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Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  64,669 Ratings  ·  7,811 Reviews

Read Beth Hoffman's blogs and other content on the Penguin Community.

"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
ebook, 320 pages
Published January 12th 2010 by Penguin Books (first published 2010)
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Miriam This book has humor, and deep spirit. I loved this story! Especially what CeeCee did with the bra... :-)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
This book would be perfect for twelve-year-old girls, but it's just too precious for grown-up readers. Had it been published and promoted as a book for youngsters, I would have rated it higher and reviewed it more gently. But it was marketed as an adult book, so I'll rate and review it as such.

The writing, plot, and characters aren't all that bad for light fiction. I was able to finish it without hating it, which is increasingly rare for me with fluff novels. THE PROBLEM: There were a lot of op
I adore this style of writing, dripping with deep southern charm set in the summer of 1967 Savannah, Georgia. What a sparkling gem of a debut for Hoffman. I'm gonna have to compare this book a little because of the age of the main character to Secret Life of Bee's with a 12 year old girl named CeeCee living in Ohio, with her tender heart in shambles after the passing of her mentally-ill mother and having an absent father with no parenting skills. This event changes her life as she moves to live ...more
Oct 12, 2009 Candy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I cried real tears at parts of this lovely story of young CeeCee Honeycutt, a little girl who suffers unimaginable loss at the hands of a mentally ill mother and unsympathetic father. But like the spider web-trapped hummingbird rescued in Chapt. 27 by pulling "the stickiest strings free of the bird's delicate wings," a community of concerned women carries out a similar attempt for CeeCee. In both cases, a wounded creature is allowed to enjoy the life it should. I loved this book that climbs from ...more
Mar 20, 2011 Deborah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm probably the only person in the U.S. of A. who didn't like this book. I just don't get what everyone sees in it. It was so sugary sweet I thought it was going to put me in a diabetic coma. And the characters were such steriotypes. Like the wise Oletta who says "Child, child, you've got a whole lot of healin' to do. But the Good Lord sent you to the right place. Ain't nobody walkin' this green earth got a bigger heart than Miz Tootie". Argh!! The author was constantly barraging the reader wit ...more
Jan 09, 2014 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book very reminiscent of "The secret life of Bees", "Midnight in the garden of Good and Evil" and a book that at times is so predictable it feels like it has copied the dozens of other books that involve southern charm, race relations, mother daughter relations and young women who rise above disadvantage and ultimately triumph. At times the book would take a turn and I would think "but hasn't this plot line been in so many other books?" Even the names of the characters are so predictable of a ...more
Jan 09, 2017 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book was a total escape for me. I got lost in the world of precocious, 12-year old Cecelia Honeycutt who experienced growing up in a depressing Ohio home, with an absentee father and a psychotic mother that dies tragically.

Hope finally appears with a flare, upon the arrival of her unknown, great-aunt Tallulah Caldwell. Aunt Tootie drives CeeCee off to Savanna, Georgia, and a bright new life begins.

The book flowed with Southern charm, unforgettable characters, and everyday adventures filled
Mar 05, 2010 Dawn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to give this book 2 stars, but that felt a little unfair. There’s nothing wrong with the book per se, but it definitely didn’t live up to my expectations. The story is about CeeCee, a young girl from Ohio whose mother just died. CeeCee goes to live with an aunt in Savannah, Georgia where she meets several eccentric Southern ladies. The story itself was fine, but I didn’t find a lot of substance there. The characters were all interesting enough, but pretty one-dimensional, and the storyl ...more
Feb 02, 2010 Kathleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: great-book

Beth Hoffman wrote an incredible first novel. This book to my breath away and I could not put it down. Cee Cee Honeycomb is growing up with a very troubled mother and a father that ignores his entire family.
Cee Cee is on an emotional roller coaster. She does SURVIVE....

This book is full of Southern charm and I coould just see myself sitting with her on the porch and the beautiful gardens of Savannah.
Cee Cee meets and is taken care of by some wonderful people that I would love to call my friends
May 10, 2010 Jess rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2010
For some reason I was little hesitant to pick this book up. It's definitely not a book I would normally read, but it was one of my group's BOtM so I gave it a try. Despite my initial reluctance to try it, once I started reading I couldn't put it down.

CeeCee Honeycutt is a little girl who grew up in a house that was anything but normal. Her mother was constantly going through different moods, she had no friends to speak of, and her father was consistently leaving to go on business trips. When Cee
Lisa Kay
(This is a review of the audiobook.) This was charmingly narrated by Jenna Lamia who convincingly sounds not only like an intelligent, forlorn little 12 year-old girl, but the many moods of CeeCee herself – worry, happiness, embarrassment, guilt, wonder, revenge, fear, grief, sadness, humor, forgiveness, and delight. Ms. Lamia performs the various accents, Northern and Southern, female and male, with distention and authenticity. There are some wonderful, touching scenes in this coming-of-age st ...more
Aug 21, 2010 Cara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of southern lit
Recommended to Cara by: Valerie
"The afternoon sun sent fireworks of light sparkling off the hood ornament- a miniature silver angel with open wings and her arms stretched out in front of her, palms forward, as if she were ready to push aside anything that dared get in her way."

