Review: Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

Title: Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

Author: Beth Hoffman

Genre/Pages: Fiction/306

Publication: Viking; January 12, 2010

Rating: 3.5 BOOKMARKS

Source: Review copy courtesy of Viking


If you haven’t done so already, sign up before 9pm tonight to win a taste of Savannah with my Saving CeeCee Honeycutt giveaway!

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!

8 Comments

  • At 2010.01.13 13:54, Care said:

    This book DOES sound good.
    .-= Care´s last blog ..Twenty in Ten Challenge =-.

    • At 2010.01.13 15:14, Kathy R (Bermudaonion) said:

      I loved this book. Religion is a pretty open subject in the South, so Oletta didn’t come off heavy handed to me.
      .-= Kathy R (Bermudaonion)´s last blog ..Wondrous Words Wednesday =-.

      • At 2010.01.13 15:23, nat @book, line, and sinker said:

        must be my yankee blood! like meg (below), i thought hoffman might take the book in a more spirital direction. i don’t mind books with religious messages but just don’t usually read them myself. 🙂

      • At 2010.01.13 15:16, Meg said:

        I really enjoyed this one, too! Oletta was definitely one of my favorite characters — behind CeeCee! — and the message was sweet and heart-warming. I agree about the frequent religious messages, though… at times, I wondered if the book was going to veer off into a totally different direction. But it didn’t — and I’m grateful for that!
        .-= Meg´s last blog ..Where In The World Wednesday: Trevi Fountain, Rome =-.

        • At 2010.01.13 16:14, Steph said:

          I’m going to keep this one in mind for when I feel the need to vicariously revisit Savannah!
          .-= Steph´s last blog ..Rooster Roster Released! =-.

          • At 2010.01.14 09:37, Jess - A Book Hoarder said:

            I’m still undecided on whether or not I’m going to read this. I was actually concerned that it would have too much of a religious undertone. I think I am going to save it for later in the year when I am back in CA and missing the southern feel I have been thrown into the past few years.

            Thanks for the review, it confirmed that I want to read it…just not yet.
            .-= Jess – A Book Hoarder´s last blog ..LOTR Readalong Begins =-.

            • At 2010.01.17 21:13, Allie said:

              I’m really interested in reading this one! I love Southern fiction, and ever since I read The Lords of Discipline, I have a fascination with Savannah, GA, even though I’ve never been.

              • At 2010.06.17 21:50, DC said:

                I loved this book. It was sweet and warm and very uplifting. I did not notice any strong religious references, although Oletta is obviously a mothering type and likes to give advice. I would read it again and probably will some day. A good story about a girl who is essentially lost and needs somewhere to belong. I also loved that it was set in Savannah, my favorite city.

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