Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt

All posts tagged Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt

Audiobook Pick of the Month: Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman

Published September 22, 2013 by Chick-Lit Cafe

Looking for Me by Beth HoffmanFrom the publisher: Teddi Overman found her life’s passion for furniture in a broken-down chair left on the side of the road in rural Kentucky. She learns to turn other people’s castoffs into beautifully restored antiques, and eventually finds a way to open her own shop in Charleston. There, Teddi builds a life for herself as unexpected and quirky as the customers who visit her shop.  Though Teddi is surrounded by remarkable friends and finds love in the most surprising way, nothing can alleviate the haunting uncertainty she’s felt in the years since her brother Josh’s mysterious disappearance. When signs emerge that Josh might still be alive, Teddi is drawn home to Kentucky.  It’s a journey that could help her come to terms with her shattered family—and to find herself at last.  But first she must decide what to let go of and what to keep.

Why I liked it: This book is the reason why I LOVE Southern fiction.  With a storyteller’s easy grace, Beth Hoffman whisked me away on Teddi’s emotional journey from a small town farmer’s daughter to a successful antique shop owner. Filled with messages of hope, kindness and tolerance, the story cuts to the very core of what is meant by “paying it forward.”

I especially love how Teddi’s journey of self-discovery revolves around antiques. There’s something very beautiful about breathing new life into an old, unwanted item.  One of the reasons why I adore Teddi is that she sees the beauty in everything and refuses to give up hope. With each chapter, I rooted for her as she struggled to connect with her emotionally-detached mother, and when she relentlessly searched for her missing brother. But what I love most about Teddi is that she’s kind to others without expecting anything in return.

One of my most favorite moments happened toward the end of the book when Teddi took pity on an old, destitute man who appeared at her store with a truck load of old antiques to sell. She didn’t particularly want to purchase unsolicited goods, but she didn’t have the heart to  turn him away.  I won’t give away any spoilers, but I will say that her good deeds paid off big time in the end!

Favorite secondary character: Of all the wonderful characters in this book, it’s hard to choose a favorite. As Teddi begins to find her place in the world, she befriends an unforgettable cast of characters, including Tula Jane Poteet, an old, eccentric kleptomaniac ; Olivia, Teddi’s romantically-challenged best friend; and Albert, a gifted antiques restorer with a sour disposition and a heart of gold.

I guess if I had to choose, my favorite would be Mr. Palmer, the owner of a Charleston antiques store who gave Teddi her first big break into the business. He was the first to recognize her artistic talent and gave her the encouragement to pursue her passion. We should all be so lucky to have a Mr. Palmer in our lives.

The narrator: If there was an academy award for audiobooks, this narrator should win best actress! Jenna Lamia does a stellar job capturing each of the characters’ unique voices. With her authentic Southern accent and effortless storytelling skills, she delivers a top-notch performance for a truly great book. She also narrates Hoffman’s debut novel, Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt, which by the way is one of my all-time most favorite books. You can read all about it here!

Summed up in three words: Heartwarming, poignant, memorable.

Sundays in Bed with…(#1)

Published June 17, 2012 by Chick-Lit Cafe

There’s nothing I’d rather do on a Sunday than laze around in bed with a good book and a pudgy cat. While everyone’s off running errands, working out and being productive, I’m unashamedly still in my PJs sipping coffee and immersing myself in a new story. When I came across the Midnight Book Girl’s cool meme, I couldn’t resist joining my fellow book bloggers – my soul sisters – in their blissful Sunday morning reading adventures!

This morning I’m completely wrapped up in Beth Hoffman’s debut novel, Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt.  One hundred pages zipped by in a flurry and now I’m in need of another box of Kleenex!  I haven’t been this moved by a book since I read The Help.

The story revolves around Cee Cee Honeycutt, a lonely little girl who really got the shaft in the parent department. The first riveting chapters take you through Cee Cee’s plight as the daughter of a bat-shit crazy mother and absentee, alcoholic father.  Shunned by the neighborhood kids, she longs for a best girlfriend more than anything in the world. To shut out her grim reality, she devours books – especially Nancy Drew mysteries.

When tragedy strikes,  Cee Cee’s great aunt Tootie swoops in and whisks her off to Savannah, Georgia. Like little orphan Annie, Cee Cee instantly goes from an abusive, loveless existance to a wondrous world of prosperity, hope and friendship.

A huge lump formed in my throat when I read this exchange between Aunt Tootie and Cee Cee.  

“Your mind must be swimming right now, but I want you to know that I’ve got a big ole house with plenty of room, and I’d love to have you.”

Those six simple words echoed around me and filled the room with light: I’d sure love to have you…I’d sure love to have you…

My shoulders began to shake, and to my disbelief, hot tears spilled from my eyes and ran down my cheeks. Aunt Tootie wrapped me in her arms and pulled me close.

Wow! I can tell you right now that this book is going to be one of my faves!

So what are you reading this morning?

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