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Saving CeeCee Honeycutt [Paperback]

Beth Hoffman
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

19 Jan 2012

When Camille Sugarbaker Honeycutt, the pretty but crazy 1951 Vidalia Onion Queen, dies suddenly, her twelve-year-old daughter CeeCee has barely a hope left in the world. To her rescue arrives Great Aunt Tootie in the most magnificent car CeeCee has ever seen, and she is whisked away to the storybook city of Savannah.

For some flowers, Aunt Tootie holds, are born to bloom only south of the Mason-Dixon line and soon, among the sweet scent of magnolias and the loving warmth of Tootie and her colourful collection of friends, it looks as though CeeCee has arrived in paradise. But when a darker side to the Southern dream threatens this delicate, newfound happiness, Aunt Tootie and her friends must rally to CeeCee's aid.

Warm yet heartbreaking, and generously spiced with humor, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt is the story of a girl who loses her mother but finds many others under a balmy Georgia sun.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus (19 Jan 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349000182
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349000183
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 199,965 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'Packs the punch of Alice Walker's THE COLOUR PURPLE . . . Cecelia's absentee father sends her to live with rich Aunt Tootie in Savannah, where a coterie of crazy-charming, peachy Georgia gals combines to heal and protect her . . . An undertow of American Gothic beneath fabulous frilliness . . . A wonderful debut, but don't, if you're the weepy sort, read it on the train, as I did'
--Wendy Holden, Daily Mail

Book Description

* Steel Magnolias meets The Help in this Southern debut novel sparkling with humour, heart and feminine wisdom

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beth Hoffman - Stunning debut 25 Feb 2010
By Serendipity Reviews TOP 1000 REVIEWER
The book tells the story of CeeCee, a sweet young girl living with a psycotic mother. Her father left home, leaving CeeCee to cope with her mother who was convinced she was still the 1951 Vidalia Onion Queen. Life was really tough for CeeCee, yet she coped; until her mother was killed by an icecream truck. CeeCee is distraught,especially when she is shipped off to live a great aunt that she has never heard of. Can life get any worse.

When CeeCee moves in with Aunt Tootie and her feisty maid Oleta, life changes for the better. Aunt Tootie surrounds CeeCee with a wonderful world filled with good old Southern hospitality. CeeCee falls in love with all the eccentric people that make her welcome in Savannah. Her world becomes full of strong, wilful, independent women who nurture CeeCee back to happiness.

This book is full of a series of episodic events which highlight CeeCee's spiritual growth over her first summer in Savannah. You sit on the sidelines as you watch CeeCee meet the most amazing women who quickly pull CeeCee into their world.

The first part of the book is really sad until CeeCee's move to Savannah and then it brightened up to a wonderful world of life in the South. It reminded me of The Wizard of Oz, where the first part is filmed in black and white, then Dorothy lands in Oz, and the world is just full of colour.

I fell in love with Aunt Tootie and Oleta. Aunt Tootie is like the grandmother we all dream of. She spends a lot of time involving CeeCee in her life, by sharing her passion for historical buildings and her love of gardening. Oleta is a real feisty character, who really brings CeeCee out of her shell, by her no nonsense attitude.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Book! 22 Mar 2010
I was not sure I would like this book when I ordered it, what a delightful surprise I got when I starting reading this Great Book. I could not put this book down and ending up reading it in one sitting...I can not praise this book highly enough. I am looking forward to Beth Hoffman's next book!!! BRAVO
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My book of the summer 16 July 2010
By DizzyC
I read a review for this book on a USA reading blog and received my copy as a birthday present from a friend.
This is my first review for Amazon and felt I just had to add a review to highlight this book to readers.

A beautifully written novel about 12 year old CeeCee who goes to live with a maiden aunt after losing her mother.
There are some strong southern women around CeeCee to teach her about life and inspire her.

If you liked The Help you will like this read too.

5 out of 5 for me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sweet as sugar - not necessarily a good thing! 29 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The editorial blurb compares this to The Color Purple-no way!
The Color Purple is in a completely different league to this effort. This is an easy read, likeable but in no way taxing. Skims over anything "gritty" and never really looks at anything too deeply. I thougbt I was reading a book for children at some points. Nice try, but not a "must read"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite sentimental 11 May 2013
By Anon
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Readable but could have been more gritty for me. Premise that Prince Charming aunt never tried to help/contact her alchoholic, mentally unbalanced neice before she dies ( at beginning of novel), doesn't ring true to aunt's exemplary character.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking and Uplifting 7 Jan 2013
By Marleen TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Cecelia Rose (CeeCee) Honeycutt is only twelve years old when her mother, Camille, dies in a terrible accident in 1967. By then she has been taking care of her psychotic mother for years while her father, a travelling salesman, spends less and less time at home. Camille who was born and raised in Georgia is deeply unhappy in Northern Ohio; so unhappy that eventually she rejects her everyday reality and lives her life as if it is 1951 and she has just won a Georgia beauty pageant. With her mother going around town in elaborate party dresses and a tiara in her hair, CeeCee has become the laughing stock among her peers. Without friends and with responsibilities beyond her years, CeeCee's only support is Mrs. Odell an elderly neighbour.

