Vicki Smith is a new writer. She was involved in social services for 20 years which has given her a unique understanding of human nature. She writes from a Christian perspective which offers her readers hope and encouragement.


Trigger Warning

This movie is an independent film produced in 1996 and distributed by Sony Pictures. It stars Renee Zellweger and Vincent D’onofrio as Novalyn Price and Robert E. Howard. She is a high school teacher, and he is the self proclaimed greatest writer of pulp fiction in the world, set in Cross Plains Texas in 1933.

I have watched this movie over and over again. I can repeat many scenes word for word. I recommended it to my sister, and she didn’t like it. So, why am I so crazy about this movie? Perhaps I can identify with Novalyn. I did marry the bad boy, and he was much like Robert E. I am thrilled that this is based on a true story. The author knew Robert E. Howard and had a relationship with him in her twenties. He must have had a great impact on her because she wrote this book 45 years later after she had married another man, raised her family and retired from teaching. Robert E. Howard was a writer of wild, over exaggerated fiction, I especially liked his tall tales of the old west. She wanted to marry but he didn’t, or he wouldn’t because he was not able to express his feelings.

Why won’t Bob acknowledge his love for Novalyn? It’s obvious that they have both fallen for each other. But Bob denies his love when he tells her that ‘the road he walks, he walks alone,’ and he breaks her heart in the process. What a fool he is! What is the problem? We know that he has an inordinate attachment to his mother, whom he treats more like a girlfriend, than he does Novalyn, whom he calls ‘girl.’ His mother has given him confidence to write and supported him in his young, turbulent years. He was probably a shy, backward boy, and the love of his mother sustained him in those painful, awkward moments of adolescence. In every failure or weakness he experienced in the movie, it was his mother that he turned to for help.

Anyway, Novalyn truly loved him but accepted the fact that he was not ready to commit to a relationship with her. She tried everything she could have done to change his mind but was unsuccessful.  

Bob had already published many stories in pulp fiction when she met him. He  was the only child of the town doctor, and his mother was frail and sickly. After his mother became terminally ill, Robert could not bear the thought of living without her, and he shot himself. 

His death truly did move the author, although she kept it hidden in her heart for many years. She really loved him but was still able to continue with her own life. I call her a strong woman, and the fact that she still wrote his story after 45 years demonstrates how much he did move her. 

 I agree with her, if she had married him, their differences would have been the cause of much grief in her life. Could she have lived with a man to whom swearing, drinking and carousing with a big busted woman was not unacceptable behavior? Or would he have changed his ways? I think he was in the process of changing. I believe he could have changed. Anyway it would have been interesting to see how that would have worked out. She was wise not to have entered into a relationship with him, even if he would have let her. But if she had told him she loved him, in the car scene, would it have been enough to save his life, to keep him from suicide? Let’s try it out.

Novalyn: I do love you Bob; I have loved you from the first time I met you. I had to pursue you, remember?

Bob: Yes, I was a fool. I didn’t believe you or anyone could love me, except my mother. Will you stay with me? Will you marry me?

N: Yes, I will.  Kiss, hug….. Passionate embrace. We will have to wait until after your mother recovers to get married. 

Scene: mom is sitting up in bed and Novalyn and Bob come into the room.

N: How are you feeling today Mrs. Howard?

M: Much better thank you. It’s such a blessing to have a doctor for my husband. And Robert takes good care of me too.

B: (With his arm around N’s waist.)

Mom, we have some good news for you. Novalyn and I are going to be married. We want you to get well quickly so you can be in the front row of the church.  

Mom: Oh that’s wonderful (Dabs at her eyes).

The doctor comes in, gets the drift of what’s happening. 

Takes Nov’s hand and says, Welcome to our family, dear. We are so happy to have you with us. When is the blessed event to take place?

I love a happy ending…

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