Monday, January 28, 2013

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

Saving Books (Girls Week)

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman is a delightfully fun and easy, feel-good book about a twelve-year-old girl who, after her mother passes away, moves in with her great-aunt in Savannah, Georgia. There she settles in her new and unfamiliar surroundings and gets to know her long-lost aunt as well as a quirky set of Southern characters.  Tallulah Caldwell is CeeCee’s great-aunt “Tootie.” A kind widow who was never blessed with kids of her own, she makes room in her heart and home for CeeCee. CeeCee can’t help but care for Aunt Tootie, and it isn’t long before she also forms a special bond with the maid, Oletta. Then there’s the glamorous and sometimes mischievous neighbor, Thelma Goodpepper, who has a real live peacock and a claw-footed bathtub in her backyard.  She likes to relax in the tub and watch the stars. Miss Hobbs is another neighbor, but she is not so congenial. She puts on airs and CeeCee has a bit of fun at her expense. For a girl who’s just lost her mother emotional healing is long and hard road.  But living with Aunt Tootie and her new friends is a wonderful cushion to fall back on.  In the end we see that CeeCee’s  “…life had begun to blossom as sweetly as a Georgia peach.”
Beth Hoffman, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt (London: Pamela Dorman/Penguin Book, 2010), 259.

I recommend this book for any age bracket.  It’s heart-breaking, heart-warming, and funny. Beth Hoffman has such a great writing style you won’t want to put it down.

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt was given to me as a gift. I had never heard of the book before and may have missed this gem if it wasn’t for my friend. I have to say getting a book is one of the most fun gifts I can think of.  The excitement of holding the book in my hand, seeing the eye-catching front cover, reading the back blurb, and flipping through the pages floods me with an electrifying thrill.  I wasted no time in reading this one—and loved it!  

My book club members also loved it!  A year later our book club chose it as one of our reading selections and I was happy to pass my copy around to several members. 

That’s something you just can’t do with an e-reader. First of all, where’s the pleasure in giving an “electronic book”?  You can’t hold it, flip through the pages. I just can’t see that it stirs the same excitement as touching a real book. There’s no anticipation, no buildup. It’s just there.  And as far as I understand there’s also a limit as to how many times you can share an electronic copy, unless you want to give your entire reader to someone.  A book, however, is yours without restrictions.  You can pass it onto 100 people if you want.  

Now, I’m not one to shun technology.  I’m not one of those saying, “Cell phones?!  Why do we need cell phones?  Why would I want someone to be able to get ahold of me day and night?  That’s what I have an answering machine for.  I admit I’m not a gadget geek, and I will never be the one who gets the newest phone before anyone else.  I have a dumb phone and I like it.  Following in my parent’s footsteps, I’m more likely to lag behind than lead the pack in technology.  Growing up, we were the last ones on the block to get a color TV.  Microwave?  Why no, we had a toaster-oven. Dishwasher?  No, my mom had three girls with perfectly good hands even if my sister was too small to reach the faucet and had to stand on a chair and clamp her elbows in the sink to keep from slipping away.

I know, what you’re thinking.  “Hey, if you had a Kindle in Vegas, you wouldn’t have had a panic attack when you were bookless.” (See January 11, 2013 Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand) What I am saying is that I can’t imagine that the Kindle will still be running on the same program well into the future. Will you still be able to access all those books you have on an e-reader when they change the operating system?  I mean how long did it take to go from Beta (we had one with a nifty remote control attached to a 10-foot cord to operate it), to VHS, to DVD, and now Blu-ray.  

The oldest book in my library is Life on the
Mississippi by Mark Twain published in 1917. That’s 96 years old—and I can still read it without charging it! I can still pass it on to others, too! When the current version of the e-reader is obsolete, my book will still be there.

I agree, Kindles and book readers have their place. I realize one day, maybe soon, when I need to have two-inch fonts to be able to see the text, I may break down and use a reader.  I love the idea of being able to adjust the font size!  I also think the built-in dictionaries are awesome. I can see how a reader could and probably should replace those heavy school textbooks.  Reading at night? No problem!  A Kindle can light the way.  All those things are great advantages I can’t ignore.  But for the time being, I’ll hold out a little longer, and even if I do get a reader, I hope I won’t give up books for good.   I can’t fathom a world without real books.

Can you just imagine one day in the distant future someone will write an electronic book or “air book,” or “mind book,” or “book implant,” or something like that about a time when people actually had “real” tangible books. It could start something like, oh, how about—“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. It was a time when people had real books.”  

Happy reading whatever your preferred method,

What about you?  Do you prefer e-readers or real books?  Enter a comment or email me at and I will post your answer.

What did you think of this book? Post a comment or email:


  1. i am with Annette , holding a book in your hand, or even looking at your bookshelfs and getting a kick out of your selection of books can compare with holding an e-reader. I am sure
    it is convenient to take one on a plane or on vacation.And in case of an book addict like Annette she probably get a kick out of holding or rearranging her books once in a while. And just for the record, washing dishes while one is little ( even if they have to stand on a chair) builds caracter !
    Can't wait to read "Saving CeeCee Honeycutt"

    1. It builds character because it makes one think of excuses to get out of washing dishes.....if I remember right.

  2. Thanks so much for your kind words about my novel, Annette. I'm so glad you enjoyed CeeCee's adventures!

  3. This was one of my favorite books that we have read in our book club. I loved all of the characters, especially since they were all women.

  4. For me this book is at the top of my favorites list! What a joy it was to read... Loved it!!

    And as for hand washing dishes,I liked it so much I still hand wash all my dishes... LoL : )

    1. You can thank your momma for that, maybe that's why I don't like hand washing dishes.