"The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes" by Diane Chamberlain.
Today we are discussing Chapters 1-10.
An overview of what we have read:
CeeCee is a strong yet naive sixteen year old girl who has taken care of herself since her mother died when she was 12. She works with a friend at a local dinner in order to pay rent at a "boarding house". CeeCee is smitten when she meets college student, Tim, at the diner. He is a regular customer who flirts with her and leaves her huge tips. One day CeeCee receives a large amount of money in the mail and she believes it must be Tim who sent it to her in order for her to enroll in college. They begin seeing each other and CeeCee falls madly in love. As she spends more time with Tim some of his dark secrets begin to come out. He lives in a mansion with his PSTD-ridden brother, Marty. They live in utter chaos and filth. Tim reveals to CeeCee that his sister Andie is in prison for the murder of a photographer (who apparently raped her) and she is actually on Death Row. The boys join a political type group that is called SCAPE that takes extreme measures in order to show their disgust against the death penalty and people who are "wrongfully" incarcerated. The boys come up with a plan to kidnap the Governor's wife and hold her hostage until the Governor is willing to lessen Andie's sentence. The only problem is that they need "someone they trust" to help... oh CeeCee! How perfect =) They talk poor CeeCee into helping. She is young, dumb, and in love and this "smart" girl quickly decides to make a very "stupid" decision. CeeCee must go in disguise and stay with the Governor's wife at a desolate cabin in the middle of nowhere while the boys handle the negotiations. Chapter 10 ends with CeeCee waiting for the boys to come back with the Governor's wife.
1. What was your first impression of Tim?
My first impression of Tim was that he was a suave yet extremely sketchy guy. Something automatically felt a little "off" about him. He was very smooth but flirted with a girl much younger than him (could this be because she is naive and may fall into his plan?) Everyone warned CeeCee that he was a "womanizer" but just like many girls are... she was convinced that it is different for her. He appears to be very passionate about his sister's case and will take desperate measures to make his opinion on the issue known.
2. If you were in CeeCee’s position, would you be willing to help your boyfriend in the way that she is willing to help Tim?
Absolutely not! There is a fine line between helping the ones that you love and compromising your own life. I am all about making sacrifices for my loved ones but this case is just plain ridiculous. Thank goodness I have such an amazing husband he would never put me in a position where I would be asked to compromise my life.
3. Why do you think CeeCee is so eager to please Tim?
She is a young girl who desperately wants love and attention. You would think she would be a little wiser since she has been on her own for years... but we have to remember she is 16 and has been without a father figure her whole life. I think that honestly plays a huge part in her desire to be loved by Tim. She is so "in love" with the idea of having love that she compromises her own life. Yikes...
4. Who do you think has it harder? Tim or CeeCee?
Definitely CeeCee. Tim is already off the deep end and does not seem to have any regrets about his behavior. He is either that passionate about his sister's case or just that much "off his rocker". CeeCee is so innocent and eager to please. She wants to help this person she loves but does not think about the fact that she is putting her whole life in jeopardy. When she realizes that she has made a huge mistake it is already too late...
5. What character trait(s) about CeeCee stuck out the most to you in these first ten chapters?
Her naivety. I feel sorry for her in so many ways. She seems like such a sweet and good person who gets caught up with a bad guy in a bad situation. She is so naive to the fact that he is using her, to the fact that her life will never be the same, etc.
6. Do you think CeeCee is as mature as she seems?
I don't think that I ever thought she was "mature". I think she is a tough girl who has been through a lot and that makes her strong in a certain sense. Her actions show that she is clearly NOT mature.