#257 ~ Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

Published by: Pamela Dorman Books (Penguin)

Published on: 2010

Page Count: 320

Genre: General Fiction / Women’s Fiction

My Reading Format: Hardcover sent by the author’s publicist

Available Formats: Hardcover, eBook, and audio book ~ will be available in paperback in October of 2010

Giveaway: Inkwell Management has graciously offered me 3 copies of this novel to give away to U.S. or Canadian readers.  Please see the end of my review for details.

Synopsis from the Publisher

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 Camille is hit by a truck and killed, 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 bathes in her backyard bathtub and uses garden slugs as her secret weapons, 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 is, as Kristin Hannah says, “packed full of Southern charm, strong women, wacky humor, and good old-fashioned heart.” It is a novel that explores the indomitable strengths of female friendship and gives us the story of a young girl who loses one mother and finds many others.

My Review

When I first started reading this novel, I was worried it would end up being a dark and gloomy story about a young girl growing up with a crazy Southern mother to take care of.  It at first reminded me of Tomato Girl, a type of novel I wasn’t sure I could really handle right now.  So, I was actually quite happy when CeeCee’s beauty queen mother died suddenly near the beginning of the novel.  Whatever might happen thereafter, I just knew it had to look up.  It most certainly did.

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt is a heart-warming novel that highlighted what’s best about Southern living and what’s most remarkable about Southern women.  Once CeeCee left Ohio for Savanah, Georgia, the novel had just enough weight that it wasn’t too sugary sweet.  There weren’t any surprises to this novel, but honestly I think that is what made it such a pleasant read for me.  I appreciated the straight-forward, upbeat story.  CeeCee certainly didn’t need any more surprises other than the love and acceptance she found in the Southern city she knew her mother missed so desperately.

My Final Thoughts

Beth Hoffman’s novel is charming and just perfect for reading this summer.  You may find that want to follow it up with Steel Magnolias.  The last scenes in the book may make you long for Ouiser and Clairee’s antics.


I would like to thank Allie from Inkwell Management for allowing me to provide three lucky U.S. or Canadian readers with the opportunity to read this novel this summer.  To enter my giveaway, leave a comment here about the best summer of your life by 11:59pm EST on Saturday, June 5th.  Using Random.org, I’ll select three entries.  Good luck!


  • At 2010.05.30 14:07, Emily said:

    This novel sounds fantastic, Jennifer! I’m definitely going to add it to my ever-growing TBR list.

    Oh, wow, the best summer of my life?? That’s a tough one. I don’t have one particular summer that jumps to mind. When I was young we used to drive to Stanley, Idaho to stay at my great uncle’s cabin. I loved going there (not the driving part, though. Let me tell you, there are few things more painful than driving across the state of Nevada in the middle of July! Ugh.) because it was absolutely gorgeous. His cabin faced the Sawtooth Mountains (gorgeous!), he had a huge meadow we spent hours roaming around in, a creek we splashed in and built bridges over and the most spectacular sunsets I had ever seen. Sometimes it would rain, which just blew me away (being from CA, where it never, ever rains in the summer!). We would go fishing and swimming in the nearby lake and river, and sit on the fence eating Tootsie Roll pops and hollering at the cows. When I think of summer vacation, that’s what I think of. That, and hiding out in an air-conditioned bedroom with a stack of books piled next to me 🙂

    • At 2010.05.30 19:53, Shannon said:

      My favorite summer had to be the year (way back when…) between high school and college. Life was so carefree then. I remember just doing whatever I wanted. I have 2 kids now and those days are gone. sigh.

      • At 2010.05.31 12:49, Laura W. said:

        The best summer of my life was when I was 17. I was in a minor car accident (bumped someone else), so my parents took my car away. My friend offered to have his friend take me to the fireworks in July since I couldn’t drive myself, and so I met Ian. Later that month my parents went on vacation and my older brother had his friends over all time, so all my friends were over all the time too, and Ian came along. We started chatting on Instant messaging every day and the day before school started again at the end of August, we started “going out”. That was almost nine years ago (good God can’t believe it’s been that long) and we’ve been married for four years. That was the best summer of my life.

