Thursday, June 17, 2010

REVIEW: Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

I read this book as part of a book club tour hosted by the lovely Alaine of Queen of Happy Endings. Inspired by the book club tour that Amy organized with her copy of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows last year, Alaine proposed a similar Read Around the World book tour with her copy of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman. The novel is traveling around the world to different readers and by the time the book reaches Alaine again, it will have been to eight different countries and read by sixteen different people--including me! It's a really fun idea and I'm looking forward to reading everyone's review of the book.

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Saving CeeCee Honeycutt is an emotional and yet uplifting coming of age story about a young girl who has been living pretty much lost and lonely and the lovely women who essentially save her over the course of one hot summer in the late 1960s. At the tender age of twelve, CeeCee Honeycutt has already lived a difficult life. Her mother Camille suffers from a psychosis that has been worsening over the years, leaving a trail of embarrassing moments behind her wherever she goes, dressed up in her former glory as the 1951 Vidalia Onion Queen wearing old prom gowns and tiaras. CeeCee's father's way of handling things has always been to leave town on business for weeks at a time, which has left CeeCee to take care of herself and her mother. Her only friend in her small Ohio town is her elderly neighbor and her only comfort is her collection of books. CeeCee's world takes a dramatic turn one fateful day when a tragedy befalls her mother and CeeCee is sent off to live with her great Aunt Tootie she never even knew she had in Savannah, Georgia. What at first feels like the end of CeeCee's world slowly transforms into a beautiful beginning for this brave young girl as she learns some of life's most valuable lessons about life, friendship, family and love.

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt is a beautiful novel filled with so many empowering lessons on life, friendship and family told through the story of one brave young woman who longs for friendship, family and acceptance. CeeCee Honeycutt's story is in so many ways a heartbreaking one. She is a smart young girl who reads all the time and submerges herself in her school work to escape the reality of her lonely world. In so many ways she is wise beyond her years, yet in so many other ways she is vulnerable, naive and lost without someone to hold her and tell her she is loved and wanted. The women who come into CeeCee's life provide her with some of her first solid relationships outside her dysfunctional family of her psychotic mother and absent father, each in their own way showing CeeCee the ups and downs and joys of family and friendship within a stable home. She learns more in one summer about loss and grief, friendship and family, love and acceptance than most people learn in a lifetime. The story broke my heart and brought me to tears several times, but it also made me laugh and brought me joy as CeeCee found happiness.

While the various conflicts woven throughout the story do get resolved rather neatly and smoothly, contributing to the novel's feel good story book style, I say what's not to love about that? The romantic in me cherished the happily ever after endings to all of the story lines and I simply adored the delivery of the story with all it's southern charm. I definitely closed Saving CeeCee Honeycutt with a happy sigh.


  1. I read this story and this book was put on my keeper shelf.

  2. I picked this book from the library and then had to return it before I had finished it. I am waiting to read/finish it again. Great post!

  3. Dru: It is a keeper, isn't it? So heart wrenching yet full of hope and happiness, too.

    Brandy: I hope you get around to finishing it soon!

  4. Isn't great when a book leaves feeling that way? This sounds like such a nice story, Christine. Love your review.

  5. I've seen this one around. IT sounds really good.

    I actually had time to stop by and say hi today! The kiddo took a nap!

    Hope you are well! HUGS!

  6. Oh, I just received this book. Sounds like I have a treat coming my way!

  7. I'm wondering if my mom might like it. Is there sex/cursing? If not then I'll get this for my mom. She loves to read but I can't recommend 99.9% of the books I read because of the sex/language.

    Wonderful review Christine. :)

  8. Hilcia: It IS great ending a book with a sigh. :)

    Michelle: Uh oh. Are you in the 'end of napping' zone already with the kiddo? My eldest stopped napping at 20 months and my youngest at 24 months or so... Crazy. I love naps.

    Thanks for stopping by! :)

    Marg: Sweet! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! :)

    Leslie: I think you could definitely recommend this to your mom. There is no cursing or sex in Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, but ....

    ****SLIGHT SPOILER****

    ... there is the suggestion of some sex going on in the neighborhood in one scene in which a neighbor is spotted in her backyard in her peignoir and a man (someone else's husband) comes out of the house enticing her back inside. But that's the only 'risque' part in the whole book. Hope that helps.


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