Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman – Review and Giveaway
If you haven’t experienced the Southern charm and sweetness of author Beth Hoffman, then get ye to a bookstore quickly. Her latest book, Looking for Me, was released this week and it’s a beauty. It’s a June 2013 Indie Next Pick and a SIBA Okra Pick for heaven’s sake!
Hoffman tells the story of Teddi Overman, a young girl growing up on a farm in Kentucky who has a dream. Instead of heading to secretarial school, which is her mother’s want, she is pulled to a life restoring antiques. She has a knack for uncovering beauty and repurposing other people’s discards. After high school, she leaves her parents and brother Josh in the middle of the night and heads for Charleston, South Carolina. She never looks back. It’s here that she finds a new life, new friends, and fulfills her dreams. The years unfold as she builds her antiques and restoration business, but she never forgets her brother who vanished into thin air one day in the Red River Gorge. When she’s in her mid-thirties, Teddi returns to clean up the details of her mother’s estate and finds clues leading her to suspect that her brother is not dead as everyone believed. Her journey to find out the truth about her brother is a compelling quest that forces her to re-examine her own life which has left her focused on work, single, and caring for her grandmother.
Memories of her younger brother haunt Teddi. “My little brother was so wonderstruck by the world around him that never once did I hear him cry. He’d sit in that old buggy with his eyes wide and his ears pricked sharp as a deer’s. It seemed to me that nature spoke to him more plainly than any human voice … as if the wind moving through the trees and the subtle change in a blackbird’s song told him the truth of things.”
Looking for Me has all the right ingredients: a young girl’s courage to follow her dreams, the mystery of a lost sibling, and a backdrop of the South that Hoffman paints vividly in broad strokes overlaying details of native flowers, birds, Indian lore, and canine companions. Hoffman’s descriptions of birds are especially enchanting. A red-tailed hawk has: “cinnamon-colored streaks across his pale chest, dark brown bars at his shoulders, the tip of his rusty-red tail accented by a black band.” And, “The birds spent their days gliding low over the fields as they hunted for unsuspecting rabbits and squirrels. Sometimes they’d ride an air thermal and just glide and glide. After supper, when the sun hung low and the shadows stretched long across the grass, the raptors would return home to the mysteries that lay hidden within the pillars of the giant trees.”
Hoffman is such a crackerjack storyteller you’ll want to read the entire book in one sitting. Her sweet compassion for the people and animals with whom we share this planet combine to make this a heartwarming summer read.
If you’d like a chance to win a copy of Looking for Me courtesy of the folks at Viking, email your name and mailing address to email@example.com. Unfortunately, you must reside in the U.S.
Put Giveaway in the e-mail subject line. One entry per person, please. Your chance of winning increases if you leave a comment or like the post. I’ll accept entries until midnight on June 2, 2013—at which time I’ll draw the winning name. Your email address and other personal information will never be sold or given to a third party except in those instances where the publisher requires a mailing address for sending giveaway winners copies of the book.