Monday, June 3, 2013

Book Review & Giveaway: Looking for Me

**Giveaway is now closed**

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. (Summary courtesy of Amazon.com)

Amy Bromberg:
Looking For Me is such a beautifully written novel. It is the story of Teddi Overman, a woman at a very young age who finds her calling for restoring furniture. Even though her mother wants her to be a secretary, a job that would give her stability, she follows her dreams and eventually owns her own antique restoring shop in Charleston. Teddi is able to see beauty in beaten up pieces of furniture; ones that most people would throw away, and she turns them into beautifully restored antiques.

At the heart of the story is how Josh, Teddi’s younger brother, disappears at a very young age. As you can imagine, this tears the family apart. Unlike her parents and many folks in the community, Teddi always felt somewhere that he was still alive. Teddi took care of Josh ever since he was a baby, so of course she developed a strong bond with him. He loved nature and animals, and spent a lot of time in the woods. Josh finds beauty in feathers of endangered birds and in sticks, etc. He looks at these birds as beautiful creatures where most people would not.

The life Beth breathes into her characters and the story’s settings are just breathtaking. I’ve never been to either Kentucky or Charleston, but I can now imagine what they must be like. I’ve really never had a yearning to visit a farm, but I do now after reading about the times Teddi’s time on her family’s farm both as as a young girl and as an adult. Beth uses such stunning words to describe something "small" like a bird feather to something "big" like a sunrise one would see from the top of a ferris wheel. When I read the word "tangerine" to describe this sunrise, the image it conjures up in my head is absolutely beautiful.

Looking For Me would make a fantastic book club pick. This is definitely one to not miss. Run and get a copy NOW!

Melissa Amster:
It's been five years since Billie Letts last produced a new novel and I've been craving something that gives me the same heartwarming, "comfort food" feel that her books have. I first found a novel earlier this year that Billie would be proud of (and if you can remember which one I'm talking about, nice work with paying attention to my reviews). Currently, Beth Hoffman's latest novel, Looking for Me has taken on the the "title," so to speak.

While Amy has mentioned a lack of interest in farms prior to reading this novel, I feel I should mention that reading it gave me an interest in something I could have cared less about before...antique furniture (and the restoration process). Beth's descriptions of how Teddi lovingly restored furniture and gave it a new style made me want to go antique shopping and add something nice to my home. I also loved that through Teddi's passion came her career. I always enjoy reading about women entrepreneurs and seeing their business take shape.

Aside from the one really mean guy mentioned in the novel (no spoilers as to why), I really liked all the characters Beth introduced me to throughout the story. There were eccentric antique thieves and people trying to help Teddi break into the business. Her family was amazing to read about, as well. I felt like they were sitting in my kitchen having a conversation. I so wanted her to find her brother, Josh, again and felt the same ups and downs she did when she thought she had found a new lead to chase. I can't even imagine, nor would I want to, having a family member disappear like that.

Overall, Looking for Me was sweet, heartwarming and difficult to put down. I even found myself reading it during bouts of heavy traffic on my ride home from work. I wish it had gone on longer, but all good stories have to come to an end at some point or they'll be a million pages!

Thanks to Beth Hoffman for the book in exchange for an honest review. And thanks to Penguin, we have TWO copies to give away to some lucky US readers!

How to win:
Tell us about you're trying to reconnect with but can't find anywhere. (No need to list names if you don't want to. Just talk about relationship with them.)

One entry per person.

Please include your e-mail address or another way to reach you if you win. Entries without contact information will NOT be counted.

US only. Giveaway ends June 9th at midnight EST.

42 comments:

Book Mama said...

A person I have tried to reconnect with but can't find anywhere is my cousin. I haven't seen him since I was a young girl.

mengel2@nycap.rr.com

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

I have wanted to reconnect with a friend from high school for years, but cannot seem to find her :(

I cannot wait to read this! I looooved Saving CeCe Honeycutt and am so excited for something else by Beth Hoffman!

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

Oops, email is: missamberljohnson at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Lots of old friends & cousins....seems like the older you get, the "farther away" everyone becomes. hmanes1214@gmail.com

Sue G. said...

One of my college roommates all of a sudden disappeared. Last we heard she was somewhere in Florida (we are all in Ohio).

suegaluska (at) yahoo (dot) com

pascale said...

A college friend is someone I cannot find and wish I could. Usually, facebook helps, but not in this case!

pascale.poitras@verizon.net

TinaB said...

I've been hoping to reconnect with a past co-worker. Can't find them on fb, twitter :(
Brannanflooring@aol.com

Jackie Bouchard said...

I've been trying to find a friend from high school (or so long ago). Can't find her anywhere - she doesn't seem to be on Facebook or anywhere else (she always was a smart gal - prob'y too smart for those time sucks!) :)

Just finished Saving CeeCee H, so would love to read this.

Jackie Bouchard said...

D'oh. Forgot to leave my email: jackiebouchard at hotmail dot com

Summer Grinstead said...

I would love to reconnect with an old friend that I had as a child. We have lost touch since school and I heard she moved out of state.

sumsum085@aol.com

Lea said...

