Brian Francis Heffron
Little House Books
With refreshing depth, distinct literary merit, and highly original poetic phrasings that spill from the pages like paint, Colorado Mandala is poet Brian Heffron's debut work of literary fiction. It mines the complex landscape of post-Vietnam America to unearth the deep connections that bind individuals together, and also ferociously rip them asunder. Illustrative, luscious, seductive, and engaging, this rare piece of craftsmanship will stir the senses of any one who thirsts for artistic expression, or who longs for an era in our country now utterly, irretrievably gone.
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. And our hearts race along with them, through the rocky, raw Colorado terrain amidst the blood sport of man and beast.
Laying bare the loss and acceptance of a pioneering age, Colorado Mandala shines revelatory light on the crazy, glorious, and romantic notion that each generation conceives anew: that love can be a spiritual gift shared openly rather than coveted, or hidden, or hoarded. If you wish to go barefoot again and climb an unspoiled Colorado trail, look no further. If you long for something to wake you up in simple, clean language, a shimmering story awaits. Awaken to what you have always known: simple truths show you the way home. With his gripping and unforgettable Colorado Mandala, it is clear that Brian Heffron knows the way.
*Portion of proceeds to benefit clients of PTSD charitable organizations.
‘Colorado Mandala’ was a beautifully written book. I thought Brian’s descriptions of the Colorado landscape was done perfectly. Colorado came alive before my eyes. Brian’s also captured the emotions of these three friends so well. The characters were so different and yet he captured them so beautifully.
I definitely think his background as a poet really helped him in writing this very descriptive novel. The way the words flowed right off the page with such artistic talent, you can tell this man has some serious writing talents.
I also really enjoyed the fact that Brian addressed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. If you have read some of my other reviews you already know how I feel about soldiers and the sacrifice they make for us. PTSD is one major drawback of that sacrifice. I think it is always honorable and courageous when an author addresses issues such as PTSD head on, when a lot of others shy away from such daunting topics.
Brian’s characters paint a realistic portrait of how their lives go on after war has damaged them forever.
It is a truly moving, touching, beautiful story that was written perfectly in my opinion. I would recommend this book to everyone.
* I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own. I did not receive compensation for this review.