Title: THE MINE
Author: John A. Heldt
File size: 537 KB (Kindle)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
Genres: Romance-Time Travel, Historical Fiction.
In 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 Whirlaway, 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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About the author . . .
John A. Heldt is a reference librarian who lives and works in Montana. The former award-winning sportswriter and newspaper editor has loved reading and writing since writing book reports on baseball heroes in grade school. A graduate of both the University of Oregon and University of Iowa, he is an avid fisherman, sports fan, home brewer, and reader of thrillers and historical fiction. Heldt is the author of THE MINE, THE JOURNEY, and THE SHOW, the first three novels of his Northwest Passage time-travel series.
Reader review . . .
Deciding to take a quick break right before college graduation, Joel and his best friend Adam embark on a road trip. While driving through Montana, Joel decides to explore an abandoned gold mine. A strange glow from the walls of the mine catapults him into the past. On his own in 1941, Joel's first thought is to find his way back to the present. But upon meeting Tom and his family and friends, he finds himself facing the dilemma of all time-travelers; should he intervene to save them from their future and risk altering the course of history?
Not being a serious fan of sci-fi and time travel, this novel did not, at first glance, look like my usual choice of reading material. But after a second reading of the blurb, I decided it might be interesting. Once I started reading, I could not put it down. This was a fascinating historical fiction using time travel as the means of transporting the reader (and the protagonist) back to pre-WWII America. Anyone who has ever contemplated what it would be like to go back in time will appreciate the question raised by the novel. Is it safe for a time traveler to alter the past? If you know that someone is going to die, is it okay to change their fate? In this story, the grandfather (actually, grandmother) paradox plays a major role in the storyline. As I was reading, I found myself trying to guess ahead to how the author would end the story. With all my conjecture, it was still a nice surprise.
The 1940s setting is very well done. I particularly enjoyed Joel's exploration of the contrast between the past and present. The idea of going back in time to see one's hometown as it once was is intriguing. His quandary upon realizing that the Pearl Harbor attack and subsequent entry to the war is only months away was thought-provoking. Joel was seeing the faces of the young men who had only been names on a memorial plaque for him before.
IMHO, the romance angle is more of a subplot to a well-written time travel story. This is perfect for anyone who enjoys sci-fi, historical fiction, and/or the time travel genre.
I received this book from the author in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are my own.