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Saving CeeCee Honeycutt: A Novel (edition 2010)

by Beth Hoffman

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1,5371804,778 (4)89
Member:dara85
Title:Saving CeeCee Honeycutt: A Novel
Authors:Beth Hoffman
Info:Penguin Books (2010), Edition: First Edition, Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library, Fiction, Read
Rating:****1/2
Tags:Fiction, mental illness, motherless, accident, overachiever, beauty queen, moving, friendship, dysfunctional family, books, school, cook, Nancy Drew, party, fight, Georgia

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Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

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Showing 1-5 of 179 (next | show all)
All in all I enjoyed reading this book. I thought the author captured the dynamics of a family struggling with a mentally ill family member - the crazy mom and the dad who thought of himself. Been there myself. . . However, where the author lost the likeness is when Cecelia entered the land of the fairy aunt. All of us in miserable situations dream about having someone coming to rescue us. Nine times out of ten it doesn't happen and one ends up struggling to put a life back together as an adult. Having said that, I really enjoyed Cecelia's life with her great aunt and the crazy neighbors. So what is crazy and what is eccentric? In the case of this book, who knows? ( )
  csobolak | Mar 10, 2015 |
While her father is away, Cecelia Rose Honeycutt is trapped with her mentally ill mother. At school, she’s mocked for having a crazy mom; at home, she cooks and cleans and does her best to predict her mother’s wild mood swings. When her mother is killed by an ice cream truck, Cecelia cannot process the death, torn between relief and sadness. Her father decides that the best thing to do is pass Cecelia into the care of her wealthy great-aunt Tootie in Savannah, and the girl is promptly shipped off to Georgia. Once there, the warm friendship of Tootie and her aunt’s cook Oletta help Cecelia slowly recover from years of neglect and the tragic loss of her mom.

I feel like I’ve read this story before…isn’t this same basic plot as The Secret Lives of Bees? Maybe mixed with some of The Help?

This is a mindless, fluffy sort of a novel. The depiction of mental illness is a Hollywood sort of disease, revolving around a woman who likes to dress up pretty and relive her days as a beauty queen while shopping at the local Goodwill. Oletta is the magical truth-telling black woman who uses flawless cooking and homey platitudes to help Cecelia heal her soul. Tootie is a sort of fairy godmother, bringing wealth and comfort to reward Cecelia for her years of Cinderella-like service to her mother.

That’s not to say there isn’t conflict. It seems like something is always happening. Someone is threatening a historic Savannah building. Oh no! Resolved by the end of the next chapter. Three black women are in danger of being falsely accused of assaulting a white man? Nope, that’ll be taken care of so fast the charges won’t even have time to sink in. Cecelia plays a mean trick on her neighbor? No worries, once she stops she’ll be forgiven instantly. Every single problem is tied up so swiftly and neatly that not an ounce of tension is able to build up. So everything interesting in this book quickly slides right into boring.

The best passages revolve around descriptions of rich Southern foods and decadent gardens. It’s just a big Southern fantasy of living the good life in a fancy mansion with servants and gossipy girlfriends. For all I know, that’s daily life in Savannah for those with means! I suspect instead that this is the Georgia version of Californians spending all day shopping at the mall and tanning at the beach in bikinis. I can see a lot of our older readers at the bookstore gobbling this up like candy, because the story is bland and inoffensive and has a happy ending, but it’s definitely not for me. ( )
  makaiju | Feb 22, 2015 |
I most recently read “Looking for Me” (2013) by Beth Hoffman and absolutely loved it--(highly recommend)! Therefore, immediately following started her debut novel – “Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt”, e-book. Wow –both are amazing 5 stars plus!

If you love southern novels –and a fan of Susan Rebecca White, Mary Kay Andrews, Kathryn Stockett, and Dorothea Benton Frank – this charming novel is for you!

A native of the south, I adore southern writers, and so excited I recently found Beth – she knows southern women and is one talented storyteller! A mixture of Thelma and Louise, Designing Women, and Steel Magnolias--You will laugh out loud and cry at the same time with this bittersweet story, which draws you in with the smells and picturesque scenes of each setting.

