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Friday, June 29, 2012

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

A few weeks ago my mother in law gave me this book to read, they had just read it for book club.  She described it as "delightful" which to me sounded like a kind of old fashioned word, but after reading it, delightful is the perfect word.

Momma always told CeeCee (short for Cecelia Rose) that “being in the North isn’t living—it’s absolute hell.” Of course, having to live with Momma—Camille Sugarbaker Honeycutt, that is, Vidalia Onion Queen, 1951—doesn’t make it any more heavenly, especially when Momma starts standing in the front yard blowing kisses to passersby. You know this is going to end badly, and so it does, when the erstwhile onion queen is run over by a speeding Happy Cow Ice Cream Truck. Before you can say “sweet magnolia blossoms,” 12-year-old CeeCee is sent off to Savannah to live with her elderly great aunt, Tallulah Caldwell, and her wise African American housekeeper and cook, Oletta. It being 1967, you know there will be one dark episode of racial hatred, but it’s quickly—and conveniently—resolved offstage, leaving all the characters free to continue being relentlessly eccentric, upbeat, sweet as molasses, and living, as CeeCee puts it with a straight face, “in a breezy, flower-scented fairy tale . . . a strange, perfumed world that . . . seemed to be run entirely by women.” Light as air but thoroughly pleasant reading. --Michael Cart

The book was light, and the resolutions a little simplistic, but it had really fabulous characters that made me laugh out loud.  There were some really great quotes, here are some of my favs:

"Don't go wastin all them bright tomorrows you ain't even seen by hangin on to what happened yesteday.  Let go.
"She said holding on to hurt and anger made about as much sense as hitting your head with a hammer and expecting the other person to get a headache."
and the best of all...
"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."

Do yourself a favor...find a pool, get a Diet Coke, and settle in for a fun read.  A-


Hansen Family said...

You need to check out It is a great place to keep track of books you have read and books your friends are reading.

Beth Hoffman said...

Hi Monica ... thanks so much for your lovely review of my novel. I'm delighted that you enjoyed CeeCee's adventures. And please thank your mom for me too!