This is a book (and recently it's been made into a movie) by Billie Letts which has been given much more praise than I think it deserves. It's, in all practicality, a book about a girl named Novalee Nation who finds herself living in a Wal-Mart
. As she gets to know the people in the small town around the Wal-Mart, she finds warmhearted, deeply caring people who love her greatly and she becomes a better person for it...etcetera etcetera.
Objectively, it's not that badly written, but it's certainly not a classic. It has a nice, if a bit sappy, theme.
Subjectively, I wouldn't touch this book with a 10 ft. pole if it wasn't a trade book for my class. This is probably because of my unfortunate bias against the Southern US. I can't stand the South. Everything about it drives me insane. The people, the landscape, the communities, the accent, the ideas, all of it just strikes some chord in me. I just can't seem to rid myself of this bias, though I try. I think this is a product of my environment (a college town in Wisconsin) and my mother's bitterness towards the South (she lived in St. Louis as a child and very nearly moved to Canada because of her hatred towards the city she lived in and the entire region below it during the civil rights movement). Anyway, this book is steeped in everything supposedly charming about the South that I hate. And it has a recommendation by Oprah (she's a fine lady, but I don't trust her reading habits). The ISBN number is 0-446-672221-1.