"Saving CeeCee Honeycutt" by Beth Hoffman
I picked this up on audio at the library for listening to in my car. Unfortunately, I just don't travel alone in my car often enough... I had to bring it inside and listen while I crafted. It was a good choice.
CeeCee Honeycutt is a young girl with a mentally ill mother and a father who has quite successfully distanced himself from a bad situation through his sales job. Caring for her mother has fallen to her with all it's problems and embarrassments. When her mother dies in an unfortunately "accident" CeeCee's father chooses to send her off to Savannah to live with her great aunt. Poor CeeCee hating her dead mother for her illness and hating her father for not wanting her, bravely ventures forth into her new life.
The story reminds me of the writing of Fanny Flagg, full of wonderful quirky characters brought to life on each page and endearing themselves to us and CeeCee who eventually realizes the truth in her father's words, "Someday you'll thank me for this." Indeed, through the summer following her mother's death, CeeCee meets a charming variety of new friends who become her "family" and comes to trust that loving the present as well as the past is good.
CeeCee Honeycutt gets a thumbs up from me.