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The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  1,267 ratings  ·  326 reviews
Perfect for fans of Debbie Macomber, Kristin Hannah, Beth Hoffman, and Kate Jacobs, this luminous novel from the author of Friendship Bread follows a group of fascinating women who form deep friendships through their love of scrapbooking—as memories are preserved, dreams are shared, and surprising truths are revealed.

Welcome to Avalon, Illinois, Pop. 4,243

At Madeline’s Te
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published January 29th 2013 by Ballantine Books
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Keepsake Crimes by Laura ChildsPhoto Finished by Laura ChildsBound for Murder by Laura ChildsMotif for Murder by Laura ChildsFrill Kill by Laura Childs
Scrapbooking in Fiction
26th out of 26 books — 3 voters
Sharing Your Story by Ali Edwards52 More Scrapbooking Challenges by Elizabeth KartchnerLife Artist by Ali EdwardsSnippets by Lain EhmannThe Organized & Inspired Scrapbooker by Simple Scrapbooks
Books for Scrapbookers
7th out of 12 books — 10 voters

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Community Reviews

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May 11, 2013 Etcetorize rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: crafters
As an avid crafter myself this book's title and cover appealed to me. I enjoyed the little touches like detailed descriptions of various scrapbooking and jewellery making techniques. It was fun to see a bit of my 'nerdy' and sometimes solitary hobby play out in a novel.

I also enjoy stories set in small towns like the one in this novel. It always seems so quaint and connected, unlike the usual hustle and bustle of today's world.

I thought the characters were a lot of fun and from what I understand
Emma Sea
Jul 09, 2014 Emma Sea marked it as dnf
I do like to branch out of my comfort zone from time to time, but this was waaaay out there, and I couldn't do it. Chapter two defeated me. Dnf at page 32.

And is it just me, or is that cover fucking screaming for an apostrophe? It's the scrapbooking club belonging to the ladies, right?

It was nice revisiting Avalon, IL and the residents. While some were familiar from the first book, "Friendship Bread" it was nice getting to know the newer characters of the town. I would love to live in a town like this again as it reminds me of what my hometown originally was when I was growing up.

I like crafting although I am not a scrapbooker but luckily you don't have to be to enjoy the book. While it does include scrapping and cropping the main premise is about the town and how they rally
I'm so not into this book. Sometimes it seems like the timing when I read a book just doesn't resonate with me and then I can try it another time and it will. I just cannot get connected with any of the characters and believe me there a lot of them to keep track of. So I am moving on....
Dale Harcombe
Three and a half stars. Having read and enjoyed Friendship Bread I was eager to read another by Darien Gee. The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking society brings together Madeline, Hannah and Connie from the previous book along with a whole range of new characters. That for me was part of the problem. There seemed to be a large cast to keep track of and at times I found myself having to stop and re-orientate myself about who was who and where they fitted into the story. For all that, it is an enjoyable ...more
readinghearts (Lyn M)
Mar 04, 2013 readinghearts (Lyn M) rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: GR101, Novel Ladies, Leslye Mahoney,
Recommended to readinghearts (Lyn M) by: Netgalley and the publisher.
After reading The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society by Darien Gee, I want to move to Avalon, Illinois. Who wouldn't want to live in a small town where everyone knows each other and even the meanest and grumpiest of the inhabitants are really good at heart?

The author deftly uses the Scrapbooking Society as a metaphor for the theme of community and support throughout the book. Just like their individual stories, each of their scrapbooks were different and unique, but like the community, they wer
Darien Gee, the author of Friendship Bread takes us back to Avalon, Illinois, population 4243.

Madeline’s Tea Salon is the place residents meet and catch up and even occasionally get together as a group like the members of The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society founded by Bettie Shelton. 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.

Isabel Kidd is fixing up her ramshackle house while sorting through
Kathryn Laceby
Originally reviewed at Novel Escapes

There are quite a number of wonderful ladies that are all interwoven in The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society and I quickly found it was important for me to get them straight before I could really enjoy how their relationships unfolded. For this reason it did take me a few chapters before I was hooked.