First off I want that hood ornament! Sadly they don't put them on cars anymore. *sigh* This quote really jumped out at me because it describes the story as a whole. Ceecee will be protected by the brave, fierce, and beautiful women of Savannah, and
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
Great hysterical book set in Savannah. The characters were the best part. Another great southern fiction.
Dec 31, 2010 Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It wasn't the worst book I've ever read, but it was pretty flat, and I was disappointed after all the good reviews I read about it. And I had a lot of issues with the book that stopped me from really enjoying it:

The characters were pretty flat and stereotypical. The benevolent old Southern white society lady who saves her little grand-niece. Her grumpy-but-oh-so-loveable black maid. The smart but troubled young girl. The crazy mother. I was very aware that these were characters, made up by some
Ruth Turner
Oct 18, 2014 Ruth Turner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: southern-lit

What a wonderful, heart warming surprise this book was.

Exceptionally well written. It had me laughing out loud, crying into my hanky, and then laughing again.

The "unpredictable escapades of Miz Hobbs’s remarkable traveling brassiere" had me laughing until tears rolled down my face. Probably because it reminded me of my daughter, who hung one of my bras on a moose statue in a park in New Hampshire, took a photo and posted it on Facebook. I was in New Jersey at the time or I would have smacked he
Jul 07, 2010 Jen rated it it was ok
Not fond of this book.

Here's the recipe for this book:
Steal liberally from Pollyanna (including the prism scene), Fried Green Tomatoes(all our woes can be solved by talking to a wise Southern woman), and Steel Magnolias (Southern Belles having a slap down in public);

Add a pinch of Southern racial anecdotes ala The Help(although the maid never minds making food while everyone else has fun, she's just happy to be a friend, and on her feet all day.);

Add the author's own interest in decorating (a
Sep 12, 2016 Vanessa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sweet and tender book that delivers with plenty of southern charm. I loved the simplicity of this story. A full cast of wonderful colourful characters, it depicts the essence of southern hospitality in a heartwarming way. Although at the beginning the story is tinged with sadness it's delivered with a softness that makes you feel all gooey inside.

The women who rally around CeeCee when she goes to live with her Great Aunt in Georgia become paramount in changing CeeCee's life for the better with
Jun 17, 2010 Bobbi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I was surprised that I did not like this book since it's had such good reviews. As you may know, it's the story of 12 year old Ceecee Honeycutt from Ohio who has been dealing with her mentally ill mother for years. Her father is mostly absent from their lives. After her mother's death, a wealthy great aunt takes her to live in Savannah where Ceecee meets lots of her aunt's friends most of them slightly eccentric.

Hoffman's characters are either very very good or very very bad. Her characters seem
Dec 28, 2012 Noeleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sinead
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt is a heart-warming, tender, poignant and charming story, sprinkled with a whole lot of love. It includes both very sad and very funny moments. Set in Georgia, it is a Southern tale full of quirky, eccentric, most lovable, resilient female characters. One of the aspects I enjoyed most was the fabulous names of the characters. In addition, I adored the descriptions of Savannah. I could almost imagine the beautiful houses, the characters, the town itself. I could almost tast ...more
Crystal Craig
"With a neighbour like mama who needed a TV."

“'I find all men to be very much like wearing high-heeled shoes—I love how pretty they make me feel, but by the end of the night I can't wait to get rid of them.'”

This book was just full of peaches and cream. What a delightful read. It reminds me of a book I read many years ago, Nora, Nora by Anne Rivers Siddons. It has the same small town southern feeling and similar kind-hearted strong women characters. I read in another review—someone compared thi
Mar 29, 2010 Jamaie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-star-books, audio
I'm about to say something startling, not to say that is out of the norm for me. This book was better than "The Help". There it is and yes, you read that correctly, so you don't need to check it again...LOL. I would seriously listen to this one on audio CD, though....excellently done! I have to be honest and say this book was a bit reminicent of 'The Help' in some ways...but I'm not willing to share what those things are, you would have to read it. I currently live in Savannah, GA...which is whe ...more
Mar 12, 2010 Meg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beth Hoffman's Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, set in the 1960s, is Southern fiction at its best -- poignant, lush and enveloping like breakfast in a sunny nook. That's pretty much how I felt while reading this story: wrapped up in a comfortable world with colorful characters willing to share their secrets with me. CeeCee is a bright, introspective young woman who absorbs everything she sees and desperately hopes she'll find security with her aunt in Savannah. That's what she seems to crave, more than ...more
Nov 25, 2014 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book was fantastic, I felt like I was in the story. The characters were so authentic and realistic they had me hooked from the beginning. I found myself getting choked up and then laughing out loud, a thoroughly delightful listening experience.

