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
Really enjoyed all aspects of this audiobook. Characters were delightful and story engaging and funny. Not a serious read but held interest and kept me want to keep walking the dogs a bit longer.
I was captivated from the very beginning. Precise, concise, vivid character portrayal, heart melting story without being too sentimental. It made me want to live in the South (and as a hard core Northerner that is saying a lot) Jenna Lamia is an AMAZING narrator...which, if you read The Help...you will have heard her already.
A delightful listen with a variety of rich, interesting female characters. Above all, another fantastic read by Jenna Lamia. I became a huge fan of Jenna Lamia after The Help. Another job superbly done! My next book will be another read by Jenna Lamia. (Jenna, if you're reading this --- you are a wonderful talent!! Please narrate more books!)
I was drawn to this book because of Jenna Lamia. She, as always, was fabulous! And so was the story. I loved every minute - so worth the credit and the time spent lost in this delightful, well-written, beautifully-narrated story.
Her narration draws you deep into the story; in the midst of the characters' thoughts. If you enjoyed this book, listen to "The Help", where Jenna Lamia's talents shine once again!
First, let me say that I chose this book because of the narrator. I really enjoy Jenna Lamia's voice and have listened to many books, just because she was narrating. This was one of those books.
The story itself was a tale of very likable women who led normal but interesting lives. It is a sweet story and I really enjoyed it.
Powerful insight into how mental illness affects lives on so many levels. Very well written - very early in the story I questioned whether or nor I would be able to listen to some of the painful momens in the story. The author then gives you hope that perhaps there could be a silver lining in the story - however, there were so many times one would guess the shoe would drop - it became a cat and mouse game. The characters were well developed and you will look forward to hopefully another appearace of many of the characters. Excellent narration!
At first I thought the narrator of this book, Jenna Lamia, was going to be hard to listen to for the entire book because she has a very child like voice, but as new characters were introduced, the depth of her abilities became apparent. She's very talented at bringing the various characters to life, and I have now looked for other books narrated by her. I loved this story. It warmed my heart.
Not only was this book beautifully written, it was beautifully read. The narrator's voice changed seamlessly from the main character, a young child, to all the other supporting characters.
From the beginning, I cared about this girl and her story - with humor and the perfect narration.
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