Monday, August 16, 2010
Synopsis from Amazon:
Hoffman's debut, a by-the-numbers Southern charmer, recounts 12-year-old Cecelia Rose Honeycutt's recovery from a childhood with her crazy mother, Camille, and cantankerous father, Carl, in 1960s Willoughby, Ohio. After former Southern beauty queen Camille is struck and killed by an ice cream truck, Carl hands over Cecelia to her great-aunt Tootie. Whisked off to a life of privilege in Savannah, Ga., Cecelia makes fast friends with Tootie's cook, Oletta, and gets to know the cadre of eccentric women who flit in and out of Tootie's house, among them racist town gossip Violene Hobbs and worldly, duplicitous Thelma Rae Goodpepper. Aunt Tootie herself is the epitome of goodness, and Oletta is a sage black woman.
I don't know why but I really love Southern fiction. Maybe it is because I lived in Florida for almost half of my life. I still identify myself as a northerner though. I had seen this book all over other blogs a couple of months ago, and I won it off another website. This is one of the best Southern fiction books I have read in a long time. It's hard to believe that this is the author's first book. CeeCee is a very likable character who is in a bad situation. Her mother has mental issues, and then she gets hit by an ice cream truck. CeeCee is sent off to live with a great aunt who she had never met. CeeCee is taken from her northern home to her aunt's home in Savannah, Georgia. Sidenote: Savannah is one of the places I most love to read about. I would love to visit it. At first CeeCee is shy, but she soon warms up to her aunt's friends and the housekeeper, Oletta, a strong black woman. My favorite character was Miss Goodpepper. She was the opposite of what a good Southern lady in the 1960s was supposed to be. I loved this book and can't wait to read more by this author.