Looking For Me by Beth Hoffman

“We are the authors of our lives, and, through choice or circumstance, some of us leave our stories unfinished or untold. Though it’s taken me a long while to get here, I’ve come to accept that life, like the vast woodlands that surround my childhood home, is layered with mysteries. 
And what of mysteries? 
We sift and search and question as we try to discover our truths and the truths of those we love, and sometimes when we least expect it, a mystery we never knew existed gets solved while all else remains unanswered.” (p. 352)
If Saving CeeCee Honeycutt is anything like Looking for Me, it’s no wonder that Beth Hoffman is so well loved. Her writing is evocative of the tender place we call home however each of us defines it.
 
I have never been to Charleston in my life, and yet I could walk the streets with Teddi looking at the fine historic mansions, or walk into her antique shop, as easily as if I was there a million times before. I could see the treasures she had on display, lovingly brought back to ‘life’ through her vision and hard work. I could laugh with her, and Albert, and Inez as they all worked comfortably side by side, invested into the antiques, but more into the relationship they hold with one another.
 
My heart felt tremendous empathy for Teddi, a single woman with great ambition: not to excel on a place such as Wall Street, but to achieve the dream of having her own antique store, her own small home. I could feel for the love she carried for her childhood home, a farm in Kentucky, with the barn, the hay, and the homemade bread slathered thickly with strawberry preserves. This life seems all but gone in the hectic pace of today, but how well I remember the farms of my youth…
 
The crux of the story, though, lies in the mystery of Teddi’s brother. Keenly attuned with nature, he would leave her feathers of ravens, or red-tailed hawks, or a bright yellow goldfinch. He would leave rocks, or notes, on her bedside table to find upon waking. And he would leave her completely, not knowing if he was dead or alive, living in the gorge or fallen to his fate. It was a terrible way to live, and having a special Grammy, a best friend named Olivia, and a lover named Sam, could only alleviate her pain so much.

I loved this book for exploring my heart, for keeping me in touch with nature and the things of this world which mean something to me, but most of all for acknowledging that there are some mysteries we simply must bear.