The Mine by John A. Heldt
Publisher: John A. Heldt
Publication Date: January 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 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.
*Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Joel Smith is a happy-go-lucky kind of guy. He is handsome, generous, kind, and from a wealthy family. When he and his friend, Alex, take a detour during a road trip and discover an abandoned gold mine, Joel goes in to explore. Somehow, when he comes out of the mine, he finds himself in the year 1941; where he makes a life for himself and finds love.
When I started reading The Mine, I had mixed feelings about Joel. He seemed carefree; and when he first arrived in the past, he did not show the emotions I would have expected him to feel. He just kind of went with the flow- settling in, making friends, finding a job, making money, and chasing Grace (his love interest). There was barely any struggle to find his bearings in a world he clearly did not belong in, and at first I was not on board with that.
Moving deeper into the story, I began to like Joel: he’s the sort of character that grows on you. I figure his ability to take everything in stride is due to his personality. I like how he develops in the course of the story; and the fact that he took time to consider the harm his presence in the past can cause, shows how much he matured.
Another character I like is Grace. Even though she starts out doing what people expect of her, she soon realizes that you only live once, and she deserves to be happy. I like how she isn’t a doormat, despite her soft, sensitive ways. She also knows what she wants and goes for it. The fact that she is brave enough to chase Joel into his own time shows how strong a person she is; and that just made me like her more.
The characters in the story blend together nicely to go with the events that occur, and it’s obvious that the author really did his homework when it comes to research. The writing style is such that I felt like I was moving backward in time with Joel.
In all, The Mine is a well written story about true love and real friendship, with a plot that evolves smoothly and characters that develop beautifully. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed reading a time travel romance this much since I read The Time Traveler’s Wife.