Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman
Book description: Twelve-year-old CeeCee Honeycutt is in trouble. For years, she has been the caretaker of her psychotic mother, Camille- the tiara-toting, lipstick-smeared laughingstock of an entire town- a woman trapped in her long-ago moment of glory as the 1951 Vidalia Onion Queen. But when tragedy strikes, CeeCee is left to fend for herself. To the rescue comes her previously unknown great-aunt, Tootie Caldwell.
In her vintage Packard convertible, Tootie whisks CeeCee away to Savannah’s perfumed world of prosperity and Southern eccentricity, a world that seems to be run entirely by women. From the exotic Miz Thelma Rae Goodpepper, who skinny-dips in her backyard bathtub and uses garden slugs as her secret weapon, to Tootie’s all-knowing housekeeper, Oletta Jones, to Violene Hobbs, who entertains a local police officer in her canary-yellow peignoir, the women of Gaston Street keep CeeCee entertained and enthralled for an entire summer.
Laugh-out-loud funny and deeply touching, Beth Hoffman’s sparkling debut hums with wacky humor and down-home heart. It explores the indomitable strengths of female friendship and gives us the story of a young girl who loses one mother and finds many others. Above all, it is a book full of feminine wisdom- one to cherish, remember, and share.
I do not know where to begin because I cannot say enough good things about this book! I loved the fact that the main character is 12 and the story is through her eyes. It was fun to live the story through a child’s eyes. The innocence, the humor, the confusion. I completely lost myself in this book as I remembered how I viewed the world at such a young age.
CeeCee is an extremely lovable main character and very relatable. I found myself wishing I could give her a hug and encourage her. Call me crazy for getting so involved, but this book ran like a movie through my mind the entire time. Yes, I realize that’s what happens when you read, but I mean I was ON the streets of Georgia with them, I was at the roadside lunch outside the jewelry shop, I was next door watching Miz Goodpepper with CeeCee and I sat down at the kitchen table with Oletta and CeeCee during breakfast. I loved everything about this book and will recommend it to whoever needs suggestions!
This book reminded me a lot of the movie Steel Magnolias and I loved the sweet southern belles and all their hospitable endeavors. I laughed out loud at the tales of friendship and I enjoyed all the surprises throughout the book. For a 306 page book, I feel I spent every part of that summer with them. Beth Hoffman did a superb job in her storytelling and I love that this was her debut novel as now I will follow her career!
You know how sometimes you see a movie and you really like it, and then it’s announced that a sequel will be made? And you know how it makes you wonder if it will be as good as the original? In the same way, I thought this book was so entertaining and enjoyable that I wonder if Beth Hoffman could even top herself! That’s not in any way to doubt her creativity or capabilities as an author, but rather to say how refreshing and wonderful this debut novel was! It’s been a long time since I’ve related to characters so well and Beth is a marvel at creating characters you will wish were your friends and neighbors. CeeCee’s aunt Tootie makes you feel right at home among her house and her friends. They are one big happy Georgia family!
I couldn’t put this one down from the minute I got it at the library. And now I can say I have proudly purchased my very own copy, not only to lend to friends but to get signed if/when I meet Beth on her book tour! I highly recommend for anyone looking for a good read. Women will especially enjoy this as it develops the beautiful friendships between women where we can talk and laugh and fight and cry and make up and still love each other in this crazy thing called life. Please, grab some sweet tea and find a spot outside and step into the southern world of Savannah with CeeCee!
5 out of 5 stars!