Penguin Books | October 26, 2010 | Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-1-59413-442-5
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Steel Magnolias meets The Help in this Southern debut novel sparkling with humor, heart, and feminine wisdom
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.
Oh, I absolutely LOVED this novel!!! For a debut novel it really belongs up there with the seasoned authors. Beth Hoffman’s first novel is adorable, sweet, tear-jerking, heart-tugging, wise, and speaks to the wonderful hospitality, etiquette and good manners of the people of the South.
The characters are so well developed in the novel. You will absolutely love CeeCee, Tootie, Oletta, and Mrs. Odell. However, the relationship that CeeCee and Oletta carve out is unbelievable. Just their relationship alone will make you laugh and make you cry. Aunt Tootie’s kindness toward CeeCee is overwhelming, I wish she’d adopt me!
You’ll love the crazy neighbours, especially Ms. Hobbs and Ms. Goodpepper who don’t get along with each other at all and you’ll laugh your head off at a particular scene that takes place in Ms. Hobbs backyard one dark night with CeeCee and Ms. Goodpepper, unbeknownst to Ms. Hobb, are witnessing moment-by-moment. And you’ll be shocked and then laugh at what they pull at an elegant afternoon garden party for CeeCee.
All in all this was one of the best books I’ve read this year and I’d recommend that everyone pick this one up, you won’t be disappointed! This is definitely going on my permanent booshelf. Congratulations Ms. Hoffman on a job well-done!