The setting for her first book, Clover, is a peach farm like the one Dori Sanders grew up on. Clover was published in 1990 and immediately became a best-seller. In the story, Clover is a 10-year-old African-American girl whose father marries a white woman. Immediately after the marriage, her father dies in a car accident leaving Clover to be raised by Sara Kate, her new stepmother. Though Clover and her family are wary of the stranger, Clover and Sara Kate learn to appreciate their differences and form a bond.
Dori has stated that the reason she began writing was to make sure that her nieces and nephews knew what it was like to live on a farm. Today, Dori continues to write and to raise peaches on her farm in South Carolina.