Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman is about a twelve year old girl whose life has been less than perfect. Her mother, stuck in her days of being the 1951 Vidalia Onion Queen is mentally ill, her father is never around, and the only friend she has is her elderly neighbor Mrs. Odell. Until one day her mother suddenly dies and she's whisked away to Savannah by her extravagant Aunt Tootie. There, Cecelia (CeeCee) will learn about love, good cooking, friendship, and finally face her past she's tried her hardest to push away and ignore.
The women in this novel are fabulous. I couldn't believe that this was a debut novel for Hoffman. And this novel is entirely about women...but I loved it. Each woman is so intricate and quirky. They're funny and tragic. I could've listened to their stories all day. I think my favorite part of the novel is when Oletta takes CeeCee to see her Aunt Sapphire. Aunt Sapphire is racist and sassy and when we meet her she's wearing her dress backwards. And her friend, Miz Obee sneaks marbles down the front of her dress and grows gorgeous orchids inside an old, run down car.
Every part of this novel was full of detail. I loved how Hoffman described the old Georgia houses and the flowers in the gardens. And the cooking. This novel made my mouth water! There's so much Southern comfort in this novel I almost wanted to nestle in my arms and never let the story go. CeeCee was charming, perceptive, and strong. I couldn't have imagined the story being told in anyone else's perspective.
I recommend this novel to mothers, daughters, friends, and neighbors because this novel encompasses this and much more. It's sweet, tragic, and funny-all woven together beautifully to create a story about a girl learning what love is and where to find it, even if it's been waiting there all along.
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