A Southern novel of family and antiques from the bestselling author of the beloved Saving CeeCee Honeycutt
Beth Hoffman’s best-selling debut, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, won admirers and acclaim with its heartwarming story and cast of unforgettable characters. Now her unique flair for evocative settings and richly drawn Southern personalities shines in her compelling new novel, Looking for Me.
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.
Looking for Me brilliantly melds together themes of family, hope, loss, and a mature once-in-a-lifetime kind of love. The result is a tremendously moving story that is destined to make bestselling author Beth Hoffman a novelist to whom readers will return again and again as they have with Adriana Trigiani, Fannie Flagg, and Joshilyn Jackson.
©2013 Beth Hoffman (P)2013 Penguin Audio
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"It is like listening to a friend...."
If you want to listen to a book that tugs not only at your heart, but is like listening to a new friend tell you their story--then get this book. While some may get frustrated with the back and forth between childhood and adulthood, just remember no life story is ever told chronological. It is told piece by piece-memory by memory. Beth Hoffman is a great story weaver--as story teller does not capture the essence of her talent.
Jenna's performance provides your imagination an opportunity to make the movie in your head. It is 3D without the hype. She adds dimension to each character, right down to all creatures great and small. And if you haven't listened to Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt, then add it to your list. Both are books that I could listen to over and over again. In fact, I have listened to Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt about four times in the last year. It is like watching your favorite movie, you never tire of the characters, the story, the way it moves your soul. Looking For Me is right there along side Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt. If audiobooks could ever look tattered, dog-eared, and tear-stained...
"Great Second Novel"
Love southern literature. I especially like that this novel is partially based in Kentucky (my home state). Loved Beth Hoffman’s “Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt.” This is a great second novel. Sometimes an author’s sophomore novel does not measure up the first. This one does. The characters are likable, especially Teddi. Teddi’s relationships are believable and real. She is a woman who has a dream and is passionate about that dream. Depicts Red River Gorge realistically. My favorite listen this summer.
"Another fascinating story from Beth Hoffman!"
As much as I enjoyed Beth Hoffman's "Saving CeeCee Honeycutt" I think I enjoyed her newest book "Looking For Me" even more. Ms. Hoffman does a great job conveying real Southern scenery & portrays truly charming Southern characters.
"Looking for Me" has a believable yet somewhat mystical story line that had me wanting to drive for just a little a while longer each day (in addition to my normally heinous daily commute to work) in order to hear just a little more of Teddy's story.
I do hope to read many, many more Beth Hoffman novels in the future.
"What a Great Read!"
When I first saw this book, being a Southerner and reading Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt, I knew I had to have it … and it didn’t disappoint. Teddi Overman is one of those characters that we all love. She is a typical Southern girl who is independent, strong, and at the same time vulnerable. Her family dynamics are similar to what we all go through in one way or the other. Beth Hoffman has created a story that is captivating and charms the reader, while keeping the reading wanting more. It was one of those rare books that when I finished it I had a satisfied smile on my face and satisfaction in my heart.
"Kept waiting for this to get better"
This wasn't a horrible book, but it was frankly boring. The only plot twists could be seen for miles away, the ending was anti-climatic, the characters weren't really endearing, the descriptions were pretty flat. I love books with Southern characters in Southern settings I can immerse myself in, and I was hoping this would be similar but it wasn't. I never got a real feel for Kentucky or Charleston, and I was irritated that I knew what was going to happen before it did all throughout the book (and I'm not one to usual do that, I'm typically oblivious, it was just so obvious and cliche most of the time). I wouldn't recommend this book. The narrator was average - she stayed in character and each character had a unique voice, but I didn't get why she used certain accents for certain characters - sometimes it didn't make sense.
"Hauntingly Beautiful and as Southern as Sweet Tea"
The threads of this book seem to have woven themselves deep into my own soul as I listened . . . I, too, am from rural Kentucky. I know about the serenity, the corn fields, the hay loft, and escaping into the hills . . . I, too, love the acorns, the leaves, the seed pods, and all the animals that live there. When Josh made the corsage from the wonderful things that he had found and treasured in the woods, I could see it in my mind's eye. I'm very familiar with the "old ways" . . . how the people we love keep secrets . . . hide things . . . things that could have brought healing and understanding if only they had let them go . . . and let them out. Beth Hoffman is a master story teller, and Jenna Lamia narrates "Looking for Me" perfectly. You will love Teddi, the country girl from Kentucky, who is brave enough to chase her dream to Charleston, despite the objections of her mother . . . who tries her best to project HER OWN dreams upon her daughter. And you will ponder over Josh, her little brother, who is cut from a different cloth, and who has his own dreams. Don't miss this one, it will stay with you for a long time, whirling around in your head . . . and in your heart.
"A little slow"
I enjoy southern literature and I love Jenna Lamia, the narrator. Looking For Me was a sweet story but the lack of drama left me wanting more. I kept waiting for something to happen when I finally realized it was just going to be a story about a girl who moves to Charleston and opens her own antique store. The storyline regarding the search for her brother was extremely limited. I just felt it was very slow and without much depth.
I would have made Teddy a little more complex and given the story a little more depth.
I love Jenna Lamia. She is the perfect narrator and was perfect for this book.
