Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society by Darien Gee

I received a copy of The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society by Darien Gee from the LibraryThing Early Reviewer Program.

Fan's of Debbie Macomber's Blossom Street series are sure to enjoy The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society. I loved getting to know the people of Avalon and the book certainly centers on individuals and how their stories impact those around them. I was a little concerned when I started reading that I would feel that I was missing pieces of the story because I haven't read Friendship Bread but that wasn't the case at all. I was given exactly enough detail about each character and their history to become immersed in their current story line. I loved the between the chapters sections that gave us even more details about characters who weren't the focus of this book but had a smaller role to play in influencing events.

I do not scrapbook but the way Bettie describes scrapbooking makes me want to start! The scrapbooking wasn't the focus of the story but gave the women a reason to gather and share the events of their lives. Gee included enough scrapbooking detail and terminology for an authentic experience but not so much that it is overwhelming to people like me.

I greatly enjoyed The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society and look forward to reading Friendship Bread. I hope Gee plans to return to Avalon in the future as there are certainly many more stories to be told.

About the Book:

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.

By turns humorous, wise, and deeply moving, The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society is a luminous reminder that the things we hold most dear will last a lifetime.

Buy from Amazon: Kindle or Hardcover

About Friendship Bread:

In the quiet community of Avalon, Illinois, Julia Evarts wonders how to move on with her life. Though her husband and five-year-old daughter give her an abundance of love, Julia still reels from a tragedy that has left her estranged from the sister who was once her best friend. Meanwhile, across town, widow Madeleine Davis takes great pleasure in serving up delectable treats and cozy comforts at her tea salon—now, if only she had some customers to enjoy them. And famed concert cellist and recent Avalon transplant Hannah de Brisay finds herself at a crossroads when her career and marriage come to abrupt ends. The three strangers forge a friendship at Madeleine’s Tea Shop, and soon their camaraderie extends to everyone in Avalon in the guise of a unique and wonderful gift. But even as Julia becomes ever closer to her new friends, she realizes the profound necessity of confronting the painful past she shares with her sister.

Life and loss, friendship and community, food and family: Friendship Bread tells a spirited, remarkably moving tale about the triumph of hope.

Buy from Amazon: Kindle or Paperback

Note: All opinions presented in book and product reviews are my own. Opinions presented in posts authored by others reflect the view of the author only and not necessarily my view or opinion.
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