True life and make-believe
I love this colourful little book Dragons, Deserts and Dreams containing poems and short stories, written and illustrated by Anne Frandi-Coory.
She has cleverly woven her poems into evocative, self-contained vignettes and portraits; brief episodes that are obviously dear to her heart. The short, true life stories, in beautiful prose, convey a passion and a vividness that make you feel as though you were right there when the events were actually happening. Readers will meet Ms Frandi-Coory’s paternal Lebanese grandparents in the hills of Lebanon and later in the story, join them on their sea voyage to Melbourne then on to New Zealand in ‘Immigration And The Promise’. On the other hand, the life of Ms Frandi-Coory’s maternal Italian great grandmother is very different. ‘Raffaela’s Last Dream’ is more of a drawn out nightmare which begins in Rome when Raffaela is 13 years old. In this short story, Raffaela is on her death bed surrounded by family, and as her long life flashes before her; readers are there to accompany her every step of the way.
The author also enters into a world of make-believe, giving readers a glimpse of her affinity with children and animals in her poems about childish imagination, the antics of animals and the value of Nature here on earth.
This is a book to treasure.
-Zita Barna. GOODREADS Book Review 19 April 2017
Unique, thought-provoking and heart-wrenching is how I describe Ms. Frandi-Coory’s latest book, Dragons, Deserts and Dreams. It is a collection of poems, short stories and endearing artwork. The author has compiled extraordinary creative prose and artwork that compliment and evoke an emotional response.
I am not a big poetry reader and have recently begun to appreciate the nuances and beauty in poems, and after reading Ms. Frandi-Coory’s poems, I applaud her for the imagery that is evident in her works.
Some are tributes to those who were wronged or abused, other poems were reminiscences, and then there were the personal and painful expressions of a life experienced none to pleasantly by those who inflicted physical and psychological trauma.
The personal short stories, is how I perceive them, especially having read the author’s first book, Whatever happened to Ishtar? – A passionate quest to find answers for generations of defeated mothers, a memoir come family history. The stories are windows into the back-story of her family’s plight, especially the women. It also gives insight into the person who wrote this book.
As for the artwork, they complement the poems and short stories, and demonstrate the remarkable creativity and gift of the creator of this book.
I did not know what to expect when I started reading this book, the mix of poetry, artwork and short stories is an unusual blend, however it works really well. This book will make you smile, angry, and saddened. This is an amazing endeavour undertaken by the author, and a fabulous book that I highly recommend to readers who appreciate and enjoy something a little different.
-Goodreads…Luciana Cavallaro, Perth. 7 March 2017