"Delightful and Charming"
Beth Hoffman is a wonderful story teller, she has a way of making you feel like you are truly in the story along with, her genuine and so likable characters. I just finished reading, "Saving Cee Cee "Huneycutt". It was so good that I could not wait to see if she could follow it with another that had the same enjoyable quality. Thankfully, a repeat performance, this book was a bit more serious but an excellent story non the less.
Teddi our main character has a fire in her belly and refuses to be a conformist. At a time when women were expected to be clerical workers Teddi refuses to let any one break her spirit or ruin her dream of becoming an antique dealer/rest-orator. She moves from Kentucky to Charleston to follow her passion. With some help from a seasoned antique shop owner and all the courage and perseverance she could muster, she eventually becomes the owner of her own shop. One year when she returns home for Thanksgiving things become very complicated with her family when, her 18 year old brother, who has always had an uncanny connection to nature, decides to disappear after an unavoidable, turned tragic, family conflict.
A splendid journey through a honorable life. Theodora is surrounded by love, complex family relationships, deserved rewards for good deeds, and a whole wonderful amazing cast of long term friendships. A cozy bit of romance and a side-bar of mystery thrown in, makes this a well rounded, fantastic listen.
Jenna Lamia captures all the nuances of each character in their dialect and tone, she makes them all come to life. I realized that when the story was on a happy note her voice and pace made it happier and when it was sad she can make you cry. Another bright success by Hoffman and Lamia, I hope we don't have to wait too long for another. Definitely credit worthy.
"Uneven (possible spoilers)"
I've read many books that jump back and forth between past and present but this book was very uneven. It didn't need to be strictly chronological because there's no fun in that, but past events introduced later in the book should have been earlier because they explained the characters' motivations. Instead, the characters, such as Teddi's mom and brother, seem to be randomly overreacting. I really found the "explanation" for Josh's actions unrealistic and unbelievable. He was very tiresome.
Also, Teddi clearly knows her own mind at a young age and the only issue in her life is her brother. Other than that, there is no drama, which is fine but an odd character for a book titled "Looking for Me." I guess there is a denouement but it's definitely less of a bang, more of a whimper.
Jenna Lamia is an incredible narrator and she creates a unique voice for each character. Truly a pleasure to listen to her.
Jenna Lamia's narration made this book bearable.
I truly loved Beth Hoffman's first book and felt it was a very well done story, so I'm disappointed by her latest book. But I hope she keeps writing.
"A lovely book - beautifully narrated"
This is a perfect example of a book that's so perfectly narrated it's hard to separate the book from the narration. It's a wonderful story - though not particularly deep. Death, life, ambition, destiny and love are all treated with classic southern sweetness and kid gloves.
There are some similarities to "The Goldfinch" that are interesting. The books were written at the same time so any kind of similarity is entirely coincidental I'm sure. I don't write spoilers in my reviews so I won't say more. What I will say is that in both this book and her first one "Saving CeeCee Honeycutt" the author makes it clear what a difference love and kindness can make in a life.
I zipped through this book and immediately listened to the first one. The author, her characters and Jenna Lamia are just made for each other. Both books are good listens. Not deep, not profound -- but lovely.
This is such a beautiful book to listen to. The narrator is excellent. From the first word to the last she has you captivated in the story. I loved all of the characters. It's heartwarming, touching and at times heartbreaking. The book is beautifully written. Although, I think I enjoyed listening to it more than I would have if I had read it. It is one of those rare occasions when the author and the narrator come together in perfect harmony. Jenna Lamia tells the story rather than some narrators that just read the book - there's a big difference ! I am very sad to have finished it.
"A wonderful saga"
I enjoyed this story immensely. I hadn't read any previous books by this author and didn't know what to expect but what I found was a wonderful long story full of likeable, real characters. I looked forward to hearing the next chapter and lingered over chores so I could hear just a little bit more!
I love Jenna Lamias narration...I could listen to her voice for hours, it is the perfect voice for the story.
Well worth a listen.
"Not too impressed"
I liked the description of the furniture that she was restoring. I enjoyed the beginning of the book as it reminded me of the home life of Skeeta in the book The Help, and also the relationship she had with her mother. That's where the similarity ends! The storyline was very slow and not a lot happened. I only persevered with it because of the excellent narrator. I was really disappointed with the ending. I was waiting for an exciting and emotional outcome to the story, but it just didn't deliver,
Not sure. I would study the synopsis first, but then again......probably not.
I have listened to The Help. She was one of the 3 narrators. (BEST BOOK EVER!!) She was the main reason I got this book. She is an absolute gem of a narrator. She can do so many different voices, both male and female, old and young. She really brings a book to life. I could not have finished this book if I'd have been reading it, or if another narrator had been doing the reading. I would have given up half way through. She is a very entertaining reader.
I really don't think so. If someone asked me what the book was about, I would struggle to give an answer!
"not as good as expected.having"
having listened to and enjoyed saving cee cee Honeycutt I thought looking for me would be really good and enjoyable. I nearly gave up at the beginning but realising beth Hoffman was the author carried on. in the end I did finish it but can't say I enjoyed it. there were a lot of sad bits with very little humour to offset this.
told in the first person it went between childhood and adulthood numerous times breaking the flow of the story.
jenna lamia was o.k performing the story.
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