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
I simply did not believe I would find a book about the South in the 50's and 60's that would move me like "The Help" by the same narrator. I was wrong. I am not one to be moved to tears or laugh outloud reactions by novels. But both evoked these reactions. I can't say enough about Jenna Lamia. Her narration brought even more depth to the characters in this book.
I enjoyed this book from beginning to end. The words were strung together like a treasured painting. The reader was perfect. While I was listening I would loose myself into another world. I wish I had an Aunt Toody!
I LOVED IT! I would be laughing one minute and crying the next. Definitely a wonderful wonderful story. The young lady who narrarates this could not be better. She brings each character to life. I love this story. I will listen to this one several times. It is precious. A++++
The reader is very good with the voices. You really get into the characters and forget the voices after awhile...The book reminded me of Secret Life of Bees.
I enjoyed the story. The characters were familiar. The life lessons were touching. This is a good book for young adults
This is one of the most refreshing books I have listened to in a long time. The story is thought provoking, insightful, sad and laugh out loud funny all at the same time. The narration is exceptional, I will look for other books read by Jenna Lamia. I am recommending this book to all my friends.
I cried, I laughed out loud and I even re-wound the book to write down spots of wisdom. I loved it and the narration was incredible. I didn't want it to end. The characters felt like family by the end of the book. Loved it, loved it, loved it!! I am already looking forward to her next book...and I am not even sure she is writing one yet.
This book reminded me of a cross between "The Secret Life of Bees" and "The Help". It was filled the with southern grace and charm and it was as engaging as both of those books. I usually read mysteries, but chose this one for a change. I loved the way the characters showed that kindness and love between women can make such a difference is our lives. Too bad more of us don't act like these women.
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