Thursday, January 27, 2011

Review: Saving CeeCee Honnecutt

  • Author:  Beth Hoffman
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Paperbacks (Oct 26 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143118579
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143118572
 From the author's website:

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.

My Take:
To say that I loved this book would be an understatement.  It was easily one of the most uplifting and joyous books that I had read in a long time.  It is a wonderful book that is suitable for young adults and as well as women of all ages.  It is a book that provides insight into women and young women of all ages.  It shows the best that women can be.  And how important it is that women look out for each other and take joy in each other.  It is a book about deep love between family members as well as the deep love that develops in friendships.  It explores the complex issues that surround mental illness but brings hope and provides understanding of these illnesses.  If you have been waiting to read this book, don't put it off any longer! I had originally read this book from the library but decided to order a copy as I want to keep this book in my permanent collection.

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