The Reunion

The Reunion

by David Burnett

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Overview

It is the fear of separation from everything she loves that brings Allison Bannister to the beach. She stops on the steps that lead down to the ocean. She is alone. The sun is setting behind her; the tide is rushing in, and dark water is licking at the bottom step. Off to the north, the lights of Charleston shine into the evening sky. To the south, a star twinkles as darkness descends on the barrier islands. Light and dark; good and evil. Reconciliation is not in the cards.
Allison shivers. How easy it would be to walk out into the ocean. Her winter clothes would take on water and weigh her down. When she went under, her body would turn cold, her lungs would fill with water, and all of her troubles would end. It all started with an invitation to Michael's high school reunion.
"Reunions are fun!" Allison tells her husband, Michael, when the invitation to his thirtieth reunion arrives in the mail. "You see old friends, talk about old times..."
"Talk to a bunch of fat, gray-haired people who I haven't seen in thirty years. A blast." In spite of his reluctance, Allison surprises him with tickets.
At the reunion, Michael does see his old friends. They do talk about old times. As she meets his friends, listens to their stories, Allison discovers a Michael she does not know, a boy who was so very different from the "staid, serious attorney" to whom she is married.
Michael does have a blast. "Wouldn't it be wonderful," he asks later in the evening, "if you could crawl through a worm hole and find yourself in high school, again?"
Over the next few weeks, Allison attempts to cope with the strange things that happen as Michael "crawls though the worm hole," and morphs back into the person he was thirty years earlier. She rolls her eyes when he plays practical jokes. She shakes her head when he trains to run a marathon. Where is the man I married?
Michael's desire to return to his youth sets in motion events which disrupt their lives and tear the couple apart. Michael spends long hours in his new art studio, alone. Allison feels rejected and begins to build a life of her own, a life that does not require Michael. Before long, Michael and Allison, a couple who seldom spent time apart, rarely spend time together. They both feel neglected, and each blames the other. A long separation, the unexpected appearance of Michael's college girlfriend, an unplanned rendezvous, and a charge of adultery threaten to end their marriage forever - and Allison finds herself alone on the beach.
The Reunion is a tale about how seemingly insignificant events can lead to a marriage on the brink, the danger of staying silent when problems arise, and the journey a couple in love takes as they attempt to obtain forgiveness, to avoid divorce, and to find themselves again.
Contains discussion questions for reading groups.
Extensively re-edited in April 2013.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940016289526
Publisher: David Burnett
Publication date: 02/26/2013
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 316 KB

About the Author

David Burnett lives in Columbia South Carolina, with his wife and their blue-eyed cat, Bonnie. The Reunion, his first novel, is set in nearby Charleston.
David has graduate degrees in psychology and education and previously was Director of Research for the South Carolina Department of Education. He and his wife have two daughters.
David enjoys traveling, photography, baking bread, and the Carolina beaches. He has photographed subjects as varied as prehistoric ruins on the islands of Scotland, star trails, sea gulls, a Native American powwow, and his grandson, Jack. David and his wife have traveled widely in the United States and the United Kingdom. During one trip to Scotland, they visited Crathes Castle, the ancestral home of the Burnett family near Aberdeen. In The Reunion, Michael's journey through England and Scotland allows him to sketch many places they have visited.

Customer Reviews

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The Reunion 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
whipsan More than 1 year ago
After over twenty five years of marriage, a class reunion makes attorney Michael feel as if he’s living in a bit of a rut. He decides to try and crawl out of it and start having fun like he used to. He not only wants to resume some past dreams that he gave up when he married, but he wants to share with, and bring his wife Allison along on the journey. She is more than displeased at the idea of changing their ways, refusing to accept change by refusing to put aside some sadness’ of her past, even at the risk of her marriage. I found Allison to be somewhat self centered and a bit controlling. So much so, that she mentally comes unglued when things don't go her way. Even her own teenage daughter Alicia has problems getting along with or dealing with her. When both Michael and Allison start moving in different directions, as one would expect, they begin to grow apart. Of course everyone deals with problems in their own way, but Michael seems to try harder than Allison to manage both his own wants and needs, as well as his wife’s. Allison, well, not so much. But once one has crossed the commitment boundaries of marriage by moral betrayal, individual lives become even more intolerable. At times, I found myself feeling sorry for and sympathizing with Michael, and screaming at Allison. “The Reunion” is not a mushy love story, but it is a realistic love story. It follows the dramatic feelings, and manners in which two people deal with selfishness, hurt and pain, betrayal, and the difficulties of learning to regain trust. I don't believe anything in this world is perfect (as in 5 stars),but because this story is so undeniably lifelike, it comes pretty close. By: Sandi K. Whipple
Tattooed_Book_Review More than 1 year ago
A Thoughful Portrayal of a Marriage A thoughtful and poignant portrait of marriage and it’s inevitable struggles, The Reunion tells the story of Allie and Michael as they ask the question each of us may ask of ourselves at some time: “How did we get here?” Burnett smoothly navigates flashbacks and flash-forwards, moving the plot along quickly. The book is a series of moments, some seemingly insignificant at the time, that eventually shape the story. Using these moments, the author brings to life the cast of primary characters and draws the reader in to their complicated relationships.  These characters are people the reader will recognize, either in themselves or someone they know. This is an engaging story of love, marriage, betrayal and the quest to find oneself, and ultimately happiness and fulfillment. *I was provided a copy of the book by BTS eMag for purpose of an honest review. I was not compensated for this review – all conclusions are my own responsibility.
MarieHahn13 More than 1 year ago
Undeniably Beautiful and Poetic Written with passion and raw emotion, The Reunion is a gripping story of love and the trials of marriage. After attending his high school reunion, Michael finds himself trying to rekindle some of his youth, while his wife, Allison, struggles to understand his reasons for change. Their journey tests the boundaries of marriage, creating an all too familiar scenario of loneliness that touches home to so many couples. It brings to light the importance of honesty, communication, forgiveness and love. The story of Michael and Allison is tragic, yet undeniably beautiful and poetic. Within these pages is the true meaning of love and romance. I was provided a copy of the book by BTS eMag for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review – all conclusions are my own responsibility.