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
If you've never listened to a narration by Jenna Lamia, you're in for a treat. She gave the perfect voice to this wonderful, touching story that I won't soon forget. In becoming acquainted with CeeCee, it was similar, as many have already mentioned, to falling in love with Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird or Lily from Secret Life of Bees. The South is not only the setting here, but provides a very visceral ambience to this wonderful gem of a book. The quirky characters, the southern ladies, all of whom will ring true to anyone who has any recollection of the South during the 1950's or 60's is brought to life in all of its sleepy, dark, eccentric glory focusing on the redeeming ability of love to heal and bind us together. It's already been several months since I read it, but as the cicadas are calling and its too hot to do anything else, I find myself tempted to allow myself to go back and wallow in CeeCee's story all over again.
This is a positive book, that shows the strength of women, especially Southern women.
Centers around a 12 y old girl, w/bipolar mother who is 'rescued' by Aunt Tootie and
her friends. If you are crazy, helps to be rich! Also the resilience of some folks, in spite of tragedy.
I could associate with young Cee Cee Honeycutt. Maybe that's why I enjoyed the audiobook as much as I did. She was such a well developed character as were the many other people who touched the plot. I was upset to realize that this wasn't a series. I felt a little let down once it ended and I am hoping that Beth Hoffman will consider making this a series. There are definitely enough characters to warrant it and I would love to follow Cee Cee as she grows up in Savannah.
“Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly.” ― Francis Bacon
Touching book. Great story. I loved listening to it! I picked this book because Jenna Lamia was a narrator for the Help and I'm glad I did.
I very much enjoyed listening to Jenna Lamia narrate a story and she definitely doesn't disappoint here. The story is a wonderful coming of age
When I started listening to this one I had to go back and say, "Wasn't it described as a laugh out loud book"? The beginning was so tragic. My heart ached for Cee Cee. Then she went to Savannah and the laughs begin, not all laughs, but a lot of them. Read by the narrator of The Help, Jenna Lamia has a wondeful voice for this southern settings. All of the rich charachters of the woman around Cee Cee also reminded me of the Help.
wow this was a great read/listen. I have to admit the name drew me in -- but so glad i listened to it. Beth Hoffman writes a great story and Jenna Lamia (who i listened to before) was just wonderful. I hated when it was over. PS loved CeeCee's Aunt.
I love the accents, the characters and the sweet story line that gives us all hope. Where there is love there is hope!!!
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