Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Book Review and Giveaway (Redux): Looking for Me

Looking for Me, by Beth Hoffman, is now available in paperback. To celebrate, we're sharing our review from last year, along with another giveaway.

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

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 Tandem Literary, we have TWO copies to give away to some lucky US readers!

How to win:
Tell us about a piece of furniture that you've had the longest.

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 May 5th at midnight EST.

Enter to win at WhoRuBlog, as well. (US only. Ends May 12th.)


pascale said...

I have three pieces of furniture in my home that my parents had in their home as a child. A bedroom dresser, an armoir and a vanity that they turned into 2 nightstands. I love those pieces.
I remember watching the Brady Bunch and the Partridge Family in my parents bedroom, and the tv was in the armoire. Such memories that I know I can never part with them.

Janine said...

None of the furniture here is anything that I have had very long. When I got divorced from my ex, I sold everything. So, what's here was already here and my husband either bought it or it was given to him. One piece that I love is a secretary that came from his grandmother's house after she passed away. His mom gave it to us with all of the things inside the glass shelves that his grandmother collected. My favorite is antique wooden Betty Boop doll.

Beth Hoffman said...

Thank you Amy and Melissa for re-posting your reviews and for all your kind and generous support!

Stacie said...

I have my Great Aunt Emily's secretary desk. She died at the age of 96 in 1990 and she had it her whole life. I just love it.

S.Sabia said...

The oldest piece of furniture I own is a vanity set that belonged to one of my favorite aunts when she was growing up. She passed away 13 years ago so it is especially important to me.


Anonymous said...

The oldest piece of furniture that I have is a rocking chair of my great grandmothers. I know all of the grandkids and most of the great grandkids were rocked in it at least once. I was lucky enough to have it given to me by my grandmother when my great grandma passed away. It is something I will always treasure. My kids have been rocked in it and one day way off in the future my grandkids and great grandkids will be rocked in it.

Bloomin'Chick Jo said...

I remember when my mother bought the mantle, that is now in my livingroom, when I was a little girl. It had those old fake fireplace logs in it that lit up and made a crackling noise. It made the livingroom of our WWII era apartment feel like home and it continues to make mine & my husband's place feel like home. Mom never did much with it decorating wise and decided she wanted to get rid of it about a decade ago. I told my husband to place rescue it and bring it home! (My mom has the rep of taking things apart once she's decided to get rid of them). It's the focal point of our livingroom and she's often remarked that she regrets not thinking to do more with it!

Bloomin'Chick Jo said...

Ack! Forgot my email, sorry:

Bonnie K. said...

I have a bird's eye maple dresser that belonged to my mother when she was young. I've had it for as long as I can remember--I was a teen I think. I still have the dresser and treasure it--the top has peeled a little; so, I try to prevent it from peeling some more.

bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

I have an antique reproduction roll-top desk that I bought in 1975.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

jodi marinich said...

my old dresser is still at my parents house

Anonymous said...

My nightstand, my mom made it when I was a little girl.

Anonymous said...

I have many special pieces of antique furniture passed down from family but the one piece of furniture I have had the longest is my replica of 1936 Thomas Collection Edition stand up radio. My husband and I bought about 21 years ago.

The one thing I love the most about this radio is the way music sounds coming through it's speakers. During the winter Holidays I listen to our local 1070am radio station and they play the old Christmas music as well as timeless music throughout the year.

My friends say they like my home because every piece has a story.

Thank you for your generosity. Best of luck to all!

jpetroroy said...

Our old rocking chair.

Caroline N. said...

My nightstand was apparently my grandmother's. She took it from someone's porch in the 30's. (Obviously they didn't want it...)

cyn209 said...

my writing desk & dresser....since we moved into my house in 1977!!!!

cyn209 at juno dot com

bn100 said...

kitchen table

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Unknown said...

I have a china cabinet that I would estimate to be from the 1920's. It belonged to my stepfather's parents.Thank you for your giveaway opportunity.

Unknown said...

Left a comment and forgot my email address! Ahhhhh!

Anita Yancey said...

I have an antique make up table and bench that I bought 31 years ago. I'm not sure exactly how old that would make it.


Ro said...

Our bedroom set we purchased after leaving the Army and moving back home. Around 47 years.

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

I read this book as soon as it came out last year and LOVED IT! My copy was from the library though, so I would love to own copy for re-reading in the future!

A piece of furniture that I have had the longest is an old vanity that is still at my parents house. It needs to be refinished, but it is beautiful and I would love to refinish it someday!

missamberljohnson at gmail dot com

Melissa said...

Thanks to everyone for participating and sharing about such special furniture!

Thanks to Tandem Literary for sharing the book with our winners. chose TWO winners from all entries with contact info (one entry per person).

Congrats to:
Jo (gardeningjo)
Linda Kish