The feel of the novel for me was reminiscent of a Cathy Kelly or even a Maeve Binchy in that Gee put together strong characters and individual stories and wove
This story was not one I cold rush through and I found places that got a bit confusing with so many characters to follow. At times I felt like the book didn't have to be quite so long or so full of character detail, but as I got further and further I realized that I needed that level of detail to bring the story to life in my own imagination. I slowly became invested in several characters and their journey's. I loved the way a community came together to support a long time resident. I am not a s ...more

The Avalon Ladie's Scrapbooking Society was a cute novel. On the one hand it made me think of my own smalltown hometown - but it also made me very glad that I no longer have to deal with that "everybody in everybody else's business" - it is pretty standard for small towns and made me so very glad that I live in the city now! I did enjoy all of Avalon's residents, especially Yvonne, but I would probably get irritated with Bettie's interfering ways real quic
Jul 27, 2013 Cheryl added it
I liked this book a lot! I had the feel of scrapbooking and the ways sharing your life in a scrapbook builds relationships with others!
The tiny town of Avalon, Illinois, has some pretty interesting citizens. There's Yvonne, the plumber. There's Isabel, the widow whose dentist husband ran off with his dental assistant before he died. There's Ava, the dental assistant. Connie, who works with Madeline at the tea salon -- and believes that she has no one to love but Serena, the goat she found wandering around the farmer's market. Every chapter or so, we meet another townsperson whose story will be entwined with those of the folk al ...more
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

Last year I read Darien Gee's charming debut novelFriendship Bread, where the simple anonymous gift of Amish Friendship Bread starter unexpectedly unites three women, Julia, Hannah and Madeline together in friendship, and a community in time of crisis. The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society resurrects the small Illinois town and it's residents in this independent sequel.

Just as with friendship Bread, this novel is a celebration of friendship, family and community. While familiar characters wande
I was so glad to get this book. I have been waiting a LONG time. It was so worth the wait. Connie and the goat she found, that she doesn't want to find the owners for and just her life in general. Isabel's husband left her when his lover, Ava, got pregant. But then Bill died. So now everything is a big mess.

These are just TWO of the stories, well really three, because you have Isabel's story AND Ava's, that you will read about and fall in love with. I so love the tea salon and I love how recipes
Review first published on my blog:

The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society is a follow up to Darien Gee's first book Friendship Bread. However, both books stand independently and do not have to be read together. This book brings to life the small town of Avalon through the eyes and stories of some of the women in town.

Bettie is an older, long time Avalon resident who is the head of the scrapbooking society. Isabelle is recovering from her husband's betrayal
Audiobook Review Copy Provided By Publisher (Tantor Media)

