Lost and found

Looking for Me (NetGalley)
Beth Hoffman

Albert removed the chair seat and set it aside. “Don’t look too close. That old chest been through a whole lot. It ain’t never gonna be perfect.” I ran my fingers over the front of a drawer and whispered, “Neither am I, Albert. Neither am I.”

Teddi had a gift. At age ten she dragged a broken-down chair home after finding it by the side of the road. Cleaning, buffing, and oiling it, Teddi had found her true love. From that first chair, her life was one chair, after sideboard, after armoire, after another. And while selling those treasures in the front yard of her family’s Kentucky farmhouse, Teddi dreamed of her future: selling her fix-ups in her very

own shop.  Teddi’s life changed forever when she made her first big sale to an antiques dealer from Charleston, Jackson T. Palmer.

Teddi’s mama, on the other hand, wanted her settled in a job with good benefits and pushed secretarial school brochures her way.  So after high school graduation, Teddi left home in the dead of night, headed for Charleston, where Mr. Palmer took her under his wing shortly after her arrival. And although she missed the farm and her family back home, Teddi had found her place–she turned Mr. Palmer’s shop around, lived in a tiny apartment over a bakery, and spent the weekends searching through yard sales for just the right piece. In Charleston Teddi made her mark, lost her place when Mr. Palmer died, and re-made herself again.

Teddi’s younger brother Josh also has a gift–he is keenly in tune with nature, a boy who heals and tames owls and hawks, who knoww every nook and cranny of Red River Gorge. Quiet and pensive, even his classmates know little about him. And so, a few years after her departure, Josh followed in Teddi’s footsteps, leaves home … and goes missing. Devasted, the entire community comes together to search for him. Was he injured? Did he fall to his death? Had he run away? The mystery of Josh’s disappearance would always shadow Teddi’s family.

Author Beth Hoffman alternates between Teddi’s past and present and the reader is drawn into the mystery of Josh’s fate. We meet Teddi’s best friend Olivia, her Grammy Belle, her employees Inez and Albert, and, finally, her love interest Sam Poteets–but these relationships are almost after-thoughts, and I sense Hoffman needed them only to drive the story of Teddi and Josh forward. Looking for Me is a light read, enjoyable, and satisfying, but not too demanding. If you liked The Knitting Club or The Jane Austen Book Club, you won’t be disapointed in this book. I certainly wasn’t.
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What’s new in my stack o’ books? Gloria by Kerry Young–a coming-of-age story set in Jamaica and Cuba in the forties and fifties and Top Down by Jim Lehrer–a story set against JFK’s assasination–which I’m so excited to have recieved!

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