Saturday, March 13, 2010

Book Review - Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

Product Description from

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.

My Thoughts: I feel so fortunate to have read this story! I was a little hesitant because everyone has been raving about it, which usually means that I probably won't like it. Was I ever wrong. I found this to be a refreshing change from what I have been reading lately....a dose of Southern Hospitality, if you will. It's as if the characters from the story wrapped their arms around me, and held me close while I read about CeeCee, and the mother that she wanted, but didn't have. Aunt Tootie is so comforting, in her ways and her words....she can make the absolute best out of any situation. Oletta is someone that CeeCee can open her heart to...tell her things about her past that she wouldn't tell anyone else. Never judgemental, Oletta always gives CeeCee exactly what she ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, and many valuable life lessons. Miz Goodpepper, with her mysterious midnight baths and exotic outfits opens CeeCee's eyes to many new things, including the meaning of Karma.

With a contented sigh I finished this book but also with a bit of sadness, as I didn't want the story to end. I am hoping that Ms. Hoffman writes many more books, because she is a truly gifted author who knows Southern Charm and has a big heart.

My favorite excerpt from the book:

~"People is wise 'cause they get out in the world and live. Wisdom comes from experience - from knowin' each day is a gift and accepting it with gladness. You read a whole lot of books, and readin' sure has made you smart, but ain't no book in the world gonna make you wise."~ Oletta to CeeCee, page 290.~


About the author:

Beth Hoffman was the president and owner of a major interior design studio in Cincinnati, Ohio, before turning to writing full time. She lives with her husband and two cats in a quaint historic district in Newport, Kentucky. Saving CeeCee Honeycutt is her first novel. Visit her website at

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books (January 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670021393
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670021390


Wall-to-wall books said...

Yes, I have heard so much about this book too. I can't wait to read it.

Kaye said...

Great quote you picked. I'm so glad you enjoyed the story. Didn't you love the camera scenarios? I was laughing out loud!

Have a great weekend and happy reading.

Beth(bookaholicmom) said...

This is one of the books that you hate to read the ending because you know it's over and you want it to go on forever. This is one I think I will reread. It's definitely one of my all time favorite books. Great review. I'm glad you enjoyed it too!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a fun book! thanks :O)

serendipity_viv said...

I am so glad to hear you loved this book too. Isn't it just a gorgeous read!

Lisa said...

You know, I have seen this book around the blogosphere for ages now too, and kind of feel the same way. But now your review has convinced me to read it!

Great job, Missy!

Stephanie said...

I can never resist Southern eccentricity! :-D This novel sounds wonderful. Thanks!

Unknown said...

I'm going to have to read this one. I love that feeling of not wanting the story to end.

That's how I felt with "The Crying Tree," which I just read. It was really good.

Thanks for the review. I've heard others rave about Cee Cee too :)

StephTheBookworm said...

Aww, I love your review! I have this book and now I can't wait to read it. I love a nice comfy, Southern novel!

Jo-Jo said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed this book...I still get warm fuzzies when I think about it!

Beth Hoffman said...

Hi Missy,

I just happened to stumble across your blog and about fainted when I saw the review you wrote of my novel, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt.

Thank you so much for your praise, and I'd like to thank everyone here for their kind words too.

I'm tickled pink that you loved CeeCee's story.

Hope y'all have a great week!

Anna said...

I love it when I stumble upon a book that's so good I don't want it to end. I'll be reading this for a blog tour in May and I hope I love it as much as you did. :)

Diary of an Eccentric

Lisa said...

I have good news for you--Hoffman says that she is strongly thinking about a sequel.

gautami tripathy said...

Great thoughts! I too loved it!

Here is my review!


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