The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society: A Novel

The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society - Darien Gee 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 already introduced.And then there's Bettie, president of the titular Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society. She's a feisty senior citizen who, as we learn through the pages of the book, is pretty much the glue that holds the town together; she knows everyone, and everyone knows her. Lately, though, she hasn't been quite herself.Darien Gee brings us right into the small town she's created and helps us make friends with her characters. I am unashamed to admit that I cried a few times during the manuscript as the Avalon townsfolk experienced challenge after challenge. At the same time, it is a book about growth, finding out who you are and, most of all, love. The people in the little town genuinely care about each other (even as they like some folk better than others).Gee's prose is elegant without being pretentious. She puts us in the middle of each scene; we can almost smell the baked goods at the tea salon (Gee includes recipes at the end of the book) and imagine the excited chatter as people work on their special scrapbooks.A delightful book all the way around.(Review based on uncorrected advance proof.)