Book Review: Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman

lookingformeTitle: Looking for Me
Author: Beth Hoffman
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: ARC from the author
First line: Some people run toward life, arms flung wide in anticipation.

Goodreads blurb: 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.

Back in the summer of 2010, I read and reviewed Beth Hoffman’s Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, saying, “I will be eagerly anticipating the next story to come from her lovely imagination.” I had no idea that it would take almost three years to see what Beth’s next story would be, but I am so very happy to say that it was worth the wait.

I have had several authors read and comment on my blog – usually when I have just read and reviewed their book, or when they have a book about to come out. Beth is one of the only authors who continued to read and comment on my blog during all those long years between books, and I have come to appreciate her kind spirit and lovely words. Of course, that made agreeing to review her latest book a bit of a sticky proposition: what if I didn’t like it? I’m so glad that my fears were completely unfounded.

Teddi is one of those characters that I simply loved. Her relationship with her brother Josh especially touched me, as I’ve always wondered what it would be like to have a brother. (I have three amazing sisters.) Josh is a unique character; he is a bit other-worldly, something even those around him notice and acknowledge. His connection to the land of Kentucky, where Teddi and he grew up, is so strong that he is completely bound to that piece of the earth, and to its creatures.

During the course of the book, Teddi comes to some realizations about herself, her relationship with her mother, and the disappearance of her brother. Her journey is so real, and each character who walks alongside her is a joy as well. The characters breathed their existence onto the pages, showing me who they were and helping to reveal who Teddi was. While Beth is as good as ever at writing setting, it is the people of Looking for Me who had me turning page after page, not wanting to stop. As I read, I was reminded of the work of two of my favorite authors of women’s fiction: Marisa de los Santos and Joshilyn Jackson. I can only hope that we don’t have to wait another three years for Beth’s next story.

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23 Responses to Book Review: Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman

  1. bermudaonion(Kathy)
    Twitter: bermudaonion

    I absolutely adore Beth and am thrilled that her new book is so good!

  2. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread

    I know, I see her commenting all over the place, and I think that is so wonderful. I don’t when she SLEEPS, but that is a whole different issue! I must read this. If she is sticking in there along side Santos and Jackson, there is no way this could be anything but amazing.

  3. Beth Hoffman says:

    Oh my gosh … thank you so much for this wonderful review! I wrote the story from a very deep place and I’m so glad you enjoyed LOOKING FOR ME.

    I don’t know how long it will take me to write the next one, but maybe not three years …LOL!

  4. Lori Parker says:

    Can’t wait to read this one, as I’m a big fan of Cee-Cee! I got a chuckle out of the comment about waiting three years. I agree. It’s awfully hard on us fans, but then again quality is always worth the wait.

  5. irene says:

    I’m so glad you enjoyed this one as well, I think I’ll re-read Cee Cee, I can’t remember what it was about. thanks Carrie.

  6. Patti Smith
    Twitter: PattiRSmith

    I’m planning to do a lot of catch up reading this summer and I’ve just added Hoffman to the list…I’ve never even read Saving CeeCee Honeycutt 🙁 I definitely feel like I’m missing out.

  7. Kathleen says:

    I definitely need to read this author. This one would be a good pick for my book club.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Kathleen – lots of good discussion topics in this one – it would be perfect for book club.

  8. stacybuckeye says:

    I’m looking forward to this one. Glad it lives up to CeeCee.

  9. Marg
    Twitter: MargReads

    I have Cee-Cee on my shelf here! One day I will read it! I know that Hoffman does seem to be universally loved by bloggers in the corner of the blogosphere that we inhabit!

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Marg – she is a total sweetheart – and she can write like nobody’s business!

  10. Melissa
    Twitter: myeclecticbooks

    This sounds like a great book and an author that I should definitely check out.

  11. I’m looking forward to reading this book, so I’m glad to see you gave it 5 stars!

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