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Friday, February 10, 2012

Book Review Friday: Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

So I've been working through my bookshelf, reading all the books that have been sitting there all lonely for a while. And this book? I cannot believe that I let this much wonderfulness (yes, it's a word) sit there undiscovered for so long.

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt is Beth Hoffman's debut novel, and I hope that she has many more stories in her. The story starts in Willoughby, OH, where 12-year-old CeeCee is watching her mother go insane. Her father is an alcoholic traveling salesman who drinks and works to avoid his daughter and unraveling wife. CeeCee's only friend is the elderly Mrs. Odell, a next door neighbor who is everyone's dream grandma.
When CeeCee's mother, Camille, dies after being hit by an ice cream truck, salvation comes in the form of one Tallulah "Tootie" Caldwell, CeeCee's great aunt and one of the nicest people alive. Aunt Tootie brings CeeCee to live with her in Savannah (one of my most favorite places in the world!) where CeeCee meets a wonderful cast of characters, including Odetta, Tootie's kindly housekeeper/cook, and Miz Thelma Rae Goodpepper, an eccentric neighbor who enchants CeeCee with her exotic tales of love and adventure.
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt is not all southern charm and eccentricity, though. Set in the late 1960's, an undercurrent of racism runs through the city, and CeeCee, having grown up in the desegregated north, learns about humans' capacity for cruelty to each other. CeeCee also has to come to grips with her mother's mental illness and depth, and defining the relationship with the man who was her father by genetics only.
This book is everything that I want in a novel. An intriguing story, likable characters, and a good pace that keeps you interested without glossing over the "hard" stuff. I can't wait to see what Beth Hoffman comes up with next.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful review of my novel. Thank you so much, Kristen. I'm tickled that you enjoyed CeeCee's story and appreciate your kind words!