Book Review : Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 12th 2010 by Penguin
Available at my Facebook Album for RM 30.00

Twelve-year-old CeeCee is in trouble. For years she’s been the caretaker of her psychotic mother, Camille— the crown-wearing, lipstick-smeared laughingstock of an entire town. Though it’s 1967 and they live in Ohio, Camille believes it’s 1951 and she’s just been crowned the Vidalia Onion Queen of Georgia.

The day CeeCee discovers Camille in the front yard wearing a tattered prom dress and tiara as she blows kisses to passing motorists, she knows her mother has completely flipped. When tragedy strikes, Tootie Caldwell, a previously unknown great-aunt comes to CeeCee’s rescue and whisks her away to Savannah. Within hours of her arrival, CeeCee is catapulted into a perfumed world of prosperity and Southern eccentricities—a world that appears to be run entirely by women.

While Tootie is busy saving Savannah’s endangered historic homes from the wrecking ball, CeeCee encounters a cast of unforgettable, eccentric characters. From the mysterious Thelma Rae Goodpepper, who bathes in an outdoor tub under the watchful eyes of a voyeuristic peacock, to Oletta Jones, the all-knowing household cook, to Violene Hobbs, the loud-mouthed widow who entertains a local police officer in her yellow see-through peignoir, the women of Gaston Street keep CeeCee entertained and enthralled for an entire summer.

But CeeCee’s view of the world is challenged in ways she could have never imagined: there are secrets to keep, injustices to face, and loyalties to uphold. Just as she begins to find her ballast and experiences a sense of belonging, her newfound joy collides with the long-held fear that her mother’s legacy has left her destined for destruction.

Laugh-out-loud funny, at times heartbreaking, and written in a pitch-perfect voice, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt is a spirited Southern tale that explores the intricate frailties and strengths of female relationships while illuminating the journey of a young girl who loses her mother but finds many others.

The synopsis pretty much sums up this book, and indeed, Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt is a heartwarming, entertaining story about a neglected little girl who found love in places and people she could never imagine.

I warmed up to the character Cecelia Rose Honeycutt from the very begging. Being merely twelve years old, she is burdened with the task of taking care of her mentally-ill mother who dreams of a glorious life which has long-passed. Her father is always running away from harsh realities of life by using his job as an excuse, and Mrs. Odell is her only refuge.

After her mother's sudden death, Cee Cee moves in to stay with her great aunt Tootie. The first person she gets to know besides her aunt is none other than Aunt Tootie's personal cook, Oletta Jones. At the beginning, Oletta is cold towards Cee Cee, but after knowing her past, she sympathizes Cee Cee's plight and offers the child her support.

Cee Cee quickly learns that the women in the neighbourhood are kind, though each of them have different personalities. Aunt Tootie is always optimistic, Oletta Jones has a warm heart beneath her cool behaviour, Miz Goodpepper is nice but somewhat quirky, and Miz Hobbs' presence always makes her uneasy.

Jam-packed with wit, humour and charm - spiced up by the presence of two quirky, eccentric, always-at-each-other's-throats neighbours - Miz Goodpepper and Miz Hobbs, Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt will definitely make its way into your heart.

Rating: 4.000

About The Author

Before beginning her writing career, Beth Hoffman was the president and co-owner of a successful interior design studio. An artist as well as an award-winning interior designer, Beth's paintings are displayed in private and corporate collections in the United States, Canada, and the UK. She lives, along with her husband and three very smart cats, in a fully restored Queen Anne home in a quiet historic district in northern KY.

5 creative remarks:

Beth Hoffman said...

Thank you so much for this lovely review. I'm delighted that you enjoyed CeeCee's story!

Dana - Let's Book It said...

Sounds like a winner!

Aik said...

@Beth: Thanks for commenting on my review! How did you stumble upon it?

@Dana: Definitely!

Just a Lil Lost said...

Wow, so many great books! I can't believe your pre-order only just arrived now!

I really want to read Madame Tussaud.. I'll have to add that to my list before I forget! :)

P.S. Love your blog design - super cute!

Michele | IMM | Embrace Giveaway

Marg said...

I have had this book sitting on my bookshelf for ages! Sounds like I should try to read it sooner rather than later!