The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society by Darien Gee is one of those books that you want to curl up in your favorite chair with. It’s comforting, the characters become familiar, and the story simply charming. I adored this book with it’s tale of the friendship of women and the importance of making and recording memories for the future.
Avalon seems like the perfect place to live and certainly one I’d love to be a part of with its small town atmosphere. The novel portrays many people but focuses really on four women: Isabel, Ava, Yvonne, and Frances. As well there are the women and places that weave everyone together like Bettie who lives next door to Isabel but seems to have a hand in everyone’s lives in Avalon. Then there is Madeline and her helper Connie who run Madeline’s Tea Salon where so many of the residents of Avalon gather. In one way or another everyone’s stories intersect at some point.
Isabel is a woman living on the edge of her life. Her husband devastated her by leaving her for another woman and then dying but that was four years ago. Isabel needs to move on and she decides the best way is to sell her house and start over. That is until her neighbor Bettie starts butting into her life. Ava is a young woman with a small boy who is just struggling to get by and she seems intent on butting into Isabel’s life as well. Yvonne is a plumber who looks more like a model and she has her own secrets from her past. She and Isabel become friends despite how hard Isabel tries to push her away at first. Frances is a mother of three young boys. She and her husband are trying to adopt a baby girl from China but hit some awfully big road blocks along the way that leaves them doubting their decisions. As the story unfolds all of these characters will have an effect on each others lives in some way.
As much as I think this novel revolves around these four women I think the real star of the book is Bettie, the founder of The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society, who seems to have affected everyone’s life in some way. As the story goes on we learn that Bettie is having some problems with her memory and in this it becomes even more important to her to make more memories and preserve them. I’ve never scrapbooked myself but I can definitely see the attraction in building your pages with all your pictures and notes in order to preserve the memory. I have albums full of pictures but truthfully I don’t remember the story behind a lot of them anymore but if I had put them together along with a journal of what had happened — well then I’d have a memory to treasure.
The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society is a wonderful book that I thoroughly enjoyed. I’m a sucker for any book that involves women’s friendships and this one combined that with a tea salon and a craft which elevated it even more for me. Even better are all the recipes included in the back of the book. I loved the feel of family and friendship and the way this book made me feel – comfortable and happy. My only small quibble with the book was that the author inserted little pieces on characters that really didn’t belong and it threw the flow off for a bit. I would have rather not have had those in the story but at the same time it didn’t take away from me loving the book at all. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this one to anyone who loves stories of friendship! I have Darien Gee’s first novel Friendship Bread next up on my audiobook list and I can’t wait to get to it!
GIVEAWAY DETAILS (US only)
I have one copy of The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society by Darien Gee up for grabs. To enter…
- For 1 entry leave me a comment entering the giveaway.
- For 2 entries, follow my blog. If you already do let me know so I can be sure to pass the extra entry on to you as well.
- For 3 entries, blog or tweet this giveaway.
This giveaway is open to US residents only (no PO boxes) and I will draw for the winner on Saturday, February 16/13. Good luck!
Source: Review copy provided by the Publisher via NetGalley. No compensation was received and all opinions are my own.