Novalee Nation, 17 and very pregnant, has never been part of a real home.
The closest thing to family for the hard-luck teen is her selfish, would-be musician boyfriend, Willy Jack, with whom she's travelling from Tennessee to California in a rust bucket that used to be a Plymouth.
A bathroom stop en route, at an Oklahoma Wal-Mart, changes Novalee's life forever. For when she leaves the store, she discovers that Willy Jack and the Plymouth are gone. Only her Polaroid camera remains in the parking space.
Alone and broke, Novalee surreptitiously moves into the vast store, borrowing food and supplies from its shelves. When she gives birth on the floor - and her hideaway is revealed - Novalee and her "Wal-Mart Baby" become instant celebrities.
More importantly, over the next few years, Novalee finally becomes part of an unconventional, makeshift family comprised of her wonderfully eccentric new friends.
Now, with the family she always wanted, Novalee is transformed from a homeless teen to a successful and strong woman. She has finally found a home in this small town where fate has dropped her.