Saving CeeCee Honeycutt begins with a dysfunctional family of three; a flighty and childlike mother, a neglectful father, and a bright though solitary daughter named CeeCee. Quickly, it is apparent CeeCee’s mother isn’t holding it together. After marrying CeeCee’s father, she was transplanted from the Georgia of her youth to an Ohio suburb. A move that made her feel stifled and away from the familiar culture in which she grew up.
I’m reminded of a framed cross-stitch my mom sewed then hung on our wall stating “Bloom Where You are Planted”. Which on a side note to myself, it would do me some good to frame more words of affirmation and post throughout the house. You never know what pearl of wisdom will come to mind and help through a dark time. CeeCee’s mom, the Vidalia Onion Queen of 1951, never rooted herself in this sentiment. Month after month she removes herself from reality and cracks into fits of thrift store prom dresses and dime store tiaras. This leaves CeeCee thrust into the responsibility of raising herself until providence, and her father’s virtual abandonment, brings her to the home of her Great-Aunt Tootie.
In short order, CeeCee finds herself presented with a garden of vibrant and colorful characters. A lively lot to which leads CeeCee to say, “All I knew for sure was this: I had been plunked into a strange, perfumed world that, as far as I could tell, seemed to be run entirely by women.”
Interaction and events flow smoothly; many are heart-warming, others are life-lessons and humor abounds. The overall storyline is about healing and self-acceptance. CeeCee not only begins to bloom where she is planted, she’s given the opportunity to thrive in a way that brought me quick to smile.
I found Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman to be a bit reminiscent of another currently well known southern 1960s account, The Help by Kathryn Stockett. In fact, they could be literary cousins chatting away at a family reunion. Their very colorful tall tales might include a possible trip to the state fair and just whose canned spiced apple rings won the prized blue ribbon. Surely, if you found The Help delightful Saving CeeCee Honeycutt will enliven that enjoyment as well.