As many of you may know, I am no longer a New Yorker, so please check out my new blog A Library of My Own. If you are just reading Life and Times, you are missing out. Thanks!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Shoot the Moon - Billie Letts

A while back I won a paperback copy of Billie Letts novel, Shoot the Moon, from Bree at The Things We Read. I figured this seemed like the perfect book to kick off summer. It's been a little rainy and dreary here in NYC so I needed a dose of summer reading.

And this was the perfect summer reading book. I whizzed through it in a day. Seriously. I mean it's not the best book ever but it's a great feel-good mystery story.

Here's the plot:

Small town Oklahoma, 1972: 18 year old single mom found stabbed to death and her 10 month old son, Nicky Jack, is missing. Unsolved case.

About 30 years later, a man shows up in town saying he just found out he was adopted. He wants to confront his biological mom and ask why he was put up for adoption. Problem? He claims he is Nicky Jack.

So there's a great little mystery here. Why was his mom murdered? Who did it? Is he really Nicky Jack? Who was the father? Etc. Etc. Etc.

But I really liked the characters. It's written through the perspective of Mark, a.k.a. Nicky Jack, and I really liked him. And he stays with his Aunt and Cousin who are just great characters. And what I really liked was how Nicky Jack tries to figure out who his mom was...and interspersed with the story are excerpts of his mom's diary she kept through high school. So it makes her a real character and her death that more personal.

Funny thing about Billie Letts' novels, well the three I am familiar with, are they 1) have some setting in Oklahoma and 2) involve a Wal-mart somewhere in the story

If you've never read a Billie Letts novel you may be familiar with one of her books, Where the Heart Is, that was turned into a movie. I normally would have never watched that movie but it has Natalie Portman and Ashley Judd in it. And I actually did think it was a kind of cute movie.

***BIG NOTE: I will be giving away this copy of Billie Letts novel along with a hardback copy of her novel Made in the U.S.A. in a day or two. Comment on this review for an extra chance to win!


  1. I've read Where The Heart is but not her other two novels. You've made me want to check this one out, though.

  2. Does it count that I'm your sister...and I'll be having a very very long plane flight in the near future??

  3. I have not read Where the Heart Is, but I saw the movie and loved it. This book sounds good.

  4. Glad you liked the book. her books are quick reads but I so like them. She writes about "the other side of the tracks" people and its nice to read a book about someone who is not middle class or rich or "with it".

  5. I'll let someone else win the book, since I just won one from you. But I'm definitely interested in reading this one. I loved "Where the Heart Is", and I'm from Oklahoma!

  6. After reading your review, I was very interested in the story and I put the book on hold at my library! I'm excited to read it!

  7. I read the book "Where the Heart Is" and really enjoyed it. I also liked the movie. I always enjoy a good mystery so I'd like to read this.


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