CeCe, is an isolated young girl who lives with her bipolar mother and an absentee father. She has no friends, or family that visit, her only real attachment is to an elderly neighbor who has loved and watched over her since she was a baby. After her
Jan 15, 2011 Erin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was my book club's monthly pick, and that was the only reason I finished it. The characters are stereotypes, with one or two quirks tacked on to make them "eccentric". The conflict, where it exists at all, is neatly wrapped up so that CeeCee can learn a valuable lesson, PSA-style. The description is overwrought and repetitive (everything is "sun-dappled" and looks like "miles of lace"), and the voice seems to swing between 8 and 38 years old. There's no real continuing plot; the book is mor ...more
The opening blurb on Goodreads "Steel Magnolias meets The Help". Apt comparison for sure. Full of Southern charm with the subject of growing up female in the 60's handled tenderly. A slight twist in that the little girl in the story is not southern by birth, coming to live in Savannah after her mother dies in a freakish accident.
I found the cast of characters engaging and easy to love or not, and laughed out loud a few times with the antics of the often eccentric but thoroughly charming women.
Cassi aka Snow White Haggard
This book started out with an interesting premise. I love a mom who has gone crazy-train and thinks she's a beauty queen 24/7. But then it didn't go anywhere. Following her mother's death CeeCee moves to Savannah where apparently everyone is wonderful and everything perfect (Except Mrs. Hobbs who really isn't that bad. I didn't like Mrs. Goodpepper that much to be honest). It has a couple of false-starts where I think there will be action and plot starting but almost as soon as it's there they'v ...more
Feb 21, 2014 Cherie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am not sure I can even put into words what a great read this book was for me. I loved every word.
I laughed and cried and felt so blessed to be reading this story. I cannot think of another word that covers what a wonderful feeling I had for the young girl in this story and all of the older women in her life that she met in Savannah, Georgia, where she went to live after her mother died.

She had no friends except an elderly woman neighbor for the first twelve years of her life. No getting aroun
Mar 03, 2015 leslye rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This quirky, funny story had me from hello. It was heart-warming, humorous, sad and moving...sometimes all on the same page! A charming, sweet story of Deep South Savannah, this is an emotional roller coaster of a book. It's impossible not to have your heart break when you read about young CeeCee dealing with her mother's mental illness and the pain and guilt she goes through after her mother dies. But it is equally impossible not to smile and even laugh at the antics the ladies of Savannah get ...more
Jun 22, 2014 Christine rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult
I read this a few weeks ago and somehow my review was lost. And now, sadly, I have to think about this book again. This is a terrible book. The story is about a girl whose mother goes crazy and dies and her father has no interest in parenting her. So she goes to live in a southern paradise with her great aunt, her black maid and an assorted cast of characters. But they love their colored help. Heck, they even invite them to their garden parties and give them TVs. And not only are they invited, t ...more
Mar 25, 2010 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Southern lit
I am often a fan of Southern literature because it is frequently filled with colorful, eccentric characters, beautiful descriptions, and improbable situations. At its best, it is also infused with humor. Saving CeeCee Honeycutt lives up to the traditions and expectations.

Cecelia Rose (CeeCee) lives in 1960's Ohio with her increasingly unstable mother, who was the 1951 Vidalia Onion Queen, and an increasingly absent father. Her mother, transplanted to the North, was never able to thrive there and
Jenni Boyd
Jun 08, 2015 Jenni Boyd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story begins with: Momma left her red satin shoes in the middle of the road. That’s what three eyewitnesses told the police.

Cecelia Rose Honeycutt, or CeeCee as she preferred to be called, is just twelve years old when she is told her mother was tragically killed by a truck.

Suddenly CeeCee’s mind goes back to her first memory of her mother’s red shoes, she is seven years old, and is left with no choice but to grow up real fast. With her father rarely home, not being able to deal with his psy
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Twelve days after Beth Hoffman’s first novel was published in 2010, she became a New York Times bestselling author with foreign rights selling to prestigious publishers in Italy, Germany, France, Poland, Norway, Hungary, Indonesia, Korea, Israel, and the United Kingdom.

Following an extensive national tour, Beth returned home to Kentucky and the solace of her writing studio. Drawing from vivid memo
More about Beth Hoffman...

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“That's what friends should do. cherish the good and pretend not to notice the harmless rest.” 155 likes
“It's how we survive the hurt in life that brings us strength and gives us beauty.” 104 likes
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