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Twelve-year-old CeeCee Honeycutt is in trouble. For years, she has been the caretaker of her mother, Camille, the town’s tiara-wearing, lipstick-smeared laughingstock, a woman who is trapped in her long-ago moment of glory as the 1951 Vidalia Onion Queen of Georgia. When tragedy strikes, Tootie Caldwell, CeeCee’s long-lost great-aunt, comes to the rescue and whisks her away to Savannah. There, CeeCee is catapulted into a perfumed world of prosperity and Southern eccentricity—one that appears to be run entirely by strong, wacky 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.
A timeless coming of age novel set in the 1960s, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt explores the indomitable strengths of female friendship, and charts the journey of an unforgettable girl who loses one mother, but finds many others in the storybook city of Savannah. As Kristin Hannah, author of Fly Away, says, Beth Hoffman's sparkling debut is “packed full of Southern charm, strong women, wacky humor, and good old-fashioned heart."
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman is a poignantly written story that tugged at all my heart strings. CeeCee has had to endure more in her 12 years than most people do in a lifetime. CeeCee’s mother, Camille, is trapped in the throes of mental illness. With her father on the road all the time for work, CeeCee is forced to take over the adult role and try to take care of her mother. Little does CeeCee know, her life is about to take an incredible turn.
When CeeCee moves to Savannah with her Great Aunt Tootie, she isn’t sure that things are going to work out. She feels out of place. Her whole life, she’s not had anyone really take care of her as Tootie and her cook, Oletta, do. CeeCee is introduced to a colorful cast of characters that leave their own indelible marks in her Life Book.
I thoroughly enjoyed this beautifully told story. The characters were well developed and I loved them all. I felt like I was right in Savannah with CeeCee, Tootie and Oletta. Though I knew where the story was going, it was such a joy to read it. I didn’t want it to end. I loved this book from cover to cover. Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman was a perfect summer read for me. This was our June 2015 book club selection at the library.