Thursday, May 16, 2013

"The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society" by Darien Gee

If you're a fan of tea or a fan of scrapbooking, I have a terrific new book to recommend, "The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society" by Darien Gee. If you're a fan of both these things, you've probably already read the book!

Set in the midwestern town of Avalon, Ill., this charmingly-written tale centers around Madeline's Tea Salon and the goings-on of the Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society. It's rare to find a book with so many characters you're rooting for: the tea shop owner and her young assistant; a female plumber trying to escape her past; the wife and mistress a local dentist left behind when he died; a young mother desperate to adopt a little girl from China; and the steamrolling (if aging) scrapbooking consultant, Bettie Shelton, who appears to have turned Avalon into the U.S. town with the highest per capita percentage of scrapbookers. Now normally if a book has more than about three important characters I get befuddled along the way, but not this time. Each character is presented clearly and distinctly, and soon even the more wayward souls had found their way into my heart.

The book also has a few recipes at the end, including some for the Amish Friendship Bread which is important to Avalonians and which was central to Gee's first book, "Friendship Bread." (I haven't read that one, but now I must!) I am always so very pleased to come across a book that's truly a pleasant read, nothing gruesome, and yet with a good storyline and a nice philosophical something to ponder. I pretty much enjoy any book that features strong female characters and even stronger female friendships, and this one provides plenty of both. I missed these ladies when it ended, and I can only hope I'll get to see these characters again one day in another Darien Gee book on down the road!


  1. Sounds like a fun read! Love the colorful cover!

  2. You always recommend interesting books; I'll see if I can get his for my ereader?
    Do you have a Kindle or some such Angela? I was reluctant at first, but it was a birthday present last year and I've learned to like having a whole bookshelf in that little reader to take anywhere with me.
    Cook books I like to have the real deal but stories I compile in the reader.

  3. I will be looking for this one, I'm a fan of tea, scrapbooking, and reading! Thanks!

  4. The title reminds me of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. If you haven't read that, it is one of my favorites to recommend.
    This one looks good too-perfect for summer reading...
    xo Ruthie

  5. Dear Angela,
    That title reminds me of one of my favorite books, The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society. It is one I think of fondly and highly recommend.
    Your book sounds like great summer reading. Judith, sometimes I read real hardcover books, sometimes the larger paperback and sometimes on my iPad. The advantage of the I Pad is that you can read in bed without a light on. Depends if it is a book I want to save. Running out of room so the choice not to have buy the physical book, is a good one. Of course, there is the library, which I love too but you usually have to wait for a new book.
    So many choices, so many books to read, so little time...
    Thank you for the heads up~

  6. Hi Angela
    Just popping back to say I purchased the book for my ereader as I had a gift certificate. (Kobo reader in Canada)
    I see some reading in the garden with a cup of tea in my future.

  7. I do believe I must keep my eyes open for this one. Love tea themed novels.

  8. I'm not a scrapbooker, but I have a girlfriend who is into it big time. This would make a nice birthday gift for her. It sounds like Laura Childs has some competition! ;-) How's your mystery book coming along?

  9. thank you for the recommendation! I have requested both from my library. I haven't been reading your blog long, but my favorite women's friendship auther is Jennifer Chiaverini. Her books have a quilting theme, but the friendships are wonderful. She even has related historical books in the series.


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