I am an avid mystery/thriller, historical fiction and political fiction listener. I listen while working (I am a remodeling contractor).
I don't read many books in this genre and probably wouldn't have this one if it hadn't been on sale. Boy am I glad it was on sale! This was a captivating story read be a great proformer.
More dimension/depth to the plot.
Yes, she narrated part of The Help. Her voice was authentic for a twelve year old girl.
I was hopeful about this book because reviews compared it to The Help, which I loved. But what I discovered was Pollyanna on steroids. Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman is the story of a twelve year old girl who moves to Savannah in the sixties to live with her aunt after her psychotic mother runs in front of a truck and dies. CeeCee’s father, who had traveled on business her whole life to escape his crazy wife, willingly gives his daughter over to his sister-in-law and all but disappears from the story.
In Savannah, CeeCee finds herself in the lap of southern luxury in a piucture perfect house in a picture perfect town with a perfectly loving (and extremely wealthy) aunt and a perfectly cliche housekeeper who becomes CeeCee’s surrogate mother. During her first Summer in Georgia, CeeCee encounters a cast of eccentric characters – all women. Whereas in Pollyanna, the cast of characters are all changed by the young girl’s optimistic and joyful approach to life, in Saving CeeCee Honeycutt the cast of characters are not changed at the end, which should have meant it was CeeCee who would be changed by the characters, but by the end the only person that seems to change CeeCee is the housekeeper, Olletta Jones. The title doesn’t make much sense to me because the only thing that seemed to ‘save’ CeeCee, was her mother’s suicide, because it moved her to a better station in life. And that’s an odd message to portray.
Because her mother dies very early in the story, we learn about the relationship she and CeeCee shared through flashbacks – which should have left me with empathy for CeeCee, but a lack of depth left me apathetic. There are two situations in this entire book that could be considered a climax, but instead of allowing the situations to create tension and drama, Hoffman tidies them up and puts them perfectly back in place. This is also true of the story’s ending in which CeeCee’s life becomes ever more perfect, and tries to convince the reader that CeeCee was ‘saved’ over the course of one summer after supposedly caring for her crazy mother since she could remember, and living in fear she would become her mother.
All that being said, this book would quite possibly have been a favorite book of mine when I was twelve because what twelve year old didn’t wish at some point they could be whisked away to the lap of luxury, meet a bunch of interesting people, eat a lot of really good food, and basically not have a care in the world?
In my opinion, this novel should have been marketed to young girls, not adults.
I am giving this story 3 stars. The writing is decent, and Hoffman did create a place I would like to ‘visit’, but her plot line lacked tension, drama and authenticity. This could easily have been a 5 star novel if Hoffman had perhaps given CeeCee a secret she carried with her, or a continuation of the story past her first summer, and perhaps into her teen or adult years, or maybe even a past/present novel where CeeCee looked back on childhood, or an actual descent into psychosis – supposedly her biggest fear – that she had to be actually ‘saved from’. This novel doesn’t deserve the word Saving in the title.
My Rating: 3 Stars
Quality writing, charming setting, inadequate and immature story line, forgettable, cliche at times, and not worth a re-read, but perfect for a pre-teen!
A young girl does a lot of growing up, and it is a great story. Jenna Lamia did a fabulous job reading. I was thoroughly entertained and there were several emotional, "feel-good" moments, and they all lived happily ever after. Good strong relationships, wise adults, and this was everything I want in a good book!
At the beginning I wondered why it started out on such a down note, but when Ceecee went from the depths of despair to the comfort and love of her new Southern family, I was cheering for her and all of them. Someday soon when I need to feel homey, I will relisten to this poetic book. And the sweet, young-sounding voice actor did a superb job!
When she realized her mother always had more value that she had thought.
Love her ability to change her voice for each character.
This was such a heart-warming story - brought to life by the narrator. Would highly recommend!!! I would agree with those who categorize this as a coming of age story with roots in Southern customs and charms. Also, the narrator sounds young enough to make the first person account very engaging.
This was a treat. The narrator's southern accents and different voices for each character made this story easy to listen to. I liked the relaxed feel of the story--it's just what a northerner loves about the south.
The narrator was so excellent with the Southern accents that I can't imagine the story without her voice. Old characters sounded old, young ones young, and the black cook was so good, I almost laughed every time "she" spoke.
I don't want to give away the story, so I'll just say that the story was a melange of happy, sad, funny, traumatic, and tender moments. It's all about female bonding across races and ages.
What a gifted actress Lamia is! Every character has its own voice and is readily distinguishable. Listening to her was the best part of the story.
This is a delightful story that's not offensive in any way. There's no violence or profanity, just a touching story about a girl growing up and coming to grips with her parents.