My Review: The last book I read, Push (aka Precious), was so harsh and “realistic,” it left me wanting to scrub my brain. Since I’m fresh out of soothing brain sponges, I opted for the literary version and picked up Saving CeeCee Honeycutt – a heartwarming, feel good novel that has been sitting in my stack for quite a while.
CeeCee Honeycutt is only a child when her father leaves her alone to care for her mentally unstable mother. Frightened and embarassed by her mothers increasingly disturbing behavior, CeeCee tries to focus on her schoolwork and disappears into the world of literature. When CeeCee’s mother dies suddenly, she is sent to Savannah, Georgia to live with her great-aunt Tootie and is soon surrounded by an array of vibrant women who take to mothering her in different ways. These wise, lovable, and slightly eccentric women help CeeCee heal and come to terms with her feelings of grief, anger, and loneliness.
Although I read this book sitting on the couch in my stretchy pants, the author’s characters were so irrepressibly, delightfully southern that I felt like I should be reading it in the shade of a magnolia tree on a lazy summer day, sipping ice cold lemonade, eating cucumber sandwiches, and wearing a big floppy hat. Each scene evoked images of sweet ice tea, fragrant gardens, historic homes, down-home cooking, and southern hospitality. I’ve never been to the South, but this book certainly made me want to visit.
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt was exactly the story I needed to read to regain my reading equilibrium – sweet, but not syrupy, with moments of sadness and grief that were tempered by tenderness, love, and a message of acceptance. Overall, I’d recommend this book to anyone looking for a leisurely, feel good novel to read this summer.
My Rating: 4 Stars
For the sensitive reader: Scattered profanity (a couple handfuls) and a little bit of sexuality (a few neighbors who like cavort naked in their private gardens).
Sum it up: A down-home, feel good kind of novel.