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Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Mine by John A. Heldt

The Mine by John A. Heldt
E-book (Amazon Digital Services)
ASIN: B0078S9B6G
Published Feb 12, 2012
290 pages

I love when I open a book, not quite knowing what to expect and fall in love with the story. That's what happened with The Mine. The cover and the title are unimpressive, but the synopsis drew me in and I took a chance to review it. I'm so glad I did because it was such an enjoyable read for me—a time travel story that took me to the nostalgic era of the 1940s.

In the year 2000, Joel Smith is a young man just days away from graduating from college. He is a self-assured adventurous guy who risks entering an abandoned mine and ends up traveling back to May 1941. He tries unsuccessfully to go back to the future but soon realizes he is stuck in the past and must make the best of it. He eventually charms his way into the life of the Carters who become like a family to him, hangs out with college students, one of which will end up becoming his grandmother, and unexpectedly falls in love. He then gets the chance to go back to the future and must decide what to do.

This is Heldt's debut novel, and I was impressed by how he was able to make me become so invested in the character's lives. The 1940s comes to life, and we rediscover through the eyes of a young man what it was like to go to college, attend football games, go dancing to swing music and wait in outdoor lines to see the movies. Life was much more simple without the invasion of technology. But Europe is at war and the US army is drafting young men as the country become more involved with what is brewing overseas. Joel, of course, knows the outcome, and grapples about disclosing what he knows about the war, wondering if it would end up changing his future.

In the meantime, he falls in love with Grace, who is engaged to another man, but attracted to Joel. As their friendship grows, with the war looming closer, Joel must make a decision about returning home. I was racing through the pages to see how it would all end. Joel is a changed person after having spent time in an era that humbled him, and I loved how the author dealt with the time travel aspect, especially at the end to bring it all together. It was such a satisfying read.

Readers who want to escape to a bygone era, with an old-fashioned romance and the all-American experience of the 1940s will be pleased with this novel.


Note: This book is rated C = clean read. I'm not sure if there were any religious expletives in this book. Probably a few.
I will count this book toward the following challenges: Time Travel Reading Challenge

Reviewed by Laura

Disclosure: Thanks to the author for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

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