Customer Reviews for

The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society: A Novel

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

The Avalon Ladies Scrapbook Society is a great squeal to the Fri

The Avalon Ladies Scrapbook Society is a great squeal to the Friendship Bread. This book introduces new characters but also keeps you involved with a few of the characters from the first book. Darien does a wonderful job of showing you the lives of her characters. Sh...
The Avalon Ladies Scrapbook Society is a great squeal to the Friendship Bread. This book introduces new characters but also keeps you involved with a few of the characters from the first book. Darien does a wonderful job of showing you the lives of her characters. She lets you see their happy moments, struggles, and heartaches all while they try to preserve memories. It's wonderful how she can show how a community can come together to help those in need. Just as the Friendship Bread got you baking, the Avalon Ladies Scrapbook Society will get you scrapbooking in no time. I can't wait to see what else Darien can bring us from this small town of Avalon.

posted by KiraE on January 29, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Among the aspects of scrapbooking I¿ve always appreciated is the

Among the aspects of scrapbooking I’ve always appreciated is the creator’s ability to shape reality.

When I’m choosing subject matter, I can emphasize happy moments and minimize — or entirely omit —  ugly ones.

When I’m cropping photos, I can crop out my fat thighs.

...
Among the aspects of scrapbooking I’ve always appreciated is the creator’s ability to shape reality.

When I’m choosing subject matter, I can emphasize happy moments and minimize — or entirely omit —  ugly ones.

When I’m cropping photos, I can crop out my fat thighs.

When I’m adding a caption, I can be the clever girl I never manage to be in person.

In the end, all the disparate pieces and parts of my life fit neatly into a scrapbook page with the perfect background and pretty embellishments.
That’s how I felt Darien Gee wrote “The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society.”

It’s all a little too neat and sweet.

It’s well paced and I enjoyed most of the characters, and I even found tears welling up in my eyes as certain emotional moments played out.

So I liked it.

But I don’t believe it.

An heiress runs away from her controlling family to become … a plumber? Really?

A woman whose husband leaves her and impregnates another woman before he dies suddenly …. becomes friends with her dead husband’s mistress? Really?

The town’s eccentric scrapbooking saleswoman is still going strong … at 77? Sorry, no. I’m a scrapbooker. I worked for a scrapbooking company. I’ve attended hundreds of scrapbooking workshops. And I know how heavy scrapbooking supplies are. Seventy-seven-year-olds pushing paper packs and albums are rare indeed.

It’s all cute and described delightfully, but in the end the town of Avalon and its scrapbookers are a fun distraction without a whole lot of substance.

posted by MindfulMonica1 on September 3, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2014

    Cozy book

    This book made me feel as though these people were people I knew and I enjoyed reading about them and their lives. The happy and the sad..and finding renewal after some tough bumps in the road.It was a comforting book.

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  • Posted June 14, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Small town life at its best.

    Having grown up in a very small town, this book was like going home-a reminder of the friendships and caring found where people really get to know each other. As a scrapbooker, I enjoyed the scrap booking, but a love of scrap booking is not a requisite for the enjoyment of this story. The author makes us care about the characters-about their strengths, weaknesses and struggles. There is sadness, joy, and laughter. I liked Avalon, IL and it's residents.
    My only difficulty with this book is the way the author jumps suddenly from one character to another making for difficult transitions when there are so many names to keep straight.
    I do praise the author for her compassionate treatment of one character's struggle with Dementia and the townspeople's reaction and support.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2014

    recommended

    easy read---great story line

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2014

    Do all pieces have to fit?

    Unlike a puzzle, no. A scrapbook is a record, and these members bring all sorts of stories, pictures, losses, gains, why's and what's together to make a one of a kind scrapbook of lives

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  • Posted February 27, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderful stories that will leave you feeling good.  After read

    Wonderful stories that will leave you feeling good. 

    After reading The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society byDarien 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 were also full of examples of sharing and collaboration. In other words, like the lives of the characters they were both separate and yet intertwined. The support that they gave to each other in their everyday lives was a great example of all that is good and right in towns and communities all over the world. This spirit was never more in evidence than when trouble befell one of the inhabitants and the town pulled together. 




    I was a bit confused, at first, by the author's lack of introduction to the characters and thought that the beginning of the book was the weakest part. It seemed that she just jumped into talking about them without really giving the background of who they were or why they were paired together, as in the case of Madeleine and Connie. It was almost like we should already know that information. I realized part way through that, in fact, not only was it her second book, but many of the characters had also appeared in her first book. I still haven't read Friendship Bread, but I think that if I had I would have already been familiar with the characters and therefore the beginning would have flowed better for me. I will give her credit, though, as she filled in the missing pieces, or enough of them, as the book progressed, to make this book work well as a stand alone. By the end of the book, the only reason that I wanted to read Friendship Bread was because I was in love with Avalon and it's inhabitants, not because I felt the need for any extra explanation on the characters in the Scrapbooking Society. What more could a reader ask for? 




    In the end, what really sold me on this book was the strong characters that Ms. Gee filled the book with. And let me tell you, there are quite a few. Instead of being confusing, though, having such a large cast of characters and viewpoints in the story was what made it work for me. I found myself rooting for Frances and her family, wondering if Yvonne was going to succeed, how was Connie going to resolve her relationship with Serena, how would that affect her relationship with Madeleine, how Ava was going to make a place for her and Max, and how Isabel was going to solve her dilemmas. And through it all there is Bette, the president of the Scrapbooking Society and the tie that binds them all together. As I followed them all past their struggles, through their decisions, and to the conclusion of their stories I just felt good. 




    So - I am picking up a copy of Friendship Bread at the library this week and anxiously awaiting Ms. Gee's next installment in the life and times of Avalon, Ill. I hope she is already working on one!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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