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Heartwarming (though light) coming of age story

  • Dec 15, 2009
In this heartwarming Southern tale, CeeCee Honeycutt searches for a safe-haven from her troubled life with an absentee father and mentally-ill mother. When CeeCee's mother is killed, her father sends her to live with her mother's Aunt Tootie in Savannah. There she finds love and acceptance even as she faces racism, violence, and a series of crazy neighbors.

Though the story is fairly predictable and cliches of Southern literature abound, this book is still an enjoyable read. CeeCee is a well-fleshed character, one whose reactions and dialogue ring true. Aunt Tootie and her cook Oletta are also well-written and help ground the story. Even though there is little narrative tension and everyone is ready to live happily-ever-after by the last page, there are some elements of the novel that hint at bigger and better offerings from Beth Hoffman in the future.

This book makes for a light and pleasant read; 3.5 stars.

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More Saving CeeCee Honeycutt reviews
Quick Tip by . January 18, 2011
I loved this book more than words can say. I will reread this every year. Heck, I may reread it 4 times a year.
review by . June 05, 2010
CeeCee's mother believes she is a beauty queen. In fact, she was the 1951 Vidalia Onion Queen. She trots around town in her tiara and the cheap prom gowns she gets at the nearby Goodwill store. In addition, her crumbling relationship with her husband further erodes her mental faculties. Initially, CeeCee is freaked out by her mother's behavior but over time, CeeCee starts getting irritated. CeeCee's reactions moved me. It was sad watching a child feel helpless when no one can help her …
review by . January 27, 2010
If you loved The Help, or if you have a love for the Southern portion of the country in general, you will love this tale. Cecelia "CeCe" Honeycutt is an outcast in her Ohio town...all due to her mother. Cece's mother is mentally ill; and although her antics keep the townsfolk tittering, they make Cece the butt of jokes and the object of ridicule in the town and in her school. She finds solace in her love of reading, and with her beloved elderly neighbor Mrs. Odell. When a tragedy leaves Cece with …
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C Quinn ()
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About this book


Hoffman's debut, a by-the-numbers Southern charmer, recounts 12-year-old Cecelia Rose Honeycutt's recovery from a childhood with her crazy mother, Camille, and cantankerous father, Carl, in 1960s Willoughby, Ohio. After former Southern beauty queen Camille is struck and killed by an ice cream truck, Carl hands over Cecelia to her great-aunt Tootie. Whisked off to a life of privilege in Savannah, Ga., Cecelia makes fast friends with Tootie's cook, Oletta, and gets to know the cadre of eccentric women who flit in and out of Tootie's house, among them racist town gossip Violene Hobbs and worldly, duplicitous Thelma Rae Goodpepper. Aunt Tootie herself is the epitome of goodness, and Oletta is a sage black woman. Unfortunately, any hint of trouble is nipped in the bud before it can provide narrative tension, and Hoffman toys with, but doesn't develop, the idea that Cecelia could inherit her mother's mental problems. Madness, neglect, racism and snobbery slink in the background, but Hoffman remains locked on the sugary promise of a new day.

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ISBN-10: 0670021393
ISBN-13: 978-0670021390
Author: Beth Hoffman
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
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