Friday Morning Bookclub

August 24, 2011

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt By Beth Hoffman

Filed under: Book Recomendations,Saving CeeCee Honeycutt,The Help — susanbright @ 2:30 pm
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 The other day I ran into the library to pick up an audio book. I was going to be doing a lot driving  so why not get a book in! I only had a few minutes so I headed directly to the new audio book section and looked for a familiar title. I thought that I had remembered reading something about  Saving CeeCee Honeycutt so without even reading the back, I grabbed it and proceeded to the self check out. I had no idea what it was about. I later realized that the book I was actually thinking of  was The Secret Life of Ceecee Wilkes, a very different book! At least I had the Ceecee part!  I am not sure if I would have picked this book had I known what it was about however it was a heart warming story. Laugh out loud funny at times and sad at others.

Twelve year old Cecilia Rose (CeeCee) is wise beyond her years.  Unfortunately her mother suffered from mental illness and it often fell upon CeeCee to take care of her. It was not unusual to spot CeeCee’s mothers parading around town in a prom dress and tiara which she had purchased at the local Good Will Store. Although the year was 1967 and she lived in Ohio, in her mother’s mind it was 1951 and she was still the Vidalia Onion Queen of Georgia.  She was an unhappy, troubled soul and although she loved CeeCee very much she was in no condition to be a mother. Poor CeeCee never knew what to expect from her mother and was constantly embarrassed by her mother’s actions. CeeCee’s father was rarely home and the only one she had to turn to was  Ms. O’Dell, a sweet elderly neighbor.

When CeeCee’s mother is hit and killed by an ice cream truck one day on the way back from the Goodwill Store, CeeCee is sent to live with her Great Aunt Tootie in Savannah. Tootie is a cheerful, loving southern lady  and according to the author is actually based on her Great Aunt Mildred.  Tootie’s African-American cook/housekeeper Oletta Jones who has worked for her for years is tough on the outside yet warm and kind on the inside. Together Tootie and Oletta strive to give CeeCee the love and security she so desperately needed and to help her cope with the loss of her mother. 

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt was a touching story about mothers and daughters, as well as friendship and love. It  also tackles the more serious topics of mental illness and racism. The story is told in the words of CeeCee although it is hard to imagine a twelve-year-old being quite  this insightful. I enjoyed listening to the southern accents, however after listening to all of the controversy over the dialect  in The Help and all of the concern as to the stereotypical characters in The Help,  I can’t ” help” but wonder if this is more of the same.

http://bethhoffman.net/the-book

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6 Comments »

  1. I loved this book….I read it about a year ago. You should enjoy it. Check out my blog for the review if you like.

    Also stop by my blog this weekend if you like for book giveaways and 99 cent E-books.

    Elizabeth

    http://silversolara.blogspot.com

    Comment by Elizabeth — August 24, 2011 @ 4:06 pm | Reply

  2. I also listened to this book on tape and I loved it! I absolutely loved Aunt Tootie, and was so happy for CeeCee that she found herself in such a loving home. Great characters in this book!

    Comment by Esther — August 24, 2011 @ 7:29 pm | Reply

  3. If you enjoyed this book, you’ll LOVE The House of Six Doors. It’s about a 13 year old girl named Serena with a mother you love to hate. The real triumph in this book was how Serena overcomes her mothers craziness and develops her own sense of self and is empowered by it. I truly loved this book and could not put it down. The other writes in such a way that I was surprised by my own emotional responses to what was happening in the book. There were times when I just wanted to ring the mother’s neck!! I can’t recommend this book highly enough. Do yourself a favor….if you enjoyed Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, read The House of Six Doors by Patricia Selbert!

    Comment by Jeanne — August 31, 2011 @ 11:05 am | Reply

  4. Hi Jeanne, Thanks for the book recommendation, I will definitely put The House of Six Doors on my “to read” list!

    Comment by susanbright — August 31, 2011 @ 2:48 pm | Reply

  5. After laughing and crying throughout, I just finished reading SAVING CEE CEE HONEYCUTT. It reminded me of THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES with the same theme of resilience and female empowerment. I’m also glad I followed your suggestion for PICTURES OF YOU. Are there any other books by Caroline Leavitt that you recommend?

    Comment by Mary Ellen — September 8, 2011 @ 1:15 pm | Reply

    • Hi Mary Ellen,I have not yet read any other books by Caroline Leavitt although Girls in Trouble is on my to read list. We are looking for some good books to read. Any suggestions?

      Comment by susanbright — September 8, 2011 @ 2:52 pm | Reply


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