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 mother. She tries coaxing her father to take some action, but he just shirks off any responsibility.
When Camille is killed in an accident, CeeCee feels shattered. She begins to miss her mother, and is outraged when her father wants to give her away to her aunt, Tootie Caldwell. She'd rather stay with her neighbor, Mrs. Odell. But Tootie's arrival is one of the best things that happen to CeeCee. She doesn't realize it first, but before the end of the summer, she comes to embrace that.
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt has an interesting plethora of characters. Tootie is the very concerned empathetic person who helps everyone is trouble, and is held in high regard by everyone. Mrs Oletta, Tootie's maid, who stayed with her even when she could move on is very like Minny (of The Help) without being so sassy. She is stern and warm in perfect combination. Miz Goodpepper, who stays next doors, seems nice on the surface, but hers is a mind that puts a lot of wheels into motion, while sometimes slightly unsettling CeeCee, and thus the reader. In this setting of mainly ladies is another character - Miz Hobbs - who is much hated by other characters, due to her wagging tongue and her tendency to rebuke the others. In the process, she comes to be the butt of many jokes, that although are quite hilarious, can be branded as in poor taste.
This is a very sweet read. It is also funny, but sometimes in a sad way. When CeeCee is curious about a book called "Kama Sutra", she has the following conversation with Miz Goodpepper.
While Miz Goodpepper pulled a pitcher of lemonade from the frig, I asked "Is the Kama Sutra a volcano?"I found this book to be an enjoyable read, but I didn't love it. There was quite a bit of predictability, that I couldn't take nicely. CeeCee sure deserved all the good things that happened to her, but the coincidental manner in which they happen didn't please me. Moreover, I didn't feel as warmed by this book as I expected too. I liked it, but didn't love it. It is a good light read, one that will have you smiling as you read.
She gasped and splashed lemonade across the kitchen counter. The strangest look streaked across her face as she sopped up the mess with a wad of paper towels. "Well I suppose some might think it's a volcano of sorts, but I can say with absolute assurance you wouldn't enjoy that book."
"That's what I thought," I said, feeling pleased with myself, "so I put it back on the shelf."
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