An inspiring and heartwarming 1960’s story of Cee Cee Honeycutt (12 yr old little girl) who lives in a small town of Ohio, with a crazy (mentally ) mom who still thinks she is a southern beauty queen from Georgia, and a father which escapes to his traveling sales job leaving the burden and responsibility of caring for his wife to Cee Cee.

Your heart goes out to Cee Cee, with the burden of her mom --with mixed emotions as she loves her; however is not equipped to offer her the care she needs, with highs of up and downs and constant embarrassment of her mom’s outbursts in town. A smart yet loner girl, who spends her time reading and her only solace is the elderly wise woman (next door neighbor) who is loving and teaches her about the Book of Life. (loved these quotes).

When her mother is killed and her dad no longer wants her, she is shipped off to her great aunt Tootsie (loved her) in Savannah, GA. She is unaware of what is in store for her, and the love she will find with her new family and an array of southern, witty, charming, and independent women. Full of racist, eccentric women and one special one (cook) – Oletta who becomes her best friend.

Would love to see a movie of both books – outstanding! I look forward to following this talented author and her development of rich characters who come alive on the pages, filling you with amusement and life lessons full of wisdom, which you do not soon forget. This book would be an inspiration to any child or teen who cannot see beyond their immediate environment, as well as adults – people are put in our Book of Life for a season or reason. Well done!
( )
  JudithDCollins | Nov 27, 2014 |
I did not know about this book until my sister highly recommended it. I don't really have anything else to add to all the wonderful reviews, but I'm grateful to have read it. From the first page, I could tell this author was an excellent writer as I was immediately drawn into the scene. ( )
  eliorajoy | Oct 7, 2014 |
Although with hundreds of great reviews, she probably doesn't need another one, I feel compelled to say how grateful I am to have found this author. The writing is wonderful and the characters will stay with me for a long time! I wish her the very best and I look forward to her next book. ( )
  fdrury | Oct 5, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 179 (next | show all)
Saving CeeCee Honeycut ((Beth Hoffman)

Set in the 60's Cecilia (CeeCee) Honeycut just wants to be an ordinary girl. Living in Ohio with her mother and father, she is not sure what normal is. Her mother is mentally unstable, while her traveling salesman father is never home. CeeCee seems to be the mother as she watches over and takes care of her "crazy" mother. Then one day, unexpectedly her mother dies. Soon CeeCee finds herself in another world when her great Aunt Tootie, comes to take her to Georgia, to live with her.

Saving CeeCee Honeycut, was a wonderful (emotional) read. Well written Ms. Hoffman grabs the readers attention and won't let go until the perfect ending. Colorful unforgettable characters, laugh out loud, moments, a perfect coming of age story. I look forward to more work from Beth Hoffman.
added by SheriAWilkinson | editPrinceton, Il., Sheri A Wilkinson (Feb 26, 2011)
 
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This book is dedicated to Marlane Vaicius, the best friend a girl could ever hope to find, Marlane, you are my Dixie. And: In loving memory of my great-aunt, Mildred Williams Caldwell of Danville, Kentucky, the remarkably generous and wise little woman who ignited the flame that inspired this book.
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Momma left her red satin shoes in the middle of the road.
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I made a mental note that if I ever needed help from a man I would make him a pie. I wondered if that's why my dad didn't come home much anymore. As far as I knew, Momma never once had baked him a pie.
The truth fell on me like a piano. Though I had no idea what lay ahead, there was one thing I knew for sure: wherever I was going, it had to be better than where I was.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0670021393, Hardcover)


Read Beth Hoffman's blogs and other content on the Penguin Community.

Steel Magnolias meets The Help in this Southern debut novel sparkling with humor, heart, and feminine wisdom

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.

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(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:36 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

"Steel Magnolias" meets "The Help" in this Southern debut novel sparkling with humor, heart, and feminine wisdom. Laugh-out-loud funny, Hoffman's charming work offers the story of a young girl who loses one mother and finds many others. For years, 12-year-old CeeCee Honeycutt has been the caretaker of her psychotic mother, Camille-the tiara-toting, lipstick-smeared laughingstock of an entire town. 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 from Savannah, Tootie Caldwell, who whirls CeeCee into her world of female friendship, strong women, wacky humor, and good old-fashioned heart.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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