is, a young adult novel published in 1995, was written by Billie Letts. The novel follows the life of seventeen year-old Novalee Nation, who is pregnant.

When the novel begins, Novalee is traveling west with her boyfriend, Willy Jack, so Willy can get a job working on the railroad with his cousin. Novalee and Willy Jack have left their hometown of Tellico Plains, Tennessee, behind. Willy Jack abandons Novalee at a Wal-Mart in Sequoyah, Oklahoma, where Novalee comes to live secretly inside the store. While staying there, Novalee is befriended by Sister Thelma Husband, a devout Christian and the welcoming committee for the town.

Novalee also meets Forney Hull, the man who runs the local library. Novalee seeks out Forney's help in caring for her buckeye tree, a gift from Benny Goodluck. Novalee turns eighteen, and soon thereafter, gives birth to a baby girl in Wal-Mart, assisted by Forney. Novalee names the girl Americus. Novalee continues to struggle on, working at Wal-Mart and deepening her friendship with Forney, Sister, and other locals.

Meanwhile, Willy Jack goes to jail. While there, he writes a song called "The Beat of a Heart." When Willy Jack is released, he heads to Nashville, where he signs with agent Ruth Meyers. His career begins to take off. But, when he pushes too far and wants to sign on with another agent, Willy's career crumbles, and he becomes a drug addict and a drunk.

A tornado destroys part of Sequoyah, killing Sister, who leaves behind money for Novalee. Novalee uses the money to build a new home. Forney's sister dies, and Forney declares his love for Novalee, who lies and tells Forney she does not love him. She is afraid she does not deserve him.

Later, Willy Jack stumbles into a rail yard, where he has his legs below the knees severed by a train. Novalee goes to see him in the hospital, agreeing to bring him back home. She also takes the time to tell Forney the truth. She really does love him and wants to be a family with him and Americus.

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This section contains 354 words
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