Title: Looking for Me
Author: Beth Hoffman
Release Date: May 28, 2013
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Teddi Overman found her passion in restoring broken down furniture, but she hasn’t quite found a way to patch up her broken down life. Teddi still hasn’t recovered from her brother Josh’s disappearance years earlier, and while her heart tells her he’s still alive somewhere in the wilderness, her head tells her that he died long ago. But when Teddi receives a hint that Josh may still be alive, she begins to let go of everything she holds dear to find her brother.
Beth Hoffman’s Looking for Me is a thought-provoking story full of Southern charm. Teddi’s made her home in Charleston, South Carolina, and the novel is dripping with atmosphere. It’s so much fun to immerse yourself in this novel, to imagine sipping at a glass of sweet tea while reading it. Hoffman brings the South to life for the reader; her descriptions are vivid and she includes details that will both enchant and delight readers.
Teddi is at the center of Looking for Me, and from the beginning, readers will be taken in by her. It’s clear she hasn’t lived the easiest of lives, but she’s found something she’s loved to do and poured her whole heart and soul into it. Teddi feels an affinity with this old furniture, with making something broken and old new and whole again. It’s a beautiful metaphor for the book, and one readers will cling to as Teddi delves into the darker aspects of her personal life.
The disappearance of Teddi’s brother, Josh, is central to Looking for Me. It’s not really a mystery, though Hoffman does a great job creating suspense around what happened to him. Hoffman delves into animal rights and wildlife issues as she builds Josh’s story. Not only is it thought-provoking, but it adds further depth to this story as readers see this gentle, sensitive soul tortured by what is going on around him. I won’t say anymore as I don’t want to give away key points of the book, but Josh’s story, and how it affects Teddi, is wonderfully done.
As Teddi begins to look for Josh, she starts to let go of all that she’s worked so hard for in Looking for Me. She begins to neglect work, caring only about finding her brother. It’s a fascinating examination on love and loss; how far should Teddi go to see if her brother is still alive? What should she give up? At what point should Teddi live her own life, rather than be consumed by her brother’s disappearance? It’s a beautiful meditation on how letting go can be an integral part of life and love.
Hoffman’s Looking for Me has a something for every reader. It’s wonderfully written, with beautiful themes, and it’s absolutely gripping. This is a book you’ll want to read in one sitting. The ending is perfect, with all the bittersweets of life; this is a novel I can’t say enough great things about.
Other books by Beth Hoffman:
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt