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.
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!