Steel Magnolias meets The Help in this Southern debut novel sparkling with humor, heart, and feminine wisdom.
Twelve-year-old CeeCee Honeycutt is in trouble. For years, she has been the caretaker of her psychotic mother, Camille-the tiara-toting, lipstick-smeared laughingstock of an entire town-a woman trapped in her long-ago moment of glory as the 1951 Vidalia Onion Queen. But when Camille is hit by a truck and killed, CeeCee is left to fend for herself. To the rescue comes her previously unknown great-aunt, Tootie Caldwell.
In her vintage Packard convertible, Tootie whisks CeeCee away to Savannah's perfumed world of prosperity and Southern eccentricity, a world that seems to be run entirely by women. From the exotic Miz Thelma Rae Goodpepper, who bathes in her backyard bathtub and uses garden slugs as her secret weapons, to Tootie's all-knowing housekeeper, Oletta Jones, to Violene Hobbs, who entertains a local police officer in her canary-yellow peignoir, the women of Gaston Street keep CeeCee entertained and enthralled for an entire summer.
Laugh-out-loud funny and deeply touching, Beth Hoffman's sparkling debut is, as Kristin Hannah says, "packed full of Southern charm, strong women, wacky humor, and good old-fashioned heart." It is a novel that explores the indomitable strengths of female friendship and gives us the story of a young girl who loses one mother and finds many others.
©2010 Beth Hoffman; (P)2010 Penguin Audiobooks
Loved this story! So eloquently written, but I have to agree with another reviewer that hearing it was even better-I felt a privilege, a fuller experience. The charming, eccentric, loving, troubled, and not so unbelievable characters were brought to life and lifesaving for a smart young girl in very trying circumstances. I thoroughly enjoyed this listen.
I loved the novel, The Help, and was pleasantly surprised to find this narrator to be one from that novel. I love many genres, suspense, humor and you tend to pick out a book to go with what you are in the mood for at that time. This is a "comfort food" novel. It is a pleasant journey into the south in the 60s through a young woman who has had a tough journey. It is about healing and the love that a group of women can provide. Although slow at times and not a complicated plot, it is vibrant in its descriptions and knowledge of the times. I would recommend this to young women of all ages as an easy listen. It is a comforting place to escape for a few hours when you want something light.
What a great story! This is not a super exciting book nor is it a love story. It is simply a terrific well written narrative of a young girl who was dealt a lousy hand in the parent department who with the help a a large cast of fantastic (mostly Southern )women is able to overcome her lonliness and shame and go on to become a lovely young women. I bought it to listen on my ipod while I walked but I found myself finishing it in 3 days Because it was too good to put down.
Not to take away from the outstanding writing of Beth Hoffman but the incredible variety of voices by Jenna Lamia really made this book come alive. I highly reccomend it!
A genuine tale of love, endurance and hardship against all odds. Would be a terrific book for a teenager as there are no over the top episodes that can't be fully discussed and understood. Jenna Lamia does a terrific job as Ceecee Honeycutt.
A friend loaned me this book (printed) but I couldn't read it. In the beginning I couldn't adjust to the child voice. I have to get ready for something that different than the usual narrators. This book is soooo good. The narration is perfect, every voice I could visualize. The story has the most humanely lovely flow. You just have to "hear it". This is one of the VERY BEST books I have experienced. Not necessarily one I will listen to repeatedly, my books become old friends I go back to visit but worth the credit,the enjoying. It has some really laugh out loud moments.
My typical book choice is mystey, thriller, etc. However, this audiobook got great reviews and I thought I'd try it for a change of pace. I wish I could give the narrator 10 stars. The book is poignant, and the narrator makes it come alive. I love to read and I love audiobooks too. But this recording is so much better than reading it, I can't even believe I'd say that. Enjoy.
This was very enjoyable. Story about some remarkable women helping each other in the time of need. The first couple chapters are very sad, but becomes very enjoyable and funny. Narrator is good.
If you enjoyed the The Help, you will like this.
The author makes you think--what would you do if you were caught in a world where your mother was losing her mind and only you were there to pick up the pieces? You will root for CeeCee and the narrator is phenominal!
This sweet story reminded me of "The Secret Life of Bees"--a girl in need of mothering receiving it from warm Southern women. What elevates this book from good to better is the narrator. She brought every character to vivid life. A friend asked if I would recommend the book and I told her only if she listened to it, otherwise it would be a bit too predictable.
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