Cleveland native’s new novel full of mystery and romance
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, the 2009 debut novel by Cleveland native Beth Hoffman, was a favorite with book clubs for its heartfelt story of a Willoughby girl who is sent to live in Savannah with her flamboyant aunt, and forms alliances with the outlandish women who live in the neighborhood. Hoffman’s new book, Looking for Me, should be equally popular.
Looking for Me is the story of Teddi Overman, a Kentucky girl now living in Charleston, S.C. Her happiness is dampened by her mother’s disapproval, and her brother’s disappearance many years before. Though Teddi owns a thriving Charleston antique and furniture restoration business, her mother dismisses her as “thirty-six years old and still a junk picker.” Teddi’s success has been aided by the generosity of others, which gives the book an appealing pay-it-forward spirit.
Teddi’s brother, Josh, has an almost mystical connection with nature, and she continues to hope that he will reappear, while their mother blames Teddi for his leaving. There’s mystery, romance and wit in this affecting book.
Looking for Me (354 pages, hardcover) costs $27.95 from Viking. Beth Hoffman will talk about and sign her book at the new Mayfield branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library, 500 SOM Center Road, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Registration requested; call 440-473-0350.
World War II memoir
Hudson native Edgar C. Forsberg died June 11, 2011, a few days before his 91st birthday, but he lived to publish an exceptional military memoir, Communications From the Front: An Ohio Soldier in World War II. Forsberg describes his enlistment in the Ohio National Guard as a means to “a degree of control over my fate,” and writes that he was “neither an enthusiastic nor a talented soldier.” But his articulate writing shows why he was chosen for Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Ga., and why this account of Forsberg’s service during the invasions of Sicily and Anzio is a valuable addition to the literature.
Communications From the Front (189 pages, softcover) costs $14.95 from online retailers. Edgar C. Forsberg became a psychiatric social worker in Vermont after the war, and retired to North Carolina.
Long-ago battle revisited
The 1862 Battle of South Mountain, near Boonsboro, Md., isn’t one of the better-known events of the Civil War, but Tallmadge native Brian Matthew Jordan thinks it deserves more study. His book Unholy Sabbath: The Battle of South Mountain in History and Memory, September 14, 1862 is based on extensive research, including contemporary accounts of hand-to-hand combat, troop movements and outcome (it was the first major victory for the Army of the Potomac).
The 387-page hardcover costs $32.95 from Savas Beatie. Jordan also has written a book called Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory. He is an adjunct professor of Civil War Studies at Gettysburg College.
More on Civil War
Two more books about the Civil War come from Kent State University Press: In Conflicting Memories on the “River of Death”: The Chickamauga Battlefield and the Spanish-American War, 1863-1933, Bradley S. Keefer, assistant professor of history at Kent State University’s Ashtabula campus, researched the transformation of the northern Georgia battlefield into a training center for troops and later into a national military park. The 424-page hardcover costs $65.
John T. Hubbell, professor emeritus of history at Kent State, was editor of the Civil War History journal for 35 years, from 1965 to 2000, and is the editor of Conflict & Command, first in a series of four Civil War History Readers, which will compile a total of around 50 or 60 of the journal’s most important articles. A second volume will be called Race & Recruitment, and Hubbell will return to edit a third installment on Abraham Lincoln. The first volume, a 365-page softcover, costs $29.95.
Fight for abolition
The 29th Ohio Volunteer Infantry took heavy losses in the Civil War, but they were devoted to the end of slavery, so much that they were called the “Abolition Regiment,” according to James T. Fritsch, author of The Untried Life: The 29th Ohio Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War. This huge book follows the 29th OVI from their formation in Jefferson by Congressman J.R. Giddings to their final parade in Cleveland. The 501-page softcover book costs $34.95 from Swallow Press.
Cuyahoga County Public Library (Berea branch, 7 Berea Commons) — Jennie Fields, author of The Age of Desire, a novel about Edith Wharton, her affair with a journalist and her relationship with her assistant, appears from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. Registration requested; call 440-234-5475.
Cuyahoga County Public Library (Mayfield branch, 500 SOM Center Road) — Toledo native Denise Fleming, author and illustrator of children’s books including the Caldecott-honored In the Small, Small Pond, from which art hangs in the library’s children’s area, signs her work from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday.
Rocky River Public Library (1600 Hampton Road) — Marilou Suszko signs her book (with Laura Taxel) Cleveland’s West Side Market: 100 Years and Still Cooking, 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday.
— Barbara McIntyre
Special to the Beacon Journal
Send information about books of local interest to Lynne Sherwin, Features Department, Akron Beacon Journal, P.O. Box 640, Akron, OH 44309 or email@example.com. Event notices should be sent at least two weeks in advance.