I stared at my hands, not knowing how to respond. I’d never heard of a holy man named after a llama, I’d never heard of a great gaping vagina, and I didn’t know a thing about the black boomerang of karma. All I knew for sure was this: I had been plunked into a strange, perfumed world that, as far as I could tell, seemed to be run entirely by women.
Cecelia Honeycutt is a twelve-year-old Ohio girl who has grown up with a mentally ill mother and a mostly absent father. When her mother is killed in an accident CeeCee is shipped off to her great-aunt Tootie in Savannah, Georgia. Here, CeeCee is surrounded by wealth, beauty, and the constant love and support of Aunt Tootie and Oletta, the cook who is really a part of the family. CeeCee is still dealing with guilt and abandonment and grief, but she is also falling in love with where she is, the south.
Okay, first book of the year and the one I’ll be judging others by since I’m giving it 5 stars. This book made me cry and laugh and left me with a smile on my face, not something that happens very often. CeeCee was a charming girl who had led a hard life to date and my heart broke for her. I loved her and her mistakes were both funny and important, reminding me that she was still just a girl no matter how grown up she sometimes seemed.
The other main player in this story was Oletta. She was an important woman to CeeCee and CeeCee was just as important her. The friendship between the two was the glue that held this story together. I also loved all of the other kooky women CeeCee met and they each left an imprint on her heart and sense of well being. This book is a love affair with the south, especially southern women. I love that, although I’d like to note that us northerners are not all that bad and have our virtues too 😉
I highly recommend this one! Hoffman’s debut novel was simply wonderful. I received this for free from Library Thing’s Early Reviewer program.