“Looking for Me” by Beth Hoffman

Looking for MeLooking for Me by Beth Hoffman
Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Southern Fiction

From the Publisher:

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.

I know the saying–Don’t judge a book by its cover. But honestly, it was this book’s endearing cover that drew me in. The rich colours and the charm of the pictured storefront–I just had to flip it over and read the synopsis. I don’t know what it is about the South, but stories that revolve around that setting tend to entice me. In this case, I’m glad I judged this book by its cover because what I found underneath it certainly held up.

I enjoyed following Teddi’s life. It wasn’t always easy–her life, as many others, was plagued with family entanglements and issues that often barred the way for growth in those relationships. Sometimes, she had to make tough choices–be what my family wants me to be or be who I was made to be? In that instance, she chose to be herself. This, however, left a rift between her and her mother that may not be resolvable if both parties choose not to budge. However, it is this rift that, years later, brings Teddi home to her mother. She comes home to visit and bring her mother back to Charleston with her, but her mother gets sick. Teddi is forced to face the truth of her rushed departure as a teen and face the part she played in creating the rift with her mother. Not only so, but she learns that when it comes to her family, there is more than meets the eye. Only after her mother’s death does she learn who her mother truly was, that her father wasn’t perfect, and that her brother may still be alive.

I really did enjoy this book. I did find that some aspects of it, especially those that involved her brother, tended to be a bit unrealistic. I found that the resolution there was not what I was expecting, and I didn’t necessary see that as a positive surprise. I think that a different resolution would have added more the the complexities of Teddi’s life, and would have spoke more truth into it. However, the writing and, for the more part, the characters, were quite strong and definitely deserve a B+ in my books!