Well, I was happily surprised by how good this book is. There are so many parts I thought about writing down so I could share different portions of this book. However, I just rarely do that, and also think that there really is no substitute to reading this entire book.
CeeCee Honeycutt is only twelve when her mother dies leaving her to live with her father. Even before her mother's death things in CeeCee's life hadn't been going very well. Her mother suffered from some type of mental illness and CeeCee's dad, unable to cope with his wife, left CeeCee to do that job while he traveled for work and pursued other relationships. While I found it hard to find a lot of redeeming qualities in CeeCee's dad, he does do one wonderful thing for his daughter: send her to live with her great aunt Tootie in Atlanta. CeeCee does not know any of her mother's relations and being sent away from the only home she has ever known and her loving elderly neighbor, Mrs. O'Dell seems almost too cruel, yet this adventure turns out to be a wonderful experience for CeeCee offering her a loving home life with some very interesting, strong females. And, really that is where the best part of the story begins. CeeCee's experiences in Atlanta are at times hilarious, and the characters in this book are entertaining and unique, providing CeeCee with some wonderful, valuable advice as she matures and wonders what her life has in store for her. While no one can erase the experiences she endured with her mother, Tootie and the other women who influence CeeCee provide a way for her to make peace with her childhood.
"Oletta patted the bed, and when I sat down beside her, she took hold of my hand. "Take the gift Miz Tootie is givin' you and hold it tight. Don't go wastin' all them bright tomorrows you ain't even seen by hangin' on to what happened yesterday. Let go, child. Just breathe out and let go."
I knotted up the corners of my mouth and nodded. "You're so wise, Oletta."
"People is wise 'cause they get out in the world and live. Wisdom comes from experience-from knowin' each day is a gift adn accepting it with gladness. You read a whole lot of books, and readin' sure made you smart, but ain't no book in the world gonna make you wise (290)."
2010 is barely a few weeks old and already I have found a book that I would happily read over, recommend to book clubs (and anyone else) and probably won't stop talking about anytime soon.
Click here to visit Beth Hoffman's website.