Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Review: Reunion Beach: Stories Inspired by Dorothea Benton Frank by Elin Hilderbrand, Adriana Trigiani, Patti Callahan, Mary Alice Monroe & more


Title: Reunion Beach: Stories Inspired by Dorothea Benton Frank
Author: Elin Hilderbran, Adriana Trigiani, Patti Callahan, Mary Alice Monroe & more
Published: April 2021, William Morrow
Format: Hardcover, 416 pages
Source: Publisher

In this warm and moving anthology, a group of bestselling authors and writers pay tribute to legendary, larger-than-life New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank and her literary legacy.

Inspired by the title Dorothea Benton Frank planned for her next book—Reunion Beach—these close friends and colleagues channeled their creativity, admiration, and grief into stories and poems that celebrate this remarkable woman and her abiding love for the Lowcountry of her native South Carolina—a land of beauty, history, charm, and Gullah magic she so brilliantly brought to life in her acclaimed novels. 

From Elin Hilderbrand, #1 New York Times bestselling author, a sequel to Summer of ’69.

From Adriana Trigiani, New York Times bestselling author, comes a heartwarming, humorous interview from the hereafter with Pat Conroy and Dorothea Benton Frank, two beloved icons of Southern literature.

From Patti Callahan, bestselling author of Becoming Mrs. Lewis and Surviving Savannah, comes The Bridemaids, a story about a trip to the South Carolina beach.

From Mary Alice Monroe, New York Times bestselling author, Mother and Child Reunion, a heartwarming story set under the warm South Carolina sun.

Reunion Beach also features letters, short stories, poems, and essays from:

Mary Norris, New York Times bestselling author and staff writer for The New Yorker

Cassandra King Conroy, bestselling and award-winning author of Tell Me A Story

Nathalie Dupree, James Beard Award-winning cookbook author
Marjory Wentworth, former Poet Laureate of South Carolina
Gervais Hagerty, author of In Polite Company

Jacqueline Bouvier Lee, Peter Frank, Victoria Peluso, and William Frank
Infused with Dorothea Benton Frank’s remarkable spirit, Reunion Beach is a literary homage and beautiful keepsake that keeps this dearly missed writer’s flame burning bright.


My thoughts:  Like many readers and fans, I was devastated when I heard the news of the untimely passing of Dorothea Benton Frank in 2019. I had been fortunate to meet her a few times and she was just as charming and delightful in person as she came across in her books. While I have only read her more recent books, I knew I had to read this tribute that her beloved author friends, colleagues and family put together...and I'm so glad I did. 

I have to say, I didn't even get past the first few pages without crying...this book is just so touching in a fitting tribute to this wonderful Southern writer. It becomes clear why it is called 'Reunion Beach' and I loved how each of the entries all pay tribute to that theme in some way. While I enjoyed all the pieces, my particular favorites were Elin Hilderbrand's "Summer of '79," which is the follow-up to her Summer of '69 novel and Mary Alice Monroe's "Mother and Child Reunion."

While I am sad that I will never have a new Dottie Frank book in my hands, because I haven't read all her books yet, I will still be able to discover the magic of her writing as I make my way through her earlier books. And I certainly plan to do so. She truly had a gift for creating such wonderful stories that pulled you in and had you forgetting what was going on in real life and I will certainly miss that. If you are a fan of Dottie Frank, you don't want to miss this. I know it's one I will cherish!


1 comment

  1. This sounds like a wonderful book. Beautiful review!


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