Saving CeeCee Honeycutt
Twelve-year-old CeeCee is in trouble. For years she’s been the caretaker of her psychotic mother, Camille- the crown-wearing, lipstick-smeared laughingstock of an entire town. Though it’s 1967, and they live in Ohio, Camille believes it’s 1951 and she’s just been crowned the Vidalia Onion Queen of Georgia.
The day CeeCee discovers Camille in the front yard wearing a tattered prom dress and tiara as she blows kisses to passing motorists, she knows her mother has flipped. When tragedy strikes, Tootie Caldwell, a previously unknown great-aunt comes to CeeCee’s rescue and whisks her away to Savannah. Within hours of her arrival, CeeCee is catapulted into a perfumed world of prosperity and Southern eccentricities- a world that appears to be run entirely by women.
Excerpt taken from Beth Hoffman’s website.
Derogatory terms etc:
Alcohol, Drugs, Smoking
A young child’s father gets home from a trip and pulls a beer from the fridge.
When the young child’s parent’s fight about the mother’s pills, the mother drinks numerous beers.
A teenager driving by takes a drag on a cigarette.
A father moves back home carrying a six pack of beer and reeking of liquor.
A father comes home from his wife’s funeral and gets out a bottle of liquor. He also drinks a beer that day.
A young girl wakes to find her father asleep on the couch in his suit from the previous day, an empty whiskey bottle and a glass.
A woman kicks out her husband because he drinks too much.
While talking with a young girl a woman drinks wine.
An older woman constantly has an unlit cigarette between her lips. She used to smoke but quit years ago and never quite gave up the idea of it. This woman also threw out her husband and all his beer bottles.
An older woman drinks a glass of wine and offers a soda to a young girl.
At a garden party, Long Island iced tea is served and a young girl notices how the party-goers flock to it and it makes them happy.
A woman drinks wine in her outdoor bathtub.
Intimacy, Sex, Immodesty
A young girl notices a woman calls for her father but she won’t leave a message. She asks her father if he has a girlfriend but he refuses to answer.
A plump woman is wearing a dress so tight, the girdle lines underneath show and her breasts look like they will pop out.
In a memory, a girl remembers her mother dancing naked in front of a window. She was having a psychotic episode.
A young girl comes across a Kama Sutra book (human sexual behavior) but does not open it.
A husband tells his wife she looks like a prostitute in a certain dress.
A woman refers to her neighbor as, “the great gaping vagina.”
A plump woman comes outside and a young girl accidentally sees her in a see-through robe. She is completely naked underneath. A man is with her and he is in white baggy underpants. He has a Zorro mask on and is using a bra like a lasso. At one point he grabs her butt and breasts and asks her to do her striptease. The girl learns the man is married. Later in the story, another woman jokes to this woman that the man must need another spanking.
A woman is wearing a dress with a plunging neckline and backline. The back is so low it causes a young girl to blush. She also uses duct tape in place of a bra with this backless dress.
A woman tries to leap onto a parade float but misses and falls on her face. Her dress flies over her head and she is not wearing any underwear.
An elderly woman tells of when she would go skinny dipping as a child. She then takes a young girl to a neighbor’s pool at night to learn how to swim and they skinny dip.
A woman wearing a bikini top has her breasts overflowing. A young girl has a hard time not gawking at them.
A woman has an outdoor bathtub surrounded by shrubs. Her neighbor says she is out splashing around naked on Sunday mornings while everyone else is getting ready for church.
A young girl can see the woman from her window as she undresses in the dark and gets in her outdoor bathtub.
Violence, Weapons, Crime, Blood
A husband is rumored to have been so sick of his wife talking that he shot himself.
An elderly woman has a brain aneurysm and dies while at lunch with her friend.
A woman falls and hits her head and is unconscious and bleeding.
A woman claims she’s never been in a car accident but her friend says otherwise. She reminds her of the time she hit her old boyfriend and knocked him into a ditch. He still walks with a limp. She laughs and says that wasn’t an accident.
A story about a woman’s grandmother tells of her running from some men on the African coast. The white men caught this black woman and she was beaten into submission. They brought her onto their slave ship and sold her in America.
While getting into their car from the beach, a group of women are startled by a man with a knife. He stole a necklace off one woman then asked for her watch. Two others from the group came up from behind holding a metal detector and a bag of stones as weapons. The bag of stones was wound up above her head and while he plunged for her throat with his knife, she whacked him in the head with the stones enough that a cracking sound was heard. He groaned and writhed as blood oozed between his fingers.
A man shows up at his sister’s house asking for money but she refuses. He beats her and steals her jewelry and wallet. He had to go to the hospital later that day and when a detective asks him multiple questions, he attacks the detective and tries to choke him.
The death of a young girl’s mother plays out in her head one day as if she lived through the whole ordeal. The sound of the truck hitting her, her feet flying out of her shoes as she soars through the air, landing on the ground in a twist of broken bones and blood splatter. Eyes open, lips parted, fingers twitching. Then the girl blacks out.
A young girl is terrified of getting the psychosis that took over her mother’s life and eventually killed her. She starts watching her eyes for any signs of dilation, a symptom she saw in her mother, and swears to herself when she sees it in herself she will immediately throw herself off the nearest bridge.
Two women smack each other, pull on each others clothes, break necklaces and call each other names while at a garden party. One even tries to strangle another with her necklace but the necklace breaks. They fall into the dessert trays and smash onto the ground.
Potentially Intense Themes
“Mama left her red satin shoes in the middle of the road.” is the opening line. You can tell this is leading to something, most likely a tragedy that a young person is avoiding. We later learn a woman is hit by a truck so hard her shoes are left standing in the road. She is killed instantly.
A mother to a young child has huge mood swings. Very depressed, then incredibly happy and shopping and buying everything in sight. Sometimes she breaks things, sometimes she’s very calm. Sometimes she’d vanish and the young child would have to go looking for her. One day she put on her old pageant dress (that did not fit anymore) and her crown and waved and blew kisses to all that drove by.
A husband cuts up his wife’s credit card and asks if she’s been taking her pills. Fighting about her pills is a common occurrence.
A woman had a thirteen year old daughter who died of spinal meningitis.
A husband leaves his wife, possibly because she won’t take her medication. When he returns to talk to his wife, she screams at him and the young girl hears things breaking.
The young girl comes home one day to her kitchen on fire. Her mom had left something on the stove and had thrown it all over the kitchen also. She was upstairs crying and smelling like hairspray, perfume and urine. She had to ask her mother what her name was and it took a minute for her to remember. She then had to put her in the bath. Her mother refused to take off her slip and bra so the child just wiped her nose, put her in the bath and read books to her. She then had to dry her off and clean the kitchen. She unplugged the stove so her mom couldn’t use it again.
The young girl sometimes wishes her mother was dead. She felt that life would be easier without her.
A father tells his daughter that she is to live with a great-aunt that she hasn’t seen since she was a baby.
A woman’s pet spider had caught a hummingbird in her web and a group of women try to save it. Then the woman brutally beats the spider.