Book Review: The Mine by John A. Heldt

themineIn May 2000, Joel Smith is a cocky, adventurous young man who sees the world as his playground. But when the college senior, days from graduation, enters an abandoned Montana mine, he discovers the price of reckless curiosity. He emerges in May 1941 with a cell phone he can’t use, money he can’t spend, and little but his wits to guide his way. Stuck in the age of swing dancing and a peacetime draft, Joel begins a new life as the nation drifts toward war. With the help of his 21-year-old trailblazing grandmother and her friends, he finds his place in a world he knew only from movies and books. But when an opportunity comes to return to the present, Joel must decide whether to leave his new love in the past or choose a course that will alter their lives forever. THE MINE follows a humbled man through a critical time in history as he adjusts to new surroundings and wrestles with the knowledge of things to come.
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Just days away from their college graduation in the year 2000, Joel Smith and his friend, Adam, are on a trip through Yellowstone when they happen upon an abandoned mine. Curious, Joel enters the mine alone, but when he comes out Adam is gone. In fact, everything he once knew is gone.

Zapped back into the year 1941, the ever arrogant Joel is quickly thrown into a humble life of living on the streets. With nothing more than the clothes on his back and a few things he’s unable to use in the past, his keen wit helps him travel from Montana to his hometown of Seattle where he befriends a young man and embarks on an adventure that will change the course of his life.

I must admit, this was my first time travel read. Time travel isn’t something that has ever piqued my interested before, but being I’m a bit obsessed with the World War II time period and love movies like Pearl Harbor and Saving Private Ryan, I thought The Mine might be something I would enjoy. It definitely did not disappoint. Although a little slow in the beginning, it does not take long to completely pull you in. The whole idea of going back in time and meeting your grandmother during her college years completely intrigued me. Not to mention, all of it transpiring during one of the worlds most memorable and critical time periods.

This story is told from several different POV’s, which usually I find overwhelming, but I had no trouble following along with each characters thoughts as their stories unfolded. Mr. Heldt does a fantastic job of connecting us to each of them and I loved the interactions between the college friends who took Joel in and adopted him as one of their own.

I did have apprehensions going into the story. The cover and the blurb led me to believe this was more of a time travel story with a romance on the side, but that is not the case at at all. The heart of this storyline is a true, old fashioned romance that tugs at all your heartstrings and makes you want to become a part of it. I wanted to be there. I wanted to dive into the book and meet Joel and his friends. Yes, I cried in parts and I couldn’t seem to read fast enough because I wanted so badly to know how the story ended and then when it did, I wanted more. For me, that is what a five star read is all about. One that leaves you a little heartbroken when it’s finished simply because it was so beautiful.

Absolutely compelling in every way. If you like slow moving, modest romances or if time travel is your thing, this is one you should definitely read.

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