February 9, 2015
Looking for Me
Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman
2013 Pamela Dorman Books/Viking
Finished on January 13, 2015
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good)
Beth Hoffman’s bestselling debut, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, won admirers and acclaim with its heartwarming story and cast of unforgettable characters. Now her flair for evocative settings and richly drawn Southern personalities shines in her compelling new novel, Looking for Me.
Teddi Overman found her life’s passion for furniture in a broken-down chair left on the side of the road in rural Kentucky. She learns to turn other people’s 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 store. Though Teddi is surrounded by remarkable friends and finds love in the most surprising way, nothing can alleviate the haunting uncertainty she’s felt in the years since her brother Josh’s mysterious disappearance. When signs emerge that Josh might still be alive, Teddi is drawn home to Kentucky. It’s 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 themes of family, hope, loss, and a mature, once-in-a-lifetime kind of love. The result is a tremendously moving story that will confirm Beth Hoffman as an author to whom readers will want to return again and again.
I read Beth Hoffman’s debut novel Saving Ceecee Honeycut almost exactly five years ago to the day and, while I was in the minority with my less-than-glowing review for that particular book, I was pleasantly surprised with this second novel. Part mystery, part southern fiction, I was easily drawn into Teddie’s story, enjoying all the references to antiques and the charm of the location and quirky characters. The romantic element was a nice touch and not at all sappy or unrealistic, but the mystery of Josh’s disappearance never really rang true. All in all, a good read and one that held my interest from cover to cover.
Everyone deserves a second a chance. I’m glad I gave Beth Hoffman another try and now look forward to reading her next release. I’ve also added Charleston to my list of places to visit someday.