Title: Saving CeeCee Honeycutt
Author: Beth Hoffman
Publication: Viking; January 12, 2010
Rating: 3.5 BOOKMARKS
Source: Review copy courtesy of Viking
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Proving that families don’t have to conform to the traditional parent-child(ren) archetype, Beth Hoffman creates a loving family unit of distant relatives and friends in Saving CeeCee Honecutt.
Set primarily in Savannah, GA in 1967, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt is a well-written debut novel with a cast of colorful characters, gorgeous imagery, and a few similies and metaphors that stopped me cold with their beauty.
CeeCee Honeycutt’s life was difficult from the onset. Living for the first twelve years of her life with her manic mother in Ohio wasn’t easy. Her mother’s antics made her the laughing stock of town and CeeCee took refuge at a kindly neighbor’s house each Sunday.
After tragedy strikes, Great Aunt Tallulah shows up to whisk young CeeCee away to a new life in Savannah. Aunt Tootie is as sage and patient as they come, with a broad knowledge of gardening, historic homes, and Savannah in general.
Through Tootie, Hoffman is able to give a bit of history about Savannah and the homes there. Using other characters, Hoffman touches on the social issues that plagued the South during the 60s. CeeCee has much to wrangle with during that summer and meets a network of strong women who each have something to offer.
CeeCee is a dynamic character who changes as a result of her interactions with each character and her experiences. She is able to take away lessons from neighbors, her aunt’s friends, and most importantly, Oletta, Aunt Tootie’s cook.
Oletta helps CeeCee to confront the issues of her past while helping her acclimate to her new life. She works to teach CeeCee new things and the bond between the characters grows with time. I loved Oletta (and want her recipes!) but got a bit nervous from her frequent religious references. I understand that her faith is part of who she is as a character, but thought the message was a touch heavy-handed at times.
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt was an enjoyable, sweet novel and quick read. Hoffman’s use of characterization is strong and she is able to bring Aunt Tootie, CeeCee, Oletta, and all the other characters to life. The storyline moved quickly and CeeCee finally gets the happily ever after that she deserves.
Thank you to Shannon at Viking for this review copy!