Saturday, July 6, 2013

Looking For Me by Beth Hoffman

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 shop.  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.

Book #1 from my Summer Reading List is complete, and what a great start! 

As happens occasionally, I find myself wondering if the person who wrote the jacket synopsis actually read the book.  While the blurb above is technically accurate, it does not do the story justice.  Then again, the best books defy description, so perhaps the magic of this story can't be captured in a few sentences on the cover flap - or in a blog review.

I was drawn to this book by the antique furniture angle and expected a "small town girl makes good in the big city" story, with a bit of a mystery (the missing brother), and some romance.  It is all that - but more.  Librarians are scratching their heads and wondering where to shelve this one.

You could actually remove the missing brother (if you can remove something that's missing - ?) and still have a good book, but his story "kicks it up a notch".  Josh's story is told in mainly in flashbacks, which I found odd at first, but revealing it in crumbs rather than chunks is part of what gives the story that indescribable "thing" that makes it special.  

I could try to tell you exactly why this is such a special book, but then you would be wasting time reading my poorly written thoughts when you could be reading this beautifully written book - which I highly recommend that you do.  

Looking for Me added two entries to my Favorite Quotes page:

About her best friend, Olivia - a specialist in book restoration:

Mirroring my passion for antiques was Olivia's strong relationship with books.  She devoured them and often read as many as five a week.  She hunted them down, mended their wounds, and brought them back to life.
And for the "been there" department:
My mother's eyes became watery and sad.  "Not all that long ago, I went to bed thinking I looked pretty good for my age.  I swear, when I woke up the next morning, a haggard old woman was staring back at me in the mirror." 


  1. Your review of my novel is wonderful (and wonderfully written, too). Thank you so much, Tami!

    1. Thank you, Beth. I'm honored that you stopped by.

  2. I've enjoyed cruising through your blog and will be sure to stop by in the future, too!

  3. Great review! I do love that second quote. Looking forward to reading this one!