Prepublication Reviews and Expertly Selected Title Lists

Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman

9780670025831This book combines so many things I personally love; I couldn’t help but enjoy the story. Rural living, antiques, dogs, a reverence for creation, plus a cast of quirky, lovable characters makes even the implausible parts seem possible.

Upon graduation, Theodora “Teddi” Overman’s father helps her leave Kentucky for Charleston, South Carolina. Teddi is pursuing a dream quite different than the one her mother has planned for her. Teddi’s younger brother Josh, who is not quite of this world, later disappears for an entirely different reason. The event which leads to his disappearance, is truly heart wrenching. Both disappearances have a profound impact on the family and the future of their farm.

The story weaves back and forth in time introducing storylines for each of the characters and their relationship to one another. The mystery of what happens to Josh overshadows Teddi’s life, since she is unable to accept the fact he is most likely dead. Love comes in many forms, at all stages of life, and they are all well represented within this novel.

An unlikely couple helps Teddi achieve the dream of owning an antiques restoration business. The move to Charleston brings together Mr. Palmer, the former owner of the shop, Albert, her mentor in furniture restoration, and Inez the resourceful office manager. Their clients include an elderly kleptomaniac and her son, who pays for all his mother’s “purchases”–plus “designamony”, thanks to Inez.

After both her parents pass away, Teddi is faced with tough decisions about the family farm and coming to terms with losing Josh. Her best friend Olivia, a family friend Stella, and Teddi’s grandmother help her through the process.

I believe the book title aptly covers both Teddi’s search for her brother and her own search for self. I’d have preferred a parallel storyline where you also heard from Josh in his own voice and a little less repetition on the furniture restoration details; however I still think this author has wonderful storytelling ability.  Her characters are all flawed in real-life ways and I really felt like they were people I might meet in any small town. If I had to sum up the story in just one word it would be endearing.


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