Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Julie's Review: Looking for Me

Summary: A Southern novel of family and antiques from the bestselling author of the beloved Saving CeeCee Honeycutt. Beth Hoffmans bestselling debut, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, won admirers and acclaim with its heartwarming story and cast of unforgettable characters. Now her unique flair for evocative settings and richly drawn Southern personalities shines in her compelling new novel, Looking for Me.
Teddi Overman found her lifes passion for furniture in a broken-down chair left on the side of the road in rural Kentucky. She learns to turn other peoples castoffs into beautifully restored antiques, and eventually finds a way to open her own shop in Charleston. There, Teddi builds a life for herself as unexpected and quirky as the customers who visit her shop.  Though Teddi is surrounded by remarkable friends and finds love in the most surprising way, nothing can alleviate the haunting uncertainty shes felt in the years since her brother Joshs mysterious disappearance. When signs emerge that Josh might still be alive, Teddi is drawn home to Kentucky.  Its a journey that could help her come to terms with her shattered family—and to find herself at last.  But first she must decide what to let go of and what to keep. Looking for Me brilliantly melds together themes of family, hope, loss, and a mature once-in-a-lifetime kind of love. The result is a tremendously moving story that is destined to make bestselling author Beth Hoffman a novelist to whom readers will return again and again as they have with Adriana Trigiani, Fannie Flagg, and Joshilyn Jackson.

Review: Looking for Me is an intense novel about what happens when a family member suddenly disappears and years go by with no answers. It is not hard to fall in love with Teddi as a reader. Ms. Hoffman's style immediately pulls you in and makes Teddi accessible. Teddi is the friend all of either wants in our life or wants to be. Although deep down, Teddi is wounded.

Through deftly written flashback chapters, we learn about Teddi's life on her farm with her family and her extremely close relationship with her younger brother, Josh. It is through these flashbacks that you begin to understand the impact all of this had on Teddi. By the end of the book, you just want to know what happened, so Teddi can move on with her life and be at peace.

Ms. Hoffman's detail is exquisite. I had no clue about restoring furniture before reading this book and now I could at least understand what people are talking about in a conversation. It is evident that Ms. Hoffman knows her details about wildlife and birds of prey in particular.

The title, Looking for Me, has different meanings as you read through the book they begin to come to light. I loved that the book was set in Charleston. I haven't been there since I was a kid but it's somewhere I long to go to again.

Ms. Hoffman is indeed a gifted writer. With both Looking for Me and Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, she has won me over as a fan for life. They are two very different books but both pull you in and hook you. You fall in love with her characters and never want to leave them. I look forward to reading whatever she writes next.

Looking for Me has something for everyone. It is a bit mystery, a bit family, a bit of a love story. This wonderful novel comes out on May 28th. I can't recommend it enough.

Final Take: 5/5

Thanks to Ms. Hoffman for an ARC of the novel.



Beth Hoffman May 22, 2013 at 12:50 PM  

What a truly fabulous review ... Thank you so, so much! I'm delighted that you loved Teddi and found yourself drawn into her story, and I'm honored to have earned a 5-star review.

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