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Hello, my name is Kelly and I welcome you to the Bookend Diaries book blog. I created this blog to share my own reviews of existing and new books, to discuss with other readers what we’re currently reading, update you on my book club picks, and of course, to ultimately support the work of the authors we all enjoy. I am addicted to reading and I thought this would be a great way to reach out to other readers who are as obsessed with books as I am.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by: Beth Hoffman

***Received an advance copy of this book courtesy Penguin Group USA


Twelve-year-old CeeCee is in trouble. For years she’s been the caretaker of her psychotic mother, Camille— the crown-wearing, lipstick-smeared laughingstock of an entire town. Though it’s 1967 and they live in Ohio, Camille believes it’s 1951 and she’s just been crowned the Vidalia Onion Queen of Georgia.

The day CeeCee discovers Camille in the front yard wearing a tattered prom dress and tiara as she blows kisses to passing motorists, she knows her mother has completely flipped. When tragedy strikes, Tootie Caldwell, a previously unknown great-aunt comes to CeeCee’s rescue and whisks her away to Savannah. Within hours of her arrival, CeeCee is catapulted into a perfumed world of prosperity and Southern eccentricities—a world that appears to be run entirely by women.

While Tootie is busy saving Savannah’s endangered historic homes from the wrecking ball, CeeCee encounters a cast of unforgettable, eccentric characters. From the mysterious Thelma Rae Goodpepper, who bathes in an outdoor tub under the watchful eyes of a voyeuristic peacock, to Oletta Jones, the all-knowing household cook, to Violene Hobbs, the loud-mouthed widow who entertains a local police officer in her yellow see-through peignoir, the women of Gaston Street keep CeeCee entertained and enthralled for an entire summer.

But CeeCee’s view of the world is challenged in ways she could have never imagined: there are secrets to keep, injustices to face, and loyalties to uphold. Just as she begins to find her ballast and experiences a sense of belonging, her newfound joy collides with the long-held fear that her mother’s legacy has left her destined for destruction.

Laugh-out-loud funny, at times heartbreaking, and written in a pitch-perfect voice, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt is a spirited Southern tale that explores the intricate frailties and strengths of female relationships while illuminating the journey of a young girl who loses her mother but finds many others.

My Review Comments:

I absolutely loved this book and the beautiful description taken from the backdrop of Savannah Georgia. I believe Saving CeeCee is southern literature at its best. When CeeCee loses her Mother, her Great-Aunt Tootie comes to rescue her. Instantly, CeeCee is transported from her home in Ohio to an enchanted world of eccentric women that will shape her to become the girl that she was always meant to be. There are pearls of wisdom spread throughout the book that makes it even more special. In my view, Aunt Tootie was a cross between a steel magnolia disguised as a fairy godmother and guardian angel, and in her spare time is behind the restoration of the historical district and keeps up with her beautiful garden. She was truly an amazing woman. If only we all could have a Great-Aunt Tootie in our life, what a better world we would live in. I highly recommend this book. It shows the true essence of southern hospitality and charm at its best.


  1. Congratulations on your new blog, Kelly! What a wonderful idea - I know I will be a frequent reader!


  2. I'm so glad you contacted me, Kelly! I love to read and many of the books you have reviewed here are just the type I like. I'm a follower now and I'll need to get some of these you've mentioned. My book reading has fallen by the wayside the past several months, and I really miss it.

  3. Great comments Kelly. I will have to add this to the list of books I need to read. Keep this up. I will enjoy following and reading the books you direct to us.
    Miss you and all my bookclub friends.

  4. Great blog!!! I love it! I thought this book was so good too! I'm very excited that the author will be joining us on Tuesday night!

  5. Congratulations on your new book blog! I'm sure you're going to have lots of fun with it!

    Living in Georgia, I've been to Savannah several times so I'm sure this would be a fun read for me.


  6. Hi Kelly, thanks for the new book blog and thanks for the invite, not sure how we know one another, but we bibliophiles must stick together. I loved this book too, and Savannah is one of my favorite places to visit.
    Beth Hoffman is a wonderful author with a huge giving heart!

  7. Hi Kelly,

    Love your choice of books. I was an early advocate for both Beth Hoffman and Sarah Addison Allen. Love their books. And, Beth has become a wonderful friend who will be out to visit me in June, and graciously agreed to appear at my library when she's here.

    I'm following your blog, and I added it to the blog roll on my own.

    Lesa -

  8. I loved this book too! I got to meet Beth Hoffman and she is every bit as awesome as you think she would be.

  9. Oh, it's great to see another reader that fell in love with "CEECEE". This was a wonderful read and author Beth Hoffman is fantastic. If you haven't chatted with her yet, try on Twitter...@wordrunner. Thanks for sharing....and happy reading!

  10. Hi Kelly,

    Wow, what a terrific surprise! I received a Google Alert, and when I clicked on it, there was your review of my novel.

    I'm delighted that you loved CeeCee's story, and I want to thank you for your support and your lovely review.

  11. Great review. I also love that Audrey Hepburn is in your header. I adore her!

  12. Great review! I really liked this book, too. Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog.

    I'm now following you.

  13. thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. What is your favorite book? I think I like your book choices. I am always interested to read everybody's best book choice.

  14. Should have read this one this past week when I was in Savannah! Ah well. I do have it here to enjoy sometime soon.

  15. Hi Kelly!
    I'm on a book blogger tour for this book and now I sure hope my turn comes up soon.. it sounds like a wonderful read.

  16. I want to read this book soon and your review makes it look great!

  17. I don't think I've read a single bad review of this book! Great review!

  18. I've seen so much praise about this book, which I'd not heard of outside of the book blogging world.

    Thanks for visiting mine today, yours is lovely!

  19. So glad you loved this book as much as I did.

  20. I've been wanting to read this book especially since it is set in Savannah, one of my favorite cities to visit. A librarian friend was just telling me today that she loved the book and that it reminded her a little bit of The Secret Life of Bees.

    I'm glad you enjoyed Saving CeeCee Honeycutt. Great review!

  21. Great thoughts! I too loved it!

    Here is my review!