Where the Heart Is Stranded at a Wal-Mart in Sequoyah, Oklahoma, seventeen-year-old Novalee Nations only had $7.77 in change. Not to mention the fact that she was seven months pregnant. Before Willy Jack, Novalee's boyfriend, stranded her at Wal-Mart they were on their way to Bakersfield, California. Willy Jack was going to work for the Union Pacific Railroad Company. While sitting on the bench at Wal-Mart waiting to see if Willy Jack would return, Novalee met a few people who would change her life forever.
First she met Sister Husband. Sister Husband taught her the meaning of home. "Home is the place that'll catch you when you fall and we all fall," she always said. Sister Husband took Novalee in after she had her baby. She was like the mother Novalee never had.
The blackest man Novalee ever saw was Moses Whitecotton. Moses taught her about the importance of names.
A name that means something and that can withstand a lot of bad times. He also taught her how to look at the world in a new way with a camera.
A little boy named Benny Goodluck, who taught Novalee about the lucky buckeye trees. Benny gave her a buckeye tree, which she planted in Sister Husband's backyard.
At the library she met Forney Hull. Forney taught her about the wonderful world of books, he also taught her the true meaning of love.
After having her baby girl in Wal-Mart who she named Americus, Novalee met Lexie Coop, a nurse at the hospital, who shows her what a real friendship is about.
After leaving the hospital Novalee is taken in by Sister Husband, who cares for them as if they're her own. Americus is growing at a normal speed. There was a tornado that destroyed the house and killed Sister Husband. Surprisingly the buckeye tree was the only thing still standing in their yard. Then a couple of days later a lawyer named Ray, who told Novalee that Sister Husband had left them everything in her will including the trailer, land, and a life insurance policy.
They lived with Moses Whitecotton and his wife after the tornado. As Novalee built a new house on her land with help from friends she learns that she is home at last. It's been seven years since Willy Jack stranded her a Wal-Mart, when Novalee finds an ad in the newspaper where he is trying to find them. He wants to apologize for leaving her, and to try to right all the wrong he did to her.
Novalee went from being all-alone to being loved more than she loved herself and being able to love unconditional. She learns that if she has as much faith in herself as everyone else has in her then she can accomplish anything she wants. She finds that home isn't where someone was born it is where their heart is.