Saving CeeCee Honeycut, Chapters 16-22
Each week we see CeeCee become more comfortable with her surroundings and her new friends and family. The realities of a “normal” life begin to occur, with all of their complexities and subtleties. CeeCee is confronted with racism, not once but twice; first, through the attack on Tybee Island and secondly, (and more humorously), when she meets Sapphire. In reading this section, I couldn’t help but think that CeeCee’s reaction to the racial overtones of both interactions was subdued. I thought it a reminder that children don’t develop racist tendencies unless they are taught to.
We also see that as CeeCee becomes more relaxed and settled into her new home, the memories of life with her mother begin to emerge. CeeCee now has the security and support to deal with these issues. CeeCee has been afraid to think or talk about her mother; I wondered if Oletta’s advice at the start of chapter 16 in someway helped her gain the courage to begin dealing with the pain that she was carrying:
Every time you give in to your fears, you’re lettin’ that man win. And every time you do that, he gets stronger while you get weaker. Givin’ in to your fears will rob you blind. You’ll end up a prisoner to that man for the rest of your life.
CeeCee sees in Oletta a strength and peace that she would like to possess herself. One of my favorite lines from the book illustrates this:
Deep down I had the feeling that Oletta most likely knew all that was worth knowing, not in book-learning ways, but in the ways that really mattered, ways that let you hum songs during the day and sleep peacefully at night.
Wouldn’t we all like to have enough peace to allow us to hum songs during the day and sleep peacefully at night?
I look forward to reading your thoughts on this week’s chapters.
Director of Guest Experience Programming
Glen Ivy Hot Springs