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
Wonderful characters who you will wish were in your life, offering wisdom, comfort, and advice. Excellent narration. I keep mulling over phrases and turning them around as I reflect on the book...wish there was a sequel!
I loved this book. It is a great story about a strong little girl who deals with a lot and the women who rally around her to help her out. I loved the characters. They were easy to fall in love with and you found yourself rooting for the young CeeCee throughout the book. I love the resiliency of the human spirit portrayed in this story and how important it is to reach out to those around us who need a shoulder to lean on. I loved Jenna Lamia's voice as the narrator in "The Help" and was happy to hear it again in this book. She does a great job.
This audio book is very entertaining and I am very glad I purchased it. But I must say, the narrator is so wonderful, and gets all the voices so spot-on that it made the listening experience even better.
At times I found myself deep into this book....then disappointments. It almost seems like it is geared toward a 12 to 14 year old but not...somehow. It seems very unrealistic that ALL of these terrible things could happen to this little girl and those who surround her.
There were a couple of passages that did speak to my heart as far as having to deal with issues from childhood. I love the "life book" idea.
Jenna Lamia is an excellent reader! Her voice is soothing to listen to. A++ for Jenna!
This was a really interesting and enjoyable book. Makes you think about what many children's lives are like in the world with dysfunctional families.
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