Hearts across the Lowcountry of South Carolina and beyond broke–mine included–when the news hit. The deaths of my friends and fellow writers Dorothea Benton Frank and Anne Rivers Siddons. Their passings were only days apart from each other.


Together with Anne River Siddons, who’s wearing her signature red-framed glasses in this photo.

Dottie and I at a friend’s book release party

I was honored to be asked by Garden & Gun Magazine to write an essay with my dear friend and author Patti Callahan Henry that celebrates their lives and influence in southern fiction. Read the essay: Remembering Two Icons of the Literary South.

They will be dearly missed by family, friends, colleagues and their legions of readers. But, we can all take comfort in knowing that their legacy lives on through their books.

Share your stories about Anne and Dottie. What are your favorite books by these two writers?


  1. Lynda Bouchard on September 20, 2019 at 12:47 pm

    Like all magnificent things, it was very simple. I adored Dottie Frank. She was an original, a force of nature and she taught me how to laugh in the midst of chaos. Dottie was my very first client. After I left my high-flying career as a flight attendant I launched my southern author concierge service – Booking Authors Ink. I’d traveled the world but was now flying by the seat of my pants in the crazy, ever changing book world. I doubted myself every day. Then I got a call from Buzzy Porter at Harper Collins who hired me to ‘squire Dottie Frank around the South’ on her ‘Sullivan’s Island’ book tour. It changed my life. When she told me how she came to write her first book it made me realize the importance of staying true to your dream. I loved her grit. On that memorable trip down Southern highways and back roads together she made me laugh, she made me think about life differently, she made me realize that anything was possible. And when it was over, I hugged her good-bye at the airport and just before I turned to leave she said, “You can do this, Lynda. Believe it.” And so I did.

    • Mary Alice Monroe on September 20, 2019 at 1:25 pm

      What a wonderful reflection! Thank you for sharing your Dottie story, Lynda.
      And look at you now… flying high with your own author concierge service!
      Dottie touched all of our lives.

  2. Kathryn Hubbs on September 23, 2019 at 7:43 pm

    I am saddened by the passing of two of my favorite authors. I have all there books (yours included) . Time for me to reread them.

    • Mary Alice Monroe on October 3, 2019 at 10:59 am

      Kathyrn, thank you for sharing your thoughts.
      May we find comfort and connection through their books. What a legacy Dottie and Anne leave behind through their work and the people whose lives they touched.

      • Julie Dauksys on October 4, 2019 at 11:38 pm

        Like others, I am so saddened by the loss of these two phenomenal authors. I have read all of their books, and Colony is a true favorite I reread every summer. The depth and pace of the story is what brings me back, not to mention coastal Maine. They will both be missed.

  3. Debra T. Jordan on October 15, 2019 at 8:44 am

    I just read your beautiful tribute to two grand Southern Ladies. I only learned of their passing from your email. I was so shocked and saddened. Just think, there won’t be anymore wonderful books. You are the only one left of my favorite authors! I am still grieving for Pat Conroy. I don’t have a favorite book of each because I loved them all. I looked forward to summer only because of new southern literature. Now you must continue to write forward for all of them. I also love all of your books. Yes, I have read them all, even under a different name. Thank you for the heartfelt sendoff for these wonderful ladies!

  4. Merry Stewart on August 2, 2020 at 9:56 am

    The loss of Dorothea Benton Frank and Anne Rivers Siddons is linked in my being with the loss of peace and health in our country, I eagerly looked forward to Frank’s new books each year and treasured Siddons older ones. Now the past seems much brighter than the future. I will look to the hope and joy they each evoked like the “porch lights” of Sullivan’s Island.

    • Mary Alice Monroe on August 6, 2020 at 2:36 pm

      Thank you for your heartfelt comments about Dottie and Anne. They are both dearly missed. What a gift their stories are to us!

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