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Review: SAVING CeeCee HONEYCUTT by Beth Hoffman – 5 star MUST READ!
August 18th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

SAVING CeeCee HONEYCUTT

by (the incredibly talented storyteller) Beth Hoffman

Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books

Buy it here: IndieBoundAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible |Book Depository

From Goodreads:6617928

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.

 

My review:

Some of the most memorable characters you’ll ever read are found in Saving CeeCee Honeycutt! Perfect for bright MGers to adults, this novel is an adult New York Times Best Seller! And it should be! Read it and love it and never forget these characters. This will be on my ’14 top-read list!

Here’s what impressed me about this novel:
1. Mrs. O’Dell is one of my heroes. What she does to help CeeCee when she suffers until her mother’s mental illness is remarkable. She provides love, a safe haven, and nurtures her through difficult times.
2. CeeCee suffers so much because of her mother’s mental illness. Her father abandons them and CeeCee ends up holding the heavy burden of dealing with her mother’s crazy antics – dressing up in prom dresses, which help her to recall the moment when she was a beauty queen. The way Beth Hoffman portrayed CeeCee’s mom will tear at your heart. It’s so raw and revealing and emotional.
3. SPOILER: When CeeCee’s mom is struck and killed by a truck, her aunt Tootie comes and takes her away to Savannah, Georgia. Aunt Tootie is one of the kindest, most loving women one could ever encounter. She gives CeeCee the life that she deserves and helps her cope with loss.
4. The cast of characters in Savannah. Real Southern belles, who are wild and eccentric. Who wouldn’t want to grow up around these crazy, fun ladies?
5. OLETTA! Wow, I fell in love with Oletta. She had me drooling for cinnamon buns and everything else. I absolutely adored her relationship with CeeCee. Aunt Tootie was her family and vise versa. The portrayal of this family was one of the most important, beautiful portrayals of racial relations. This reminded me so much of our own family. My grandma was a Southerner. We had Barbara McCray. Love knows no color!
6. Beth Hoffman takes the reader to Savannah. You will live it, breathe it, taste it. The setting jumps off the page.
7. Addressing racism in an honest, powerful, emotional way. The huge divide between our people. Here are some of the accurate portrayals addressed: financial, educational, health care, place of residence.
8. Definition of family is a key theme of this novel. Beth Hoffman nailed it by showing that LOVE is the ultimate.
9. This is a novel with a huge range of appeal. I could see a bright middle grader read this. High school students for sure. Even though Pamela Dorman Books is an adult publisher, this novel is the perfect crossover novel! Smart young adults, this is a must read!

While I read this novel, I ACHED for my grandma. I miss her calling me ‘darlin’. I missed her “tomata, potata.” I miss Barbara McCray’s “Bless her heart.” I felt wrapped up in her love. And readers, you will feel wrapped in love by this novel!

I WANT A SEQUEL! Where is CeeCee now? 538342_372652756166083_753612637_n
A must read!

PS. There’s a “cat” fight that is so hysterical, you don’t want to miss it. Karma’s a bitch. It really is!!!

The spider and the slugs are awesome too!

About Beth Hoffman:

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