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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Reunion Beach

Stories inspired by Dorothea Benton Frank

ISBN: 9780063048935

Publisher: William Morrow

Publication Date: 04/27/2021

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 5 Stars +


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, capturing her unforgettable spirit, joy, and humor in stories of reunions and love.

When Dorothea Benton Frank died in the fall of 2019, her friends in the literary community were bereft. Her loss was a hole in their lives that could not be filled. Elin Hilderbrand dedicated her most recent novel 28 Summers to Dottie, and other writers paid tribute to her in blogs and on social media. Yet they wanted to do more.

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 lush Lowcountry of her native South Carolina—a land of beauty, history, charm, and gully magic she so brilliantly brought to life in her acclaimed novels.

In the poignant and atmospheric “Summer of ’79,” the beloved characters from Elin Hilderbrand’s Summer of ’69 reunite on Nantucket ten years later for a bittersweet family reunion that holds life-changing consequences for them all.

A crisis of the heart reunites five best friends on idyllic Oak Island, where the memories they share and the truths they reveal offer unexpected insights and opportunities in Patti Callahan Henry’s engaging “The Bridesmaids.”

Mary Alice Monroe weaves past and present in an emotionally powerful and uplifting story of love lost and found, about a birth mother who at long last meets the daughter she gave up in “Mother and Child Reunion.”

Dorothea Benton Frank and Pat Conroy meet for a heavenly meal amid the divine beauty of the Lowcountry they shared and loved in Adriana Trigiani’s delightful and poignant story—a tribute to two dear friends and bestselling Southern legends.

A television special commemorating the twenty-fifth anniversary of a Lowcountry chef’s hit cooking show makes for an emotionally rich family reunion in Cassandra King Conroy’s “Lowcountry Stew,” a blend of food, friendship, and marriage infused with the intoxicating flavor of coastal Carolina.

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

  • #1 New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand

  • New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe

  • New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan Henry

  • New York Times bestselling author Adriana Trigiani

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

  • Nathalie DuPree, author of the James Beard Award-winning cookbook Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking and Southern Biscuits

  • Marjorie Wentworth, Poet Laureate of South Carolina

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.

REUNION BEACH goes on sale April 27th- and is available for pre-order now. #reunionbeach #dorotheabentonfrank #lowcountry











My Review

Latest Audiobook 🔉 I listened to and enjoyed!

If you are a fan of Dorothea Benton Frank, this is a must-listen.  Also, Susan Bennett is award-winning.  I miss DOT so much, her books, humor, and tales of the Lowcountry. A perfect gift for Mother's day. This is a treasured gift and so grateful to all the authors for this beautiful tribute to this beloved author.  It is funny and sassy like the author. Highly recommend!  The food and wine will make your mouth water and all the delicious recipes. Dot would be proud!

My favorite stories were:

"The Bridesmaids" by Patti Callahan

  • "Postcards from Heaven" by Adriana Trigiani

  • "Mother and Child Reunion by Mary Alice Monroe 

  • Introduction by Victoria Benton Frank (her daughter)

  • Peter's Speech at the Celebration of LIfe for Dottie (husband)

  • "Dottie and Me" Mary Norris

  • "Essays by Dorothea Benton Frank" 

  • "Afterword by William Frank" (son) 

With the audiobook, you get a PDF in your library to download with all the delicious recipes mentioned and other enhancements. 

I actually could listen to an entire book from Patti and Mary Alice Monroe!

You do not want to miss this special tribute to the Queen of the Lowcountry.

About the Authors

Elin Hilderbrand lives on Nantucket, has three children and is the author of 27 novels, including SUMMER OF ‘69.

Elin met Dottie in the spring of 2017 at the annual Post & Courier luncheon in Charleston and Elin says, “It was love at first sight.” The two authors proceeded to meet on Nantucket every chance they got and they texted and emailed non-stop. They dreamed of doing a joint cooking show called “Cook the Books,” where they would invite a third author on to make a signature dish for each episode. They also talked about a cookbook called “The Southern Belle and the Gray Lady.” Elin’s summer of 2020 novel, 28 Summers, is dedicated to Dottie and Dottie makes a cameo appearance in Elin’s summer of 2021 novel, Golden Girl. “I will never again have a writer friend like Dottie,” Elin says. “Those of you who knew her understand what I mean, and those of you who didn’t will just have to trust me. They broke the mold.”

Adriana Trigiani is the New York Times bestselling author of eighteen books in fiction and nonfiction, published in 38 languages, making her one of the most sought after speakers in the world of books today. Adriana is also an award-winning film director and screenwriter, playwright, and television writer and producer. Adriana co-founded The Origin Project, an in-school writing program which serves over 1,700 students in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia. She lives in New York City with her family.

Adriana Trigiani met Dorothea Benton Frank at the Book Expo of America ten, twelve or fifteen years ago and had been dear friends ever since. It turns out that hilarity is the gift of friendship that lasts. Adriana remembers Dottie with joy. 

Patti Callahan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of fifteen novels including the Historical Fiction, Becoming Mrs. Lewis—The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis and Surviving Savannah. In addition, she is the recipient of The Harper Lee Distinguished Writer of the Year for 2020 and the Alabama Library Association Book of the Year for 2019 and The Christy Award—A 2019 Winner "Book of the Year.” The author is also the host of the popular seven-part original "Behind the Scenes of Becoming Mrs. Lewis Podcast Series”. Patti is also the Co-creator and co-host of the weekly web show and podcast Friends & Fiction.

Patti and Dottie met when Patti’s first book was released in 2004 at a SIBA conference where the friendship was instant and long lasting. 

Cassandra King is an award-winning author of five bestselling novels and two nonfiction books in addition to numerous short stories, essays, and magazine articles. Her latest book, Tell Me A Story, a memoir about life with her late husband, Pat Conroy, was named SIBA’s 2020 non-fiction Book of the Year. A native of LA (Lower Alabama), Cassandra resides in Beaufort, South Carolina, where she is honorary chair of the Pat Conroy Literary Center.

When Pat gave Dottie Frank a blurb for her first book, Sullivan’s Island, Cassandra invited Dottie for a visit to Fripp Island, and the Conroys and Franks became fast friends. 

Nathalie Dupree is the author of fourteen cookbooks. She is best known for her approachability and her understanding of Southern cooking, having started the New Southern Cooking movement now found in many restaurants throughout the United States, and co-authoring Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking.

Nathalie, as she is known to her fans, has won wide recognition for her work, including four James Beard Awards and numerous others. She was also founding Chairman of the Charleston Wine and Food Festival, a founding member of many culinary organizations including the prestigious Southern Foodways and the International Association of Culinary Professionals. She is married to author Jack Bass and lives in Charleston, SC. She travels extensively, lecturing and teaching. 







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