Sunday, June 9, 2013

One of the Best Books This Year: Looking For Me-Beth Hoffman

Looking For Me
Beth Hoffman

Galley copy from Beth Hoffman

I can't rave enough about Looking For Me. I am not one of these book reviewers that can read a book in one sitting. For the first time I did.   By the time I was finished it was past nine o'clock. Where did the time fly, it was that good.  I got lost in the story. It was worth it. It is such a good "feel good" book.

I love historical fiction, so contemporary women's fiction usually is not my taste. But, I loved Beth Hoffman's last novel, Searching for CC Honeycutt.  I knew I had to read her next book. It is totally differently than her other book. 

My taste in books are, one it has to be original, and two grab me from the get go. Well, it did both.
But it was a surprise there were two main ingredients that I enjoyed as well, mysticism and it was magical, with antidotes sprinkled in for good measure.

I loved the stories and the old saying that her grandmother, and everyone that Teddi encountered giving her antidotes to use for save keeping to use at a later date.  Then there were so many funny and belly laughs I could not help myself.   

I will tell you two parts that stand out to me.  Beginning the book, Teddi's father had a love for his rooster.  He actually had a place on the tractor for his throne. I could picture that hen, or rooster I can't remember which. But, her father had the ritual that the rooster would follow Teddi's father on the tractor each day while working on the farm.  I could see that old rooster or hen supervising.

The other is when Teddi was older, and her girlfriend was upset because she lost her chance with the plumber, poet. She said I have no reason to have him come to the house.  Teddi, took the sledge hammer to the faucet, and slammed it.  She said now, you do.  It was much funnier explained in the book.

Looking For Me takes place in Kentucky, and then moves Teddi to Charleston, SC. A perfect setting for anything antique. If you have never been to Charleston, you are missing out on old southern culture. The old homes are the setting of dreams of Gone With The Wind. 

 There is nothing that compares to Charleston anywhere in this country. The homes on the battery are the most gorgeous, with the wrap around porches with the large columns, and the big picture windows. Believe it or not most of the homes don't even need a/c because of the oceans breezes are off the battery. 

Beth Hoffman did a beautiful job writing her love of Charleston, and the historic homes, and the antiques they have.

I have been to Charleston many times, and when she described some of the homes with the old antique ovens, and the old plumbing in the kitchen. I could vision this while reading.


Looking For Me, it is multi- layered, with complex characters. Teddi, and Josh are brother and sister living on a farm in Kentucky. Her parents are both very complicated and keep secrets from their children.

One day, Josh is missing, and he never turns up. Is he alive, and living in the forest? He's body never surfaces. He always was and close to nature it may be the mystery of where he is.

Then when her mother passes away she returns to her family home to sell the land. This brings back feeling about her brother's disappearance to the surface. Everything that she questions about her brother's returns. Is it coincidence? Or is it a sign to her to sell the family's farm to a couple that wants the farm, but can't afford it?

In life there are mysteries there is no answer to. But, there are mysteries that take a turn and answer you without you realizing, from g-d perhaps, or a higher being, who knows.

There is the culture of Charleston set in the story, Ms. Hoffman was a interior designer field and you can tell, her love for designing is set in the story. I am so much in love with all the characters, I fell in love with all of them over, and over again. I don't want to let them go-o! I felt like they were real. They felt so real to me in reality. When I finished reading Looking For Me, I thought where did they go!!

All I can say, is that this is my favorite book this year, so far. My reading picks for this year has not been the best. But, Looking For Me just went on my best reads for 2013. Looking for Me is a feel good book, and doesn't disappoint. Believe me you won't be disappointed.


Beth Hoffman said...

Oh my goodness ... Thank you so much for your wonderful review of my novel! I'm so glad (and honored) that you loved Teddi's story. The photos you included are terrific, too.

bermudaonion said...

I'm almost done with this book and I really hate for it to end.

Zed K said...

This sounds really interesting. Not my usual type of read but something I would consider putting on my tbr pile seeing as how much you have enjoyed it. Btw, I liked the pics!

Monika said...

Oh wow, I have to read this book! It sounds amazing. Great view. (I lived in Charleston for 6 years as a kid)

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susan said...

Kathy, Let me know what you think after you finish it. I am still gushing over it. Beth Hoffman, is coming to my area this week. I am so upset because I can't make it. As well as a good writer, she is a wonderful person. I am glad you are enjoying it.

susan said...

Zed, hope you can read it sometime. It is a feel good novel, and making your spirit fly.

susan said...

It is amazing Monika, it is one of those books that you wish it wouldn't end.