I read Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, by Beth Hoffman last month and was really impressed. It’s in my top three books of 2010 so far this year.
Summary: This story takes place in the 60’s. CeeCee Honeycutt is only twelve, but she’s had to take care of her crazy and disillusioned mama in Ohio for years since her dad keeps running off on “business affairs,” though the book smart CeeCee knows what kind of affairs they really are. One day, while on the way to the Goodwill in a fancy old prom dress, CeeCee’s mom gets killed in a freak accident. With nowhere else to go, CeeCee’s great-aunt Tootie comes and takes her down to Georgia to live with her. CeeCee’s life is turned upside down as she is swept into this Southern world and encounters so many new people, like Oletta, her wealthy grandmother’s African American cook, and Thelma, her elusive and beautiful neighbor. With these women, CeeCee learns what it’s like to finally live and love normally. Amongst these women, CeeCee has finally found friendship, wisdom, and a place where she belongs.
My Thoughts: This book was so incredibly charming and I must say, I really adored it. I did find it a bit difficult to summarize because it was a very character driven book (just the way I like ’em!), but I can say this: it was a subtle, gentle, slow moving story with a vivid, unforgettable cast of characters. In fact, these characters were perhaps some of the best I have ever encountered in fiction, particularly CeeCee and Oletta Jones.
I loved CeeCee and thought she was an excellent narrator and character with a strong voice. She was endearing, inquisitive, wise beyond her years, and a lover of books and fiction. She was smart and also hilarious. One scene in particular had me cracking up (the bra scene, for those of you who’ve read it). Oletta was also incredible. She became a motherly figure to CeeCee and I instantly loved her for that. She wasn’t afraid to be stern with CeeCee when necessary, but her love was so natural and obvious. The bond between the two is incredible and blossoms throughout the book. CeeCee learns what it means to have friends, family and love in her life.
You could say this book is a coming of age story, or that it’s a Southern novel. It is both of those things – absolutely. It’s more than that though because it is full of so much heart. I don’t want to sound like a total cheeseball, but this book made me laugh AND got to my heart. Now that’s quite a feat to do both of those things in the same book, huh? I’d recommend this book to just about anyone.
My Rating: 5/5