Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

Sometimes I do stupid things like put off reading books that I will really enjoy because I don't really read the descriptions.  I did it again with Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman. 

I love books set in the south with strong southern women, some hysterics and a crazy.  Why is there always a crazy southern belle? And why do I enjoy them so much? I think it started when I became obsessed with Steel Magnolias in my young days.  And um, why did my mom let me watch that movie? Anywho...

Anyway, it's the late 1960s and poor CeeCee is stuck up in Ohio with her mom who is stuck back in the last decade when she was crowned queen. And every day is a pageant for Camille.  The Goodwill keeps her stocked in new outfits that she showcases down the streets of their town mortifying CeeCee.

While the details on her mother are slim.  Like why and when did she lose her mind? What happened to her mother? Since it is mentioned later when her Great Aunt Tootie (Southerner's always have great nicknames!) comes to the rescue that Camille's mother stopped talking Tootie and their other sister over the decision to sell or keep the family business in the family.  Was she a tad crazy too?

This really is a great story and I loved all the different elements.  The civil rights aspects and just everything.  Loooooved it.  I want to read more about CeeCee!

If you've been as stupid as me, you really should go check this out!

Description: 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.

But CeeCee’s view of the world is challenged in ways she could have never imagined: there are secrets to keep, injustices to face, and loyalties to uphold. Just as she begins to find her ballast and experiences a sense of belonging, her newfound joy collides with the long-held fear that her mother’s legacy has left her destined for destruction.

Laugh-out-loud funny, at times heartbreaking, and written in a pitch-perfect voice, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt is a spirited Southern tale that explores the intricate frailties and strengths of female relationships while illuminating the journey of a young girl who loses her mother but finds many others.

What are your favorite books set in the south? Have you watched Steel Magnolias?

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