In the heady, hippie backdrop of Pike’s Peak, Colorado, in the tumultuous 1970s, three souls swirl together in an explosive supernova. Michael is the flinty-eyed, volatile former Green Beret, whose tour in Vietnam has left unbridgeable chasms in his psyche and secrets that can never find light. Sarah is his fair-haired paramour, the ethereal Earth Mother widow of a fallen soldier and single mother to a ten-year-old son Stuart. Paul is a young wanderer, who is drawn in by Michael and soon bears the mantle of both minister and scourge. As they are drawn together, and torn apart, each is changed forever.
I’ll admit this from the beginning. Colorado Mandala isn’t what I would’ve picked up in the bookstore, but only a few pages in, I was hooked by the story. The dysfunctional relationship between Paul, Michael, Sarah and her son Stuart caught right in the middle.
This story goes deep into their lives, shows the good and the bad, the beauty, the ugly and everything in between.
Paul and Michael are partners in the gem business, Sarah has her batik business. Michael is an old Vietnam soldier, and like so many others, he has trouble with reconciling his old life with the army, and his new one. And there’s a good reason for that. I won’t tell you, you have to read the story for yourself. I will tell you, that the deeper you get into the story, the more the plot thickens. I found myself turning page after page (well, scrolling, but you get my point), cursing at Michael, rooting for Sarah to leave the unhealthy relationship she has with Michael, cheering even more when I saw the attraction growing between Paul and Sarah, the budding friendship between Stuart and Paul, and I was horrified to see what Michael did to himself.
The culmination of this book is a slow build that suddenly explodes, and it leaves you even more breathless.
This is a complex story about friendship, trust, acceptance and exactly what true love can do for you.
I do NOT regret picking up Colorado Mandala, it was an amazing read, very realistic, very rough to read in places, sometimes downright frightening, but amazing. Absolutely amazing.
After Brian Francis Heffron achieved a bachelor of Fine Arts in Writing from Emerson College, he has navigated across the Atlantic Ocean under sail (and found Gibraltar), was Director of Photography on “The Imported Bridegroom” a tiny Indy film that received a national theatrical release, created a heart-rending poetry blog within the Notes section of his Facebook profile that drew an avid, dedicated, and international audience, and all the while he wrote, produced, and directed hundreds of hours of television programming for KLCS-TV, a PBS Station focused on education.
On Valentine's Day 2010 he published a handmade poetry chapbook that sold out in three weeks! "Sustain Me with Your Breath" then became, and remains, a promotional e-book sensation.Heffron followed that up with “Something You Could Touch”, a one hour spoken word poetry CD that broke sales records in its category. Heffron has also won Emmys, Tellys, Aurora, Videographers and the Davis Award, among others plaudits for both writing and television.
Brian Francis Heffron’s debut novel, Colorado Mandala, mines the complex landscape of 1970s post-Vietnam America to chart the love triangle of a former Green Beret, his lover, and a young wanderer. Colorado Mandala straddles the line between literary and young adult fiction, and distills the author's poetic sensibility into a deeply lyrical work of art.