I would love to reconnect with a friend I had until 1st grade when she moved to CA. I've searched for her online a few times, but so far can't find her.
leaasmanATyahooDOTcom

Rhonda said...

Ann elementary school camp friend shared a lot sorry we lost contact.lomazowr@gmail.com

Mary Jo Burke said...

High schools friends have married and parents moved.

maryjo(at)maryjoburke(dot)com

Bridget O'Neill said...

I'd love to reconnect with my college roommate, but I have no idea where she is :(

bjoneill@hotmail.com

Bonnie K. said...

It would be great to connect with friends I had during college; many of whom I knew in the dormitory. Wished facebook was a tool to use then--hard to find people.

bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

holdenj said...

We moved across the country when I was in eighth grade. I would love to reconnect with my best friend from elementary school--just to catch up. We were in touch thru college, then life kind of got in the way.
Would love to win! Thanks1
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I've been trying to reconnect with a grade school friend and just have no luck finding her.

melinda.garza15@yahoo.com

Linda Kish said...

I have been trying to find my friend from high school. I have tried everything I can think of and still no luck. I wish I could reconnect with her again. It's been 45 tears since I have seen her.

I am a GFC follower

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Ingeborg said...

I would like to reconnect with a friend I lost touch with about 20 years ago. I would love to know how she is.

Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

Kelly RS said...

My friend in High School - would like to reconnect with her! Loved CeCe - looking forward to this one!

karenk said...

a friend from college...thanks for the chance to read this fabulous novel.

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

bn100 said...

Not looking to reconnect with anyone

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Jilleen said...

two of my sorority sister. None of us have heard from them since graduation (years and years ago). Thanks for the great giveaway!

Looking for Me is on my TBR list.

Jill at Seaside Book Nook

seasidebooknook at yahoo dot com

Erica said...

A childhood friend. Too many years have passed I guess.

wordywon at gmail dot com

Chrissy TheEveryFreeChanceReader said...

there isn't anyone that I'm really trying to reconnect with. There are a few people I'd like to know if they are doing well. But no one i'm trying to get in touch with.

everyfreechance@gmail.com

Stacie said...

I've been trying to find a foreign exchange student that our family hosted in 1976 from Brazil. Her parents were very wealthy and when they found out that she lived and worked on a farm without servants and had to do chores and help around the house, they refused her to have any more contact with our family. My parents taught her English, taught her to cook, etc and even though she was only with us a for a year, we certainly loved her. I wish I could find her for my parents sake. They would love to know how she turned out.

JROSEN60 said...

a friend from college

jrosen60@gmail.com

rubynreba said...

I'd like to connect with a former neighbor. I've tried so hard and really wish I could locate her.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

QuenKne said...

I would love to reconnect with an old family friend of my grandparents. She has a lot of information on our heritage and I would love to find her before we lose that link to our family forever.

nmc69 (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

Margie said...

I'd like to reconnect with a friend from school. I have never been able to find her. Thanks for the giveaway.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Nova said...

I would love to reconnect with my best friend from high school. She married and went to the Navy life. I had married and went to the Air Force life. We wrote forever, but when she got a divorce, we lost touch. Have tried everywhere I can, but to no avail.
sparkle40175@hotmail.com

lindalattelessons said...

I would lvoe to find my friend Suzanna from elementary school. Her family was German and introduced me to tea time and marzipan cakes. Sweet memories!
lenhoff@informativity.com

Susan Coster said...

I am trying to connect with my, sadly, former BFF, from high school, Bev. I am pretty sure she moved from a large city to a rural ranch area. I found her address and phone number, called, but alas, no call back. So sad since we were once so so close ;(

Susan Coster said...

Yikes I forgot to leave my email....scoster1@comcast.net

Ozzy & Cleo's Mom said...

I would love to find my 2nd grade best friend Connie. No bites at all though. :( miemie@kc.rr.com

Karen C said...

I've been trying to reconnect with a girl I went to college with and several women I worked with a very long time ago. Have not been successful in locating them. Yet.
kacbooks(at)hotmail(dot)com

Beth Hoffman said...

Thank you Amy and Melissa for your lovely reviews of my novel! And thank you, too, for offering this terrific giveaway!

Anonymous said...

I am trying to find my big sister (from the big sister/big brother program). She moved away & I lost her forwarding address.

sirlzee@yahoo.com

April Blades said...

In 1994 at the age of 21 I found my father and got to spend one weekend with him. Six months later he died and I never got the chance to meet the rest of his side of the family. I specifically have been searching for a half sister that he told me I have and have not been able to find her yet.
I read Saving CeeCee Honeycutt and it really hit home. I would love to read Looking For Me.
aprilbelieves06@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

A friend from middle school

mellyjoey at aol dot com

Anonymous said...

Not for myself, but for my stepdad...his brother who was born and adopted away before he was born.

mattkirsten219@yahoo.com

Melissa said...

Thanks to everyone for participating and telling us who you'd like to find again. I hope you do find them! I know how you feel, as I have some hard to track down past friends, as well.

Thanks to Penguin for sharing the book with our winners, who were chosen by random.org from all entries with contact info. (One entry per person.)

Congrats to Mary Jo Burke and Susan Coster!