        • At 2010.05.31 13:03, Lisa said:

          I keep hearing lovely things about this one. I’m with you–one “Tomato Girl” is quite enough–that was such a sad book.

          I can’t pin down one summer that would be called my favorite. I swear I grew up on the set of a 1960’s t.v. program. All summers were carefree, the neighbors were close knit, the kids all played together. We played wiffle ball in our back yard, freeze tag in the front yards, and played down by the neighborhood creek, dressed in our mother’s old dresses. Mud pies, swimming pools, fireflys. Every summer of my youth is a wonderful memory!

          • At 2010.05.31 15:36, Melanie said:

            My favorite summer is the summer my husband and I were engaged. It was a wonderful time of getting to know each other.

            • At 2010.05.31 16:25, Sarah E said:

              I spent the best summer of my life right after I graduated from college on a trip to Virginia with my mom. We spent several weeks sight-seeing all over the state visiting many Civil War battlefields, homes of the founding fathers, colonial sites, plantation homes, as well as historic cities. It was a fascinating holiday I will never forget.

              Please enter me in this giveaway!

              • At 2010.06.01 13:58, Anna said:

                It definitely was a much lighter read than Tomato Girl. I loved it. No need to enter me.

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                • At 2010.06.01 14:45, itsJUSTme-wendy said:

                  AHHHHHH! I have been trying so hard to win th9is one! Maybe this will be the one!

                  forevereading at gmail dot com

                  • At 2010.06.01 23:37, Amy said:

                    So far this is the best summer of my life. I’ve moved back home, I have a dog that I get to take on a bike ride every morning, and we bought our first house!

                    • At 2010.06.02 03:36, Shannon F. said:

                      This book looks like a lot of fun & a perfect read for this summer. Thanks for the offer! Been a long time since Ive found something that jarred my interest. Ive fallen off the reading wagon as of late. Cant help but think of the eccentric ladies in Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil. They cracked me up.. best part of the book! lol

                      My favorite summer will hopefully be this years! But so far it was the summer of ’99. The world, even though it wasnt that long ago, was very different then. It was pre 9-11, pre texting/facebook/cell/twitter, pre reality show mania.. where you actually talked to people. I had been dating a guy named Mark for only a month or so & we decided to rent a place in Newport near the beach for the summer. I was 19.. out of school with new carefree freedom, still had somewhat of a figure (that I wish I realized what I had then!! lol) & a summer job waitressing at a bar & grill there. He was a few years older, I thought a few years wiser lol, very tall and amazingly handsome. Much more than I could ever picture myself with! and I was enamored. The house ended up being nowhere near the beach lol.. but we had so much fun riding bikes through the old town & the fancy bits studded with mansions. Taking walks on hot steamy nights to the local ice cream shop. We went diving off the cliffs into the ocean, fished, drove around the islands with the top off his jeep, seeing fireflies chase us. Packing snacks & wine for midnight picnics on the sand under the light of the lighthouse.. having it sound more romantic than it ended up because we were so freaked out by the sounds of wild animals running around nearby lol…likely just bunnies & deer lol. Sitting by our friends bonfire in shorts & his college hoodie listening to Dave Matthews Band & learning how to deal with the new bitter taste of beer lol. Even the bad sunburns are a fond memory now. Sunblock & bug spray..fireworks burning and polo sport cologne. He moved south with his family in september. If it lasted longer it wouldnt have been 1/2 as magical.

                      • At 2010.06.05 18:08, bermudaonion (Kathy) said:

                        I loved this book, too – it made me long for Savannah. No need to enter me.

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                        • At 2010.06.06 06:59, stacybuckeye said:

                          I loved this one too. One of my favorites this year.

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                          • At 2010.06.07 19:42, Arch said:

                            I have been reading rave reviews about this book. I would love to enter this giveaway.


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                              • At 2013.06.03 04:01, #520 ~ Looking For Me said:

                                […] For Me prior to the publication date since I first knew of it’s existence. I loved Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt and Beth Hoffman is such a pleasure. When an advance copy of the audiobook arrived I was able to […]

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