I’m really conflicted over my review for this book. I really enjoyed the premise behind the story and the story itself, but I really struggled with the writing style. There was something cozy about getting to know the citizens of Avalon, Illinois (although, I was kind of bummed to see that it wasn’t a real town because I wanted to pick up and move there). Darien Gee did a great job in developing her characters – I felt like I had grown up
This is not the kind of book I usually read. The cover, the title, the general content -- they all scream "chick lit! chick lit!". Fluffy and light, the characters have no major flaws, so the plot revolves around their minor ones, and everyone is part of the tidy, happy ending. Even the setting, the "small town" of Avalon, Illinois, has the feeling of a sweet small town, but the diversity and happy coincidences of a bigger city. For example, Avalon has a good-sized club of variously-aged men who ...more
This was a wonderful light read-- engaging characters who seemed like people you might know, just enough conflict and drama to make you care about them, and the promise of sunshine after the various personal storms. The personal stories unfold gradually, with little apparent connection at first, but finally coming together into unexpected community. Some of the resolutions may feel a little too easy-- although Gee doesn't gloss over the fact that some of the relationships that emerge will have t ...more
The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society is a wonderful follow up to Darien Gee's Friendship Bread. It also stands very well on it's own, you don't need to read Friendship Bread in order to know what is going on in this novel (although I highly recommend you do, it's great!). In this one you will find many new characters as well as most of the old ones. Some people may find this a bit confusing and hard to keep track of but soon you will get to know and love these characters that it will be easy t ...more
I picked up this book because of the scrapbboking involved. I adore scrapbooking and thought this would be a fun read. I quickly realized this is not a type or genre of book I would normally read. It took me at least150 pages to finally begin to get into the book. I think the fact there are so many characters, like the entire town, confused me for the longest time trying to figure who is who and which storyline goes with which character.. each character has a rather sad background and scrapbooki ...more
Well, it was a digital galley; I didn't have to finish it, but I did, so it couldn't have been too bad. On the other hand it wasn't all that great either. Basically I found it very busy. There were a bunch of "main" characters, each of whom had a supporting cast, and while some of the casts overlapped, many didn't. By the Thanksgiving dinner at the end where they all came together, I didn't really feel I knew the characters much better than I did when they were first introduced. At first I wonde ...more
I certainly enjoyed this book, an easy read. We meet again some of the same characters that were introduced in her first book, Friendship Bread. Avalon is a small town where many of the inhabitants know each other. In this book, we meet Isabel who is still struggling to deal with the aftermath of her husbands betrayal and sudden death; Ava, the young woman, her husband left her for and Max, Ava's little boy. We are also introduced toYvonne, Avalon's new plumber and Frances, the mother of three b ...more
Sentimental like "The Notebook" but did not leave me wanting more. As our heroine points out scrapbooking is for everyone from the business that wants to tell its story to the individual who wants to leave the family memories. Underneath those basic needs is a heartfelt story.
Laura P
3-1/2 Stars
I really enjoyed the small town atmosphere of Avalon and the quirky characters. Though this book is not fast paced and at times a bit too slow.... overall it was a very enjoyable read. I'm a mood reader and there are times when I prefer a slower paced book over a fast paced thriller. My only complaint was there seemed to be too many characters introduced all at once. I had a difficult time keeping everyone straight during the first half. I haven't read the first book in this series, '
CCPL Staff Picks
This is another warm and cozy read from the author of Friendship Bread. If you were a fan, you'll recognize of number of characters from the tea shop and around the town of Avalon. Several characters come to the forefront this time around. Bettie is the town scrapbooking supplies salesperson, and a busybody to boot. Her next door neighbor has enough problems without Bettie sticking her nose in her business. The town plumber is busy trying to set up her new business, only to be met with resistanc ...more
Aug 23, 2013 Trace rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: fluff
I'm not much into window shopping.. but Darien Gee offers something much more satisfying... she offers us glimpses in the lives of people who make up the very charming, tightly-knit community of Avalon. My favorite books have always been about strong community.

Ms. Gee's strength is definitely in fleshing out her lovable characters. Even the characters who initially rub you the wrong way have enough lovable quirks that cause you to root for them. This was a great sequel to her first Avalon book
Written in the same vein as her earlier book Friendship Bread, and featuring some of the same characters although the novel can be read as a stand alone. A story with a multiple cast of characters, and their small town dramas. I think they call this genre "hen lit". An overseas adoption; an attachment to a stray goat; dealing with childhood issues and dealing with the aftermath of an affair are some of the issues the characters face. Some situations are a little more believable than others, but ...more
The author did a nice job of tying in scrapbooking and the importance of recording your memories into the ending. But for 3/4 of the book it appeared sporadically. I didn't feel like she did a good job of explaining why it was important. It was just portrayed as some cult-like hobby where all women do is collect glittery embellishments. While she did show how scrapbooking is valuable in the end, I felt like it should have been there throughout. Whenever she did mention scrapbooking, I found myse ...more
PacaLipstick Gramma
A continuation of the people of the idyllic community of Avalon, Illinois Darien Gee introduces us to world and lives of a few "scrapbookers". (Or was it "scrappers"?)

As with Friendship Bread I found the reading very light and easy to follow. I would like to think that somewhere out there in Small Town, America that this Shangri La community exists.

The book did inspire me to pull out my Friendship Bread starter from the freezer, and maybe, just maybe . . . I might revisit the scrapbooking craft
I love books where characters grow and change and learn and have a happy ending.
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Darien Gee lives with her husband and three children in Hawaii. She is the author of Friendship Bread: A Novel, The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society and An Avalon Christmas.
More about Darien Gee...
Friendship Bread An Avalon Christmas Writing the Hawaii Memoir: Advice and Exercises to Help You Tell Your Story Pele in Therapy: A Short Story

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