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
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.
A light listen and good narrator. It kept my interest from beginning to end and I couldn't wait to get back to it. Recommend it highly.
The narrator Jenna Lamia has done a spectacular job! Every voice and character so beautifully read. I felt as if I knew them all. Beth Hoffman has written a novel I will listen to again and again. There are so many emotional moments of clarity and beauty I cannot list them all. If you are looking for a wonderful, touching and memorable book, THIS IS IT!
In the same way that Forrest Gump inspired hope, so does Ceecee's journey. I loved it!
I loved, loved this book. It now ranks up there right along with The Help and The Secret Life of Bees as one of my favorites. Jenna Lamia narrated all these so she too is one of my favorites.
A beautiful and hopeful book about young Cee Cee Honeycutt. Cee Cee is 12 and has dealt with a mentally unbalanced mother for years. Her father is absent and Cee Cee really is the mother to her mother. Her mother dies tragically and Cee Cee goes to lives with Aunt Tutti in Savannah. What follows is a real description of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder embraced by the healing power and love of several women. You will cry with sadness and have tears of joy on several accounts. Beautifully written, great character development, illuminating descriptions of Savannah, combined with a tender storyline. The storyline, like a "lifebook", crosses with a good dose of southern hospitality; the importance of forgiveness; the distaste of prejudice; the need for compassion; and most important the renovation of the soul ...and a few historic houses! You will be cheering on Cee Cee all the way and wishing you had Aunt Tutti and Oletta in your life. A Steel Magnolias, The Help and Secret Life of Bees kinda book! Narration was excellent too.
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