If you have no access to another Mac.
There are some recovery utilities that ignore the hard drive's partitioning and formatting.
Often they are on a bootable Linux CD that you can download.
Your best bet would be to buy an external case or cable adapter that enables you to plug the old hard drive into the Mac.
The MacBook's old harddrive is a 2.5 inch SATA hard drive.
You can buy cables that allow you to plug the bare drive into the MacBook through USB.
Or the Voyager that I use every week for recovery
You can download Data Rescue 3 from Prosoft and run it. It will show you what it thinks it can recover, recover 1 file as a test, then you can purchase a license to recover the files.
TestDisk and PhotoRec are free utilities and can be found on wikipedia. Very geeky command line interface.