After her mother's dead CeeCee's father decides that she would be better of living with her great-aunt Tootie in Savannah. Rejected by her father and forced to leave behind the only person to ever take care of her, CeeCee travels to her new home with a heavy heart and only Mrs. Odell's words to give her strength:

"When a chapter of your Life Book is complete, your spirit knows it's time to turn the page so a new chapter can begin. Even when you're scared or think you're not ready, your spirit knows you are."

And Savannah really is a new page in CeeCee's Life Book. From her aunt who never seems to stop and can't think bad about anybody to Oletta Jones the house cook, from the eccentric neighbour looking for Nirvana and prone to taking naked midnight baths to the rude lady having an affair with a local policeman, the women in her new town welcome the lost girl with open arms and show her life beyond the sadness.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sugary tale full of stereotypes 6 May 2013
By Kirsche
I liked the first part of the book, the narrator, 12 year old Cee Cee, and the detailed and sad descriptions of her mentally-ill mother. There was true struggle and difficulty, and beauty shining through the clouds.
But when CeeCee was sent to live with her great-Aunt in Savannah, things started to go downhill. Living in a beautiful old southern mansion, she was introduced to the charm and generosity of the South to which her mother yearned to return. The characters are loveable but not very convincing and pretty one-dimensional. A very smart and mature 12-year old, the benevolent old Southern white society lady who saves her little grand-niece and her grumpy-but-oh-so-likeable black maid who loves her white employer.
I also wish this book had a better plot. This book pretends that it is headed somewhere, never gets there, then its over . Having read the back of the book - I expected more. "When a darker side of the southern dream threatens CeeCee's delicate, newfound happiness, Aunt Tootie and her friends must rally too CeeCee's aid." To be honest, I don't even know what section of the book this is meant to refer to.
The book has a couple of false-starts where I thought things would get a bit more interesting but crises were whipped up out of nowhere and then were solved with sickeningly sweet platitudes. Positive life lessons were dished out every 15 pages. The conflict at Tybee beach was quickly and neatly wrapped up in one page! This was particularly disappointing, as it could have added real depth to the story; instead, the author gave some unbelievable explanation in order to end it. In summary; there wasn't any real conflict or depth, it was 300 pages of CeeCee living the charmed life in her big rich Southern house with her big rich Southern aunt.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This one will stay with me for a long time.
I don't often give a five star rating to a book. It has to have good characters, a great story line, underlying wisdom and truth and touch my heart and this book does it all. Read more
Published 15 hours ago by Julie
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely story
A sweet story about grief, love, family and friendship, with a cast of likeable characters. If you enjoyed Kathryn Stockett's 'The Help' you may enjoy this too.
Published 1 month ago by Helen Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars Hurah for CeeCee
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes the tales of the deep south, its funny, sad, heart-warming, and just a good old read. Read more
Published 5 months ago by sue baldwin
4.0 out of 5 stars Not too sentimental
Impressive writing by ms Hoffman regarding her treament of writing about mental illness through the eyes of a child....and racial segregation, both difficult subjects. Read more
Published 6 months ago by R. Barnden
5.0 out of 5 stars Loving this book. If you liked The Help and The Secret Life Of Bees...
One of those books that you sneak off to read a bit more if at every opportunity. I'm really enjoying it.
Published 8 months ago by J. Holmes
3.0 out of 5 stars good holiday read
Very enjoyable read, a little predictable and sentimental but perfect for a holiday read, gave me a good idea of the American Deep South
Published 9 months ago by B. Morton
4.0 out of 5 stars Great holiday read
This was a lovely book. Once you get past the initial drama, reading it feels like wrapping yourself in a blanket and drinking hot chocolate! Read more
Published 10 months ago by Andrea Norton
5.0 out of 5 stars daughter enjoyed so i thought here goes.
my daughter told me about how much she had enjoyed it and she was spot on, what a lovely story didn't want it to end.
Published 12 months ago by roy
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect lazy day read!
I loved this book from the very first page and could not put it down. It was a beautifully written story with characters that I felt I new and had done for years. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Millymoo
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming
A charming story of the deep south, captivating, funny and bitter-sweet. We learn of Cee Cee's coming to understand the adult world.
Published 12 months ago by Judith Munns
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