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28/50: Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts: I read this because I love the movie. I liked the book, but there were some things I liked in the movie better, such as Novalee's final scene with Forney and the fact that Willy Jack was much less of a presence in the movie. I didn't think the Willy Jack parts of the book added anything to the story and I skimmed them all because I hated him so much. I ended up feeling kind of bad for him in the end, but I felt sort of vindictive toward him too, like he got what he deserved.

I liked the story of white trash girl makes good. Novalee is a very likable character and she also got what she deserved in the end. Some things in the book might seem outlandish to some readers, but I thought of it as a Southern magical realism.

Aside from the greater presence of Willy Jack in the book, the other thing I really didn't like was the violent, abusive aspect. There are two somewhat graphic male rape scenes and they were kind of similar, so it seemed like a bit of an obsession of the author's. I know bad things happen to people, including rape, but I hate reading about it.

I also had a few minor problems here and there, like the fact that Lexie never once took responsibility for her pregnancies and blamed them all on the men. I was glad Novalee didn't follow that same path.

There were also some things that made the book seem like it took place a lot farther in the past than the 1990's that got under my skin.

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jennifer_book_geek

March 2010

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