Monday, September 4, 2017


Avalon, IL is a small Midwestern town with the usual assortment of colorful characters. In this particular town, a group of ladies, called the Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society, meets monthly to socialize and learn scrapbooking techniques. The Society was founded by, and is still led by, Bettie Shelton, an energetic and eccentric gal with loads of experience and tons of opinions. Her forceful personality has dominated the club for decades.

Bettie is always trying to get new people involved in her scrapbooking club. She talks the following women into joining the group: Isabel Kidd, who has been Bettie's neighbor for years but who has not, until recently, been interested in the club; Yvonne Tate, a newcomer to town who is a real looker but who practices the unlikely profession of a plumber (and she's a good one); Ava Catalina who lives by herself with her little son, Max; and Frances Latham, the mother of three boisterous boys who is trying to adopt a little girl from China. These four females not only become entwined in the club, they become caught up in Bettie's life. When Bettie's health is threatened, all of them, along with many members of the community, band together to help her out.

This is a delightful story of small town America, showing the true spirit of life in small towns such as this one. It is also chock full of information about scrapbooking - ideas, techniques, new products, etc. - as well as with information about the delights of Amish Friendship Bread. At the end of the book, author Darien Gee includes recipes for eight dishes that are mentioned in the text, as well as a link to Friendship Bread Kitchen (, where you can find tons of recipes for the basic Friendship Bread starter. She also offers hints and tips about basic scrapbooking, as well as ideas for starting your own scrapbooking group. And, if that weren't enough, she throws in information about Alzheimers (one of the characters in the story is diagnosed with this awful disease), and a link to Half the Sky (, a website where you can learn more about adopting Chinese children.

This book is like a fiction and non-fiction story combined together in a delightful and skillful manner. Enjoy and bon appetit!