published 2010 ⎪ adult fiction ⎪ stand-alone ⎪ bought my copy
The book tells the story of Cecelia Rose Honeycutt. For years she has taken care of her mom, who is suffering from a mental disorder. For years she has been an outcast because of her mom's antics. For years she was left alone by a father who didn't have the courage to be there for her. But then something dramatic happens, something that might turn out to be the best thing in CeeCee's young life. Her mom is killed in a traffic accident and 12 years old CeeCee is sent to live with her great-aunt Tootie. There she gets a second chance to start a normal life, a life that includes several older women who CeeCee soon loves and who also adore her.
All of the main characters in this book were interesting and fascinating, they were characters I loved spending time with. CeeCee, her great-aunt Tootie, their neighbours, their cook Oletta and CeeCee's old neighbour Odette were fascinating, full of charm and also a bit eccentric. The group of older women who take care of CeeCee are made up of strong persons. At first I thought that some of the characters might be a bit over the top, but that fear soon went away.
Right from the first pages on I was enamored by this book and especially the writing style. The story has a special kind of charm that I loved and CeeCee's story touched me deeply. It's a story about second chances, about love, about being there for each other and about being hopeful for the future. All these things are themes I like reading about and I loved that the story had overall a very uplifting mood.
The book is set in the 1960s and some of the developments of that time play a part of the story. I enjoyed how small pieces of history were interwoven into the story. And I also liked the setting of the book which is Savannah, Georgia. The setting, just as the characters, is lush, vibrant and a bit eccentric. And I also enjoyed that there is bit of mischief in the story, some of the characters have a very special sense of humour.
All in all this book was a joy to read, I even loved the scenes that made me cry! When I finished the book I felt like hugging it. If this book would be a person, I would call her a charming, little darling.