Friday, January 31, 2014

CONFESSIONS FROM THE HEART



My Review:
The Red Dress Diaries:

Confessions from the Heart

by

Coralie Cederna Johnson

                Coralie Cederna Johnson said in her latest book The Red Dress Diaries that she created it to give voice to the secrets that haunt. The women in her latest book are fictional, but their stories are not. The strength of a woman is internal – it resides in her ability to survive, to hide her truth, to forget the horror, to mask the pain, to deny, to pretend, and ultimately to forgive – journeys that influence each and every day of her life and the lives of those she loves. 

          Ms Johnson brings their stories to life in monologues about sexual abuse, domestic violence, eating disorders, isolation, bullying, homophobia, disabilities, and racism. The Red Dress signifies many things – to one the dress is independence, to another it signifies repression, to another it brings back memories of violence. These are their stories, the moments remembered, and the sensations that cannot be forgotten. The goal is to voice the pain, the horror, the unthinkable, and by doing so bring awareness of the truth that is woman. 

          We all know such women, some of us are them, but still, today, this the twenty-first century, we see in the news daily the struggle for respect throughout the world. We hear of military, gang, and high school heroes raping and then digitally sharing their disgrace with little to no punishment. Young girls fall victim to their caretakers, and the outcome is still one where the victim takes the blame and pays with a lifetime of regret and self-punishment. 

           Ms. Johnson not only gives voice to these atrocities she's opening a dialogue for all survivors - an opportunity for discussion, and she includes a discussion guide in her book. Ms Johnson writes: "Telling our stories empowers us to heal, forgive, and reflect. Sharing...divides the weight of our burden. ...Opening our hearts can set us free!"

          I recommend Ms Johnson's book The Red Dress Diaries to all readers, to men to help them better understand, to women still hiding, and to mothers, fathers, daughters, and sons who need a jumping off point to begin that discussion that no one wants to have.
Yolanda Renée 2014

"Let us honor these women and girls and their confessions for they are heroic survivors. Remember their voices."



Her plays have been produced on professional stages: Pigeons in the Park at Performance Network, Ann Arbor, MI and BEES at Boarshead Theater, Lansing, MI.

Coralie is also the author of books, The Wishing Years and A Tree Grows in Trout Creek.

The new book is now available for purchase! Go to http://wildwoodpress.org/order-books/  above to buy using Paypal.
… or
  To pay using a check or money order, please contact Coralie Johnson through email: cjohnson@umich.edu 
 
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Brought to you by the Armchair Squid

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse

An online gathering of bloggers who love books.
The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you've finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same. 
In this way, we'll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers. 

 Please join us: HERE!

*****


Do You Have A Goal?
 
Post it HERE and follow along with the rest of the goal setters to see who reaches their quest first!
 
Hosted by Misha Gericke
My original goal was to finish book 3 by 2014 - 
I didn't reach it, but headway has been made. 
So the new goal for 2014 is to finish and publish book 3 
as well as finish the first draft for the prequel!
What's your goal / s for 2014?

30 comments:

  1. Horrid stories but they need telling. I hope the book is widely read. I recently heard about a local woman who collects underwear for young girls in (I am ashamed to say I forget) which for some reason helps to cut down their constant rape. They have to walk several hours to get to school and are raped several times on the way each and every day. Not sure quite how a pair of panties helps, but it does.

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    1. I agree Jo, it's currently being done in play form - monologues by women in red dresses. Very pertinent - shamefully, too pertinent today!

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  2. Definitely doesn't sound like a book a person can read and not be affected. Very intense.

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    1. Should be required reading. Thanks Huntress!

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  3. Sounds like one that would surely make you contemplate much, still disturbing that such things go on and most of the time they just get a slap on the wrist

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    1. Pat, yes because boys will be boys - or 'racism' doesn't exist - loads of excuses and little to no compassion for the victims.

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  4. Wow. That is a huge endeavor. Those stories can be difficult to read simply because they hit you right in your heart.

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    1. Robin, Coralie did a beautiful job, and yes a box of tissues may be needed but she does these women and their stories justice.

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  5. Sounds like such a powerful book. Kudos to Ms. Johnson.

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    1. Very powerful Julie, thanks for stopping by! On my way to read the other submissions for this month!

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  6. Wow, that sounds like an important and difficult read. It's not at ALL what I expected, given that cover. Thanks for posting this review!

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    1. Just as most women shouldn't be judged by their cover. It's a great book and Coralie does a beautiful job of presenting it! Thanks Stephanie!

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  7. "The strength of a woman is internal."

    I like this a lot. Especially nowadays that so many heroines in fiction are considered strong only if they can beat up a few guys.

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    1. I agree Lorena - my grandmother was the strongest person I've ever known. She was 5'2" feminine, and kind. Her life was hell, but her response was always love. Her strength wasn't kick ass - but she was more heroine than any of today's characters. Thank you for recognizing that!

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  8. This sounds like a powerful book. Thanks for sharing :)

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  9. Love reading about new books-- thanks for the review.

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  10. Red Dress Diaries sounds like it really gets to the heart of the reader, very touching. I will have to check this one out for sure. Thank you for passing it along.

    The Warrior Muse

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    1. Thank you Shannon - please let me know if you do!

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  11. What a powerful method of giving a voice to those in need.

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    1. Very powerful and should be required reading in all schools! Thanks Maurice!

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  12. This sounds like a very powerful book, indeed, paired for me with a report on NPR this morning that over 50% of sexually abused children are victims of their own parents. It's a scary world sometimes. Victims need a voice.

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    1. A very scary world - and the outcomes are even scarier! Thanks Armchair!

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  13. Nice goal! Best of luck with achieving it.

    P.S. I updated your link to reflect your new goal. :-)

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  14. As a public school teacher, I'm interacting with so many young women with so many stories...both wonderful and horrible...I think I should check this book out.

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  15. This sounds like a great read, but pretty sad too at times, I'd say. I love the idea of a central theme of the red dress.

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  16. Central image of the red dress is a good discussion point. I'm hoping there are some happy stories in there too!

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  17. Good luck with achieving your goal in 2014.

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