From the author's site:
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.
Laugh-out-loud funny, at times heartbreaking, and written in a pitch-perfect voice, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt is a spirited Southern tale that explores the intricacies of female relationships while illuminating the journey of a young girl who loses her mother but finds many others.
Small Excerpt from the literary guild:
Not long after that day, Momma began walking to the Goodwill store. She’d buy all sorts of old prom dresses and formal gowns, and if she happened to find any dyed-to-match shoes, well, she’d buy those too, even if they were three sizes too big.
One afternoon I was lying on my bed, reading Stuart Little, when I heard Momma’s footsteps on the stairs accompanied by the rustle of paper bagsÑalways a surefire announcement that she had struck gold during her Goodwill shopping spree. I heard her laugh, giddy with anticipation, as she tried on the newest addition to her wardrobe.
Within a few minutes she called to me, “Cecelia Rose, come in here, darlin’, and see what I found.”
I pressed my nose farther into the book and pretended not to hear, but Momma called again, and when I didn’t answer, I heard the sharp clickety-click of her high-heeled shoes coming down the hall.
She threw open my bedroom door and exclaimed, “Will you just look at your momma! Isn’t she something?”
She stood in the doorway, eyes glazed wide from her Goodwill shopping hangover. Then she gathered up the skirt of a raggedy old prom dress she’d just bought for a dollar and twirled into my room like a colorful, out-of-control top.
“Oh, how I adore this shade of pink. It suits me,” she said, stopping to admire her reflection in the mirror on my closet door. I don’t know what Momma saw in that mirror that delighted her so much, but it sure wasn’t what I saw.
She put her hands on her hips, looked over her shoulder, and waited for me to tell her how beautiful she looked. It was all I could do to reach deep inside myself and push out the words she so desperately wanted to hear. “You look nice, Momma,” I mumbled,
embarrassed enough for both of us, then I lowered my eyes and went back to reading my book.
“Don’t be sad, CeeCee. One day you’ll win a beauty pageant, and then you can wear all these beautiful gowns too. I’m saving them for you, darlin’. I promise I am.” She grinned and sashayed out of my room.
Grateful that she’d finally left, I scooted off the bed and closed the door behind her. Momma started wearing those tattered old prom dresses several days a week. The more she wore them, the more of a spectacle she became in our town. Even the nicest of our neighbors couldn’t stop themselves from standing in their front yards bug-eyed and slackjawed whenever she’d parade down the sidewalk in a rustle of taffeta. And who could blame them? With a neighbor like Momma, who needed TV?