by John Heldt
Publisher: John A. Heldt
Published: Feb. 13, 2012
In 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 is a love story that 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.
In May 2000, Joel Smith and Adam Levy were just three weeks away from college graduation when they decided to take a 5-day trip to blow off some steam by going for a drive to Wyoming. On their way back to Seattle, at a small cafe where they stopped for a meal they heard an interesting news report about a rare space phenomenon. Six of the eight planets in our solar system would be roughly aligned for the next 24 hours.
Because the traffic was backed up, when Joel saw a sign for an abandoned mine He insisted on making a detour to it. Once there, the ever-adventurous young man insisted on going inside, where he made a unique discovery as a student of geology. Before he could reach the object, he was startled by a rattlesnake and took off running, slamming his forehead right into a low support beam, knocking himself out cold. When he awoke, he made his way out of the tunnel to the surface but found things slightly different than when he had entered - the rails didn't seem as worn, the remaining boards he did not remove over the entrance were gone and when he reached the surface the dilapidated buildings were in much better condition, but worst of all Adam was gone.
Thinking perhaps Adam had headed back into town to the restaurant to get his forgotten sunglasses, Joel started walking back to town. When he finally got to town and explored around a bit, to his fright and consternation he discovered it was 1941!
I really enjoyed this historical novel which was a look at what it would be like if you travelled back in time 59 years and met some of your contemporaries at a younger age. The author was able to bring the characters across in such a way that we began to care about them and I fretted with Joel about what he should do if he should be able to return to his life in 2000. He had developed such good friendships and even fallen in love with a young woman.
Knowing the future gave Joel certain advantages and disadvantages that Joel had to deal with very carefully because he did not want to change the lives of too many people by being in the past. He speculated about whether he would watch himself grow up if he couldn't return home.
The sexual scenes (I think there was only one) was mainly implied, and the profanity was relatively minimal.
There were several interesting twists to the plot that made this historical-romance time travel novel a book that I would recommend to others. The Mine really made you think about what you would be changing simply by having contact with anyone if you went back in time and the damage you could do by knowing what was going to happen to people and warning them about it in order to save them from it. I gave The Mine 4 stars out of 5.
Thank you so the author for providing a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.
About the Author:
John A. Heldt is the author of the critically acclaimed Northwest Passage and American Journey series. The former reference librarian and award-winning sportswriter has loved getting subjects and verbs to agree since writing book reports on baseball heroes in grade school. A graduate of the University of Oregon and the University of Iowa, Heldt is an avid fisherman, sports fan, home brewer, and reader of thrillers and historical fiction. When not sending contemporary characters to the not-so-distant past, he weighs in on literature and life at johnheldt.blogspot.com.