FTC Disclosure: I received an Advance Reader’s Copy of this book from the Amazon Vine Program in exchange for an honest review.
The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society by Darien Gee
Summary from Goodreads: Welcome to Avalon, Illinois, Pop. 4,243
At Madeline’s Tea Salon, the cozy hub of the Avalon community, local residents scrapbook their memories and make new ones. But across town, other Avalonians are struggling to free themselves of the past: Isabel Kidd is fixing up her ramshackle house while sorting through the complications of her late husband’s affair. Ava Catalina is mourning the love of her life and helping her young son grow up without his father. Local plumber Yvonne Tate is smart, beautiful, and new to Avalon, but finds that despite a decade of living life on her own terms, the past has a way of catching up—no matter where she goes. And Frances Latham, mother to a boisterous brood of boys, eagerly anticipates the arrival of a little girl from China—unprepared for the emotional roller coaster of foreign adoption.
Enter Bettie Shelton, the irascible founder of the Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society. Under Bettie’s guidance, even the most reluctant of Avalon’s residents come to terms with their past and make bold decisions about their future. But when the group receives unexpected news about their steadfast leader, they must pull together to create something truly memorable.
I loved Gee’s Friendship Bread: A Novel. So when I learned that she would be revisiting Avalon in this new novel, I knew I had to add it to the top of my TBR pile.
Though some might label this book just typical “chick lit”, I would say it’s really realistic fiction. Gee gives a glimpse into the life of a close knit small town community. Avalon is almost like a modern day Mayberry. So long as Amazon would deliver (and we know Avalon has UPS service), Avalon is place I wouldn’t mind living.
The characters are well developed. Their stories are engaging and it’s hard to not feel invested in their lives. I felt as though I was visiting old friends, while meeting some new ones. It’s a feel good read without that Pollyanna flavor. I mean, seriously, it’s easy to picture Avalon and the wonderful characters in this story as real.
Amazon recommends this book for fans of Debbie Macomber. I have to agree.
I highly recommend The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society to anyone looking for an all around good read. You don’t have to read Friendship Bread to be able to follow what is going on in this book, but Friendship Bread is also a good read. Both books are well worth your reading time.