Healing Visions

Fiction - Anthology
224 Pages
Reviewed on 04/05/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

Randall Brown collates the writing of multiple authors and fine art photography in his anthology Healing Visions. The stories are broken down into either fiction or 'creative non-fiction' but are not separated from each other, and the similarity between one author to another comes down only to the way Brown has placed intentional parameters around them. One photograph. One story. One hundred words, precisely. There are fifty-two authors, all of them women, and one photographer, Meg Boscov, who is responsible for the beautiful full-color photographs that do more than complement the one-hundred-word story; they incite them. The book's backmatter has individual profiles of each author and I admit they are almost as entertaining as the book itself.

I love being a woman. I love women. I love anything that lifts women up, gives women hope, and lets women know that there are other women who think, feel, and experience what we do. It will come as no surprise then when I say that I love Healing Visions by Randall Brown. Brown's one-hundred-word charter forces both the author and reader to attach themselves quickly in a whirlwind of speed dates. It is a fleeting relationship that has the dizzying exhilaration of an affair and the warmth of a momentary hug. Beth Kephart shares her kinship with Berries, Molly Gaudry remembers the human connection that defied isolation with Neighbors, and Nancy Stohlman harnesses the eventual return to soil in Born Again. Healing Visions is truly a work of art. Very highly recommended.

Pikasho Deka

The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the exceedingly panic-stricken and worsening state of humanity, with the climate crisis, the widening wealth gap between the general public and the rich elite, and the recent rise of extremist and hateful propaganda across the planet. Healing Visions is an anthology collection with magnificent art pieces and photographs by award-winning photographer and artist Meg Boscov that seeks to bring hope to those who may feel overwhelmed by the rigors of everyday life in the modern world. Randall Brown provides an informative and beautiful introduction to this collection which contains mesmerizing pictures, alongside micro prose writing pieces, penned by fifty-two authors from all over the world.

Healing Visions feels increasingly relevant for our times. The fact that all proceeds from the sales will go to groups fighting on behalf of women's rights makes this an even more worthwhile reason to grab a copy. In Randall Brown's introduction, he reveals Meg Boscov's brilliance while working on her artistry despite suffering from Fibromyalgia, a condition that leaves the brain hyper-sensitized to ordinary sensations. Boscov's photographs showcase the beauty and wonders of the world and life in general, embodying the resilient nature of the human spirit. The contributing authors do a splendid job of adding layers to the ethereal quality of the pictures, each distinct from the other and bringing something of their own to the colorful and vibrant narrative. A must-read for anyone looking to begin their healing journey.

Astrid Iustulin

When a book has beautiful photographs, it is always a pleasure to admire. However, when those images are also the starting point for some amazing stories, they become even more significant and exciting. This was my impression while looking at the photographs and reading the text of Healing Visions. All of the pictures are by photographer Meg Boscov and depict flowers, plants, and natural landscapes, but sometimes there are subjects like tents or umbrellas. For each of the 52 images, there is a 100-word story from various authors on the theme that gives the book its title.

Healing Visions is one of the most beautiful collections of words and images that I have ever read or seen. I was happy to have found a book with this concept because I believe that many others like me need comfort to face the times we are living in. I have always enjoyed looking at images of natural elements, but the ones in this book have something intimate and magical that enchanted me. With each one, my admiration for Meg Boscov's skills increased. The 52 accompanying texts are equally fabulous. It was enough to give these talented authors an image and a guideline, and they could achieve wonderful results. My favorite story is Just Like That, where the writer examines the color blue and its effect on the protagonist. I recommend this work to people who need to be uplifted and appreciate the beauty of images from an outstanding photographer.

Asher Syed

Healing Visions by Randall Brown is a combination of original flash fiction, flash non-fiction, and artistic photography. The collection is immense, totaling over fifty works that together form over one-hundred entries. The cumulative number is significant as the number of words in each individual piece is exactly one hundred, following a concrete count that is even more precise than the total volume. The work ranges from the recollection of the non-fiction Eventide by Kristin Burcham and its photo prompt of the same name, singing the memories of a gloriously youthful Spring Break holiday and the eventual limitations of age that inhibit adventures but not the memory; to the fictional Complete and its photo Light Therapy, repainting the picture with prose that converges the three identities the narrator wishes to embody independently and concertedly: the tulip, the bee, and the wind.

I actually passed over Healing Visions by Randall Brown because I mistakingly believed the description of 'an ever-darkening world' meant it would be profoundly depressing with punctuations of light; the promised healing visions but mostly gloom. This is not the case at all and I am so glad that I was told that it was a wonderful read. The work is incredible, some pieces better than others and all as completely unique as the one-hundred-word formula. My favorites are Becoming by Kristine Ong Muslim, its photo also Becoming, and the dichotomy of revisiting a place of suffering and the strange comfort it conveys in the healing process. I also connected with At the Corner of Resentment and Curiosity by Watsuki Harrington and its prompt Fringe, in which the daughter of a missionary abroad must reconcile her father's absence in pursuit of evangelicalism and ultimately decide how to process her feelings. Overall, this is a great read for a great cause with proceeds going to select women's charities.

Courtnee Turner Hoyle

Healing Visions is an inspirational book by Randall Brown. Fifty-two authors record their responses to images by Meg Boscov, an award-winning fine art photographer who experiences fibromyalgia. The writers were asked to record their reactions to Boscov’s work in exactly one hundred words of prose. Brown's foreword explains the intent of the pieces. Many of the pieces reflect the theme of women's rights, and the proceeds from the work will be donated to the ongoing global fight for women’s rights.

Each poem touches you with feelings of hope, loss, awareness, or frustration. Many of the pictures of flowers are set against a dark background, a symbol of challenging times, but some of the images contain bright colors, and the text that follows provides feelings of hope and peace or remembrance. Spectacular imagery and eloquent and delicately written prose evoke powerful emotions as the writers arouse each of the five senses. Randall Brown’s collection compares strength to nature and descriptions that bring forth nostalgia and a yearning for change. You will recognize the many roles of women and become privy to flashes of thoughts that may vibrate in their lives. The descriptive language is unparalleled, and many lines will resonate. Healing Visions by Randall Brown is an anthology best digested by those with an open mind who hope for change and appreciate powerful lines and lovely photography.