By Sabina Mollot
It was nine years ago when Fran Alongi, a Stuyvesant Town resident, lost her mother to a massive stroke. Though it was hardly the first time someone close to her had died, the death, along with a months-long period in which she was ill, was one of the most painful experiences Alongi could recall going through.
Prior to her mother’s stroke, Alongi had been meaning to write a book about personal loss, but it was her death, she explained, that spurred her into actually doing it.
She’d worked on the story, the genre of which is contemporary fantasy, on weekends since then – up until recently she’d also always had a corporate day job — and finally finished it last fall.
Titled Moons of Koda, the story has since been released as an e-book, which Alongi self-published, and she’s hoping it will be as helpful for others in to read as it was for her to write.
“It’s about having hope and believing during the grieving process,” said Alongi. The death of her mother, she noted, has remained a challenge. “I still have urges to call her. It’s very hard.”
Initially, she’d intended her book to be a children’s book, but friends who’ve read it advised her that the content seemed equally — if not more — appropriate for adults. The story revolves around a mysterious, somehow unearthly character called Koda, who Alongi named after the Sioux Indian word for friend.
“She comes into the world in a dark way which makes the (other characters) think she is a threat, but she’s not,” said Alongi. “She’s essentially an angelic figure.”
Moons of Koda is set in the 1950s in a small town in Wyoming. It’s there where the title character encounters a family with three young children whose father has died. Since Koda needs a place to stay, the mother allows her to sleep in their shed.