Published by: Pamela Dorman Books
Published on: May 28, 2013
Page Count: 368
My Reading Format: Audiobook sent to me by the publisher for consideration
Audiobook Published by: Penguin Audio
Narrator: Jenna Lamia
Audiobook Length: 12 hours
Available Formats: Hardcover, eBook, and Audiobook
Summary from the Publisher:
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.
As I sit and write this reviews, I have just returned from a whirlwind trip to Grand Rapids, Michigan to celebrate my sister’s marriage. It was a 12 hour+ drive each way. While we spent a good deal of the time on one turnpike or another, there was a still a good stretch of road through small towns and neighborhoods. Along the way I saw many garage sales. Growing up in my family, it is no wonder that they always catch my attention. I have enjoyed garage sale-ing with my mother and working at our own since I was little. What was different about this drive through garage sale territory was what my eyes were drawn to – furniture. I’ve never before turned to garage sales for furniture. Now I know I always will because of Looking For Me. Within the first chapter or two, Beth Hoffman’s latest novel excited my imagination and made me want to pick up a hobby I’ve never once considered. That is just the first indication that I’d found a winner in Teddi Overman.
This book held on to me from page one and has made me take a new look at what I have around me. I was thrilled for her as she remembered the pieces of furniture she rescued and refinished in her childhood. I was so proud of the way she used her talent to take something no one wanted and turn it into something that would make a stranger stop along the side of the road to buy from her. She fought to follow her bliss and make a life for herself, which came both with rewards and at a cost. Through it all she kept her humor and there were as many laugh ouf loud moments as there were sentimental ones. Teddi Overman is such a wonderful character and as such she attracted interesting people to her. This made Looking For Me so enjoyable from start to finish.
I had been planning to read Looking For Me prior to the publication date since I first knew of it’s existence. I loved Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt and Beth Hoffman is such a pleasure. When an advance copy of the audiobook arrived I was able to start it even earlier. It was a such a treat. I had first listened to Jenna Lamia’s narration in The Help. I was rather new to audiobooks at the time and I enjoyed her work. Now I am better able to articulate just why. Her voice is so pleasant and her variations of Southern accent provide just the right variety needed for the listener to be able to keep characters straight simply by the way she gives them voice. Listening to her work, I felt as though she fully embodied Teddi. It was as if she was in my car with me telling me about her life. I found myself sitting in parking lots and in my garage much longer than I had to simply to extend my time with the audiobook and the story. There is one moment between Teddi and a nurse at her grandmother’s nursing home that was performed to sheer perfection. I think back to the way Jenna Lamia performed that all the time when I need a smile. I couldn’t imagine a better narrator for Beth Hoffman’s work.
When I enjoy an author’s debut so much that I suggest it to anyone asking for a good book to read, picking up their second book can make me a little apprehensive. I had all the faith in the world in Beth Hoffman and it paid off in spades. Without taking anything away from Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt, Looking For Me is just that much better. I know that Teddi will stay with me for years to come. She peaked my interest in something new and, as a person who buys foresaken things at garage sales and estate sales and turns them into jewels to make a living, I know she would delight my mother as well. I can’t wait to share it with her. Looking For Me will undoubtedly be a books I gift over and over again.
June is Audiobook Month. In celebration, I’ll be hosting an audiobook giveaway each week. Stop back on Wednesday for my giveaway of Looking For Me audiobook.