12-year-old CeeCee Honeycutt goes to live with her Aunt Tootie in 1960s Georgia after her mentally ill mother dies.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.There are many things I liked about this sugary-sweet story of the South. The language of the narration puts the reader right in the midst of the setting, and CeeCee’s trials while living day-to-day with her bipolar(?) mother were compelling and I felt held the most emotional depth of the book.However, when her mother dies, CeeCee goes to live with a great-aunt in the South very early on in the novel, suddenly this very serious, independent, bright girl (who loves reading and gets top marks in school) starts acting like a naive, clingy five-year-old. Suddenly, there are tons of things she doesn’t know about (karma, female anatomy, MLK Jr, to name a few), and she can’t seem to deal with any of her own problems without the help of the very stereotypical black cook/nanny of the house or one of the other older women in the novel.And when she does run into problems — some of which are very serious, like a armed robbery — all it takes is one kind word from Aunt Tootie or Oletta (or, in the case of the robbery, CeeCee hearing about how the robber was arrested for something else completely) and suddenly the problem magically disappears, never to be mentioned again. Even things that are heavily foreshadowed, that is built up in the reader’s mind as something that’s going to be a big deal, people! are dismissed with a few incredibly wise lines from the one of the many incredibly wise women surrounding CeeCee. Apparently, the South is a magical place like that.Which brings me to the issue of stereotypes. Everything in the South is beautiful and sweet-smelling and perfect and hospitable; anything in the North is crude and dirty and ugly and unwelcoming. Women are (with very few exceptions) beautiful and unique and clever and powerful; men are useless dolts, worthless jerks, or simply nice to have around, but not really necessary.Also, I found the lack of honesty in this book a bit troublesome. There were a number of conflicts where CeeCee’s best option would have been to tell the truth, (tell Tootie or the police about the robbery, confess to Miz Hobbs about the slugs and later about the letters, tell Tootie that you don’t like the dress, etc.) but its either not even suggested, or shot down immediately.