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, AMAZON Book ReviewS 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 only 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 too 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, AMAZON book reviews…Luciana Cavallaro, Perth. 7 March 2017
No Summer Will They See- Not Daniel, Zahra or Caylee
and Ode to Cleopatra
Wow! That ‘Raffaela’s Last Dream’ in Dragons, Deserts and Dreams, is just so, so beautiful, and I love it. But then again I love everything you do, my darling Anne. You have put me by her bedside. You have me holding and squeezing her hand as I read and hear her, drifting through the pages of her life, with all the love and emotion of a woman who knows she will soon be flying through heaven, alongside the author of all things in the universe.
For beautiful Raffaela has already experienced hell on earth. And I, the reader was there when it was all happening, so cleverly condensed in, ‘the present tense’. You’re such a great writer Anne, you always have the ability to stir up my emotions.
After I finished reading, in the dark now, I closed my eyes and wept and sobbed out loud, as I often do, when I awake from such dreams. Dreams I have of my grandmother, the one person who never stopped loving me.
Dreams, nowadays in my secret place I call ‘La La land’. A place I find myself a lot lately as my body too, is almost worn out. A place where I’m not really asleep, but then again I’m not altogether awake. All I have to do is remain quiet, usually in the afternoon, close my eyes as I rest alone on my sofa, and I’m there, in my beautiful ‘La La Land’, where anything can happen.
Thank you so very much for introducing me to your wonderful, courageous and most lovely, ‘Raffaela’ Anne, I am so grateful to find her at last. She, like you will remain forever with me, as I know I will never forget you both.
-Arabella Marx, Australia 2017