Saving CeeCee Honeycutt is a warm and charming novel that will steal your heart. It is chock full of quirky and zany characters as well as strong and heartfelt ones and all are women. Cee Cee is a twelve year old girl struggling to care for her mentally ill mother in Ohio in the late 1960's. She has an absent father who travels with his job but just can't deal with the situation at home and barely knows what is going on. Cee Cee's mother continues to get worse and her behavior is humiliating and mortifying to Cee Cee. Cee Cee has no friends and is teased over her mothers antics. The only true friend Cee Cee has is an elderly neighbor who looks out for her and takes care of her.
Sadly, there is a tragic accident and Cee Cee loses her mother. Cee Cee Cee is saved by her great aunt Tootie whom she has never met and takes her to live with her in Savannah, Georgia. Aunt Tootie truly is the epitome of a southern woman and lovingly immerses Cee Cee into the world of the south and southern women. CeeCee is taken under the wing of Aunt Tooties wonderful cook and friend Oletta and learns to love and trust again. One of many favorite quotes of mine is when Oletta gives Cee Cee some wise advice:
"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."
(Quote from page 290, Advanced Reading Copy, this may be different in the final copy)
I absolutely loved Saving CeeCee Honeycutt and I believe it will be one of my favorite books of the year. It is full to the brim with southern charm, strong and independent women, humor and heartwarming strength. I loved the sweetness and goodness in Cee Cee and she learned to protect that in herself. The women are of different races and backgrounds and so many of them were wise and outright funny. She learns from the strong women that surround her that she may have lost her mother but she has gained many more to guide her along the path of life. I found the wisdom and quotes shared very true to life and made me want to stop and write down quite a few to remember. This novel focuses on the power of love and acceptance and how important it is to let go of the past and soar towards the future. Learning to love ourselves, believe in ourselves and trusting others can happen more easily when we let go of the things that can haunt us.
I believe that Saving CeeCee Honeycutt will be a winner this year and is a book to watch. I can't recommend it highly enough. Make sure to grab a copy as it will be out today, January 12th in bookstores. It is already garnering great raves and reviews as a debut novel by Beth Hoffman. It was chosen as the first pick for Sam's Club brand new book club. That is quite an honor and one that is well deserved.
Beth Hoffman is from northern Ohio, near where I currently live, so there is a connection to where Cee Cee comes from in Ohio. She actually refers to real names of a city and streets in the area. I was thrilled to find out that one of the first stops along her book tour will be in my area. She will be at the Hudson Library sponsored by The Learned Owl Book Shop tomorrow, Wednesday January 13th at 7pm. If you're near the area, what a wonderful opportunity we have to meet Beth Hoffman. I had to make a decision as it is the same night as my book club and I've decided that I have to go to see Beth Hoffman. I'm so excited! I'm also hoping to finally meet a fellow blogger in the area, Stacy who blogs at Stacy's Books.
This would be an excellent book to discuss with a book club and I will be recommending it to my book club. I host in a few months and it will definitely be on my recommended list of books. There is a reading guide and interview with Beth Hoffman, here.
Make sure to check out Beth Hoffman's website, here for more information.
FTC Disclosure: Thanks to Beth Hoffman for sending me an ARC copy of the book. I am an Amazon associate.