Book Review: The Mine by John Heldt

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 too carefree...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 what a strong 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.