Looking For Me cements Beth Hoffman’s status as a writer who delivers complicated characters and story lines with heart. In this latest novel, Teddi Overman has followed her dream, which has taken her to Kentucky to build a career in the acquiring and restoration of antiques. As the story unfolds it comes out that Teddi’s brother, Josh, disappeared mysteriously when she was a young woman, and her family has never recovered from his loss. Teddi begins a journey through her past and toward burgeoning self-discovery when she begins to find evidence that Josh may still be alive.
Reading one of Hoffman’s books is like settling down with an old friend and having a nice long chat. From the sumptuous descriptions of meals and iced drinks, to the decadent renderings of furniture restoration and the richly imagined landscape, Looking for Me is a feast of the senses as well as a deeply imagined testament to the bonds of family – especially this brother and sister. Teddi is a wonderful character to get to know and root for. She hasn’t had a perfect upbringing, her relationship with her mother has always been difficult – though she tries very hard to keep in touch and still engages her, her love life isn’t the best, and while her business is rewarding and satisfying, the ends don’t always meet. Teddi juggles her troubles less successfully when she becomes consumed with finding out what happened to her brother.
Hoffman’s winning narrative touches upon a host of timely issues such as forest and wildlife protection and conservation, reintegrating war veterans into society and home life, as well the tried and true themes of troubled marriages, domestic unhappiness, mother/daughter relationships and sibling bonds. The writing is beautiful and the story is one that is touching and surprising. Perfect to read this summer or with your book club. Highly recommended.