Title: Looking for Me
Author: Beth Hoffman
Publication Year: 2013
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Source: sent by author
Setting: KY and SC
Date Completed: May - 2013
From the age of 10, back in 1964, Teddi Overman had an eye for beautiful furniture. One day she found an old chair in a ditch along the side of the road, and carried it down the road to her family farm. After she finished restoring the chair, she found a small table to refinish and sold the piece for $100.00. This sale led to her being invited to meet with a Mr. Palmer, an antique's dealer in South Carolina.
Teddi dreamed that one day she'd have her own antique's business. Her controlling mother had other plans for Teddi. She wanted her to go to secretarial school after graduation. Her father, on the other hand, was quiet about his feelings on the subject, but deep down supported his daughter.
Without giving too many specifics about this story away, I'll just say that it isn't all about Teddi, it's about family as well. It's about losing people we love, and accepting our losses. Teddi's younger brother Josh (who Teddi got to name when he was born), is a haunting character in this novel. Teddi describes her brother as: "quiet and introspective, gentle, a loner, thoughtful". He was also was a lover of nature and animals and loved spending time in the woods. An extremely, sad incident involving Josh at the age of 17 causes him to leave home one day while Teddi is living in South Carolina.
This is a story that full of Southern charm. I loved the characters that the author has created. They are not perfect people, but so real and memorable. The storyline goes back and forth in time, a device which seemed to work well in this novel. Although the story, for the most part, is quiet and contemplative one, it is never boring, nor does is disappoint. Acceptance is a theme that came across loud and clear to me -- there are some things that happen in life, choices we make that just can't be explained or undone. The novel is not entirely sad, some of the quirky characters will make readers smile. The title "Looking for Me", was a perfect choice as readers will come to realize for themselves once they finish this touching story. A perfect summer choice. Be sure to read it!