Sunday, October 04, 2009

Sunday Salon - Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

It's a little early to review Beth Hoffman's debut novel, but my review of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt appears in the October 1 issue of Library Journal. I'm predicting right now that this will be one of the favorite books for book discussion groups next year, so watch for the book in January. And, write a note to yourself now for your TBR pile now.

My review is reprinted here, with permission.


Hoffman, Beth. Saving CeeCee Honeycutt. Pamela Dorman Bks: Viking. Jan. 2010. c.320p. ISBN . $25.95. F

In Hoffman's charming debut, Cecelia Rose (CeeCee) Honeycutt tells the story of her tragic life and the strong women who stepped in to save her. At age 12, CeeCee realizes her mother, flouncing around Willoughby, OH, in prom dresses and matching shoes, is crazy and the town's laughingstock. Her father is never home, and nothing is going to change so CeeCee buries herself in books as an escape. But her true liberation comes after her mother's tragic death when great-aunt Tootie sweeps CeeCee off to Savannah. There, a group of powerful, independent women offer the young girl love, laughter, and a new chance at life. Readers who enjoy strong female characters will appreciate CeeCee, a survivor despite her heartbreaking childhood, and Aunt Tootie and her friends, all of them steel magnolias. VERDICT Exemplifying Southern storytelling at its best, this coming-of-age novel is sure to be a hit with the book clubs that adopted Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees. Interestingly enough, both novels share the same editor. [Prepub Alert, LJ 9/15/09.]—Lesa Holstine, Glendale P.L., AZ

Copyright © 2009 Cahners Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. Reprinted with permission.

Beth Hoffman's website is www.bethhoffman.net

21 comments:

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I just suggested a purchase at the Mecklenburg County library, online. :) This sounds like a winner. I enjoyed the "Secret Life of Bees."

Elizabeth
Mystery Writing is Murder

Lesa said...

Elizabeth,

I don't think you, or the other patrons at the Mecklenburg County Library, will be disappointed in this one. It's a winner!

Molly said...

A young girl who buries herself in books in order to escape life --- AND a book with strong female characterizations --- this is definitely a book for me. I will be sure to be on the lookout in January. Thank you, Lesa!

Diane said...

I MUST read this one, and the cover is so appealing too :) Glad you enjoyed it!

bermudaonion said...

I got a copy of this at SIBA last weekend and you've just made me want to read it right now.

Lesa said...

Yes, you're going to want to read it, Molly, Diane, and Bermudaonion. Terrific cover; terrific debut.

Sue S. said...

I have been waiting seemingly forever for this book to hit the stores - is it Jan yet?? The first chapter on the author's webpage is such a teaser - I can't wait to finish the book!

Lesa said...

I'd be OK with January, Sue. I'm sorry you're waiting, but it'll be worth waiting for!

pgpalettepirate said...

To say that I loved this novel is the understatement of the year! It is sweet without getting syrupy (is that a word?) and the characters are people that you wish were real. It was my pleasure to meet Beth Hoffman at SIBA and our bookstore will host her for a signing on March 4, 2009 - here's hoping for great success for "Saving CeeCee Honeycutt"!

Joan said...

Just from your review, I can't wait to read this. Already pre-ordered from Amazon ...

Lesa said...

Pgpalettepirate - Thank you! It's great to hear someone else thinks as much of the book as I do. I've already signed Beth up for a blog interview. It will be up in January, just before pub date.

I'm jealous that you had the chance to meet her!

Lesa said...

Very good, Joan. I don't think you'll regret it!

Margaret said...

I was lucky enough to read an early draft of a portion of this book, and I cannot speak highly enough of Beth Hoffman's work. She writes with a depth of spirit and a breadth of style that results in a beautifully compelling novel.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Margaret. Every comment about Beth's book reinforces my opinion of it. Thank you.

Bonnie said...

Thanks for sharing this with us Lesa! It sounds absolutely wonderful what high praises already! I want to read this book!
I checked Beth Hoffman's website and she'll be in my area in January and I plan to attend the book signing.

Lesa said...

Oh, great, Bonnie! I'm glad you'll get to meet her and attend the book signing. You're welcome!

Anonymous said...

Beth is truly an inspirational person and author. She has always exhibited her creativity with style, grace, and humor--whether through her interior design career or through her writing. She does not disappoint--ever.

Lesa said...

What nice comments about Beth, Anonymous. Thank you. I'm sure she'll appreciate them, if she comes back to read the comments. Very nice!

Beth Hoffman said...

Oh my! Reading through these lovely posts is like being greeted by an unexpected fresh breeze.

I so hope you all enjoy reading CeeCee's story -- it was written with a singular joy and intensity that I've never before experienced.

Thank you, Lesa, for your wonderful review, and thank you everyone for your kind words and support.

Beth Hoffman

Lesa said...

You're so welcome, Beth. Thank you for such a special book. I'm sure you could use all those kind words right now. I'll be in touch shortly.

Kristen said...

Hi there-
You can join Beth Hoffman for a live chat online at
http://us.penguingroup.com/static/pages/publishersoffice/subcontent/watercooler.html

on Wednesday March 11th at 8 PM EST!

Stop by and ask a question!