Roses & Thorns

Roses & Thorns

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Mercer Street by John A. Heldt


Love, honor, and courage take center stage in the second book of John Heldt’s American Journey time-travel series as three women from the present become entangled in the past in the tension-filled months leading up to World War Two.

Weeks after her husband dies in the middle of an affair, Susan Peterson, 48, seeks solace on a California vacation with her mother Elizabeth and daughter Amanda. The novelist, however, finds more than she bargained for when she meets a professor who possesses the secret of time travel.

Within days, the women travel to 1938 and Princeton, New Jersey. Elizabeth begins a friendship with her refugee parents and infant self, while Susan and Amanda fall for a widowed admiral and a German researcher with troubling ties.

Filled with poignancy, heartbreak, and intrigue, MERCER STREET gives new meaning to sacrifice and commitment as it follows three strong-willed souls on the adventure of a lifetime.

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


Mercer Street was the second book by John A. Heldt that I read and was just as compelling as The Mine. In this time-travel romance, three generations of women travel back to the pre-World War Two era when they meet a professor while on vacation who has a time-travel machine. They’re each given a list of don’ts, such as “Don’t tell anyone you’re from the future.” “Don’t alter history in any way.” “Don’t bring back any living thing,” etc.

They travel to Princeton. Elizabeth, the grandmother, wants to see her devoutly Catholic parents from whom she was estranged when she married a Lutheran man. She meets her parents and her infant self and all three women bond with them. Susan, the daughter, meets and falls in love with a retired Navy Admiral who wants to convince not just the military, but the public, that the US needs to build up our arms—especially aircraft and carriers. And Amanda, the granddaughter, falls in love with the son of a German diplomat. He’s grown up mostly in the US, but where do his loyalties really lie? And who is the Old Man who lives down the street and always seems to have lost something when Elizabeth walks past?

Like The Mine, I had difficulty putting down Mercer Street. It was well-written with wonderful grammar, characters who were easy to like, great pacing, and a twist I never saw coming at the end. I thought I had it figured out, but boy, was I wrong! Thank you, Mr. Heldt.

Warnings:  None
Length:  431 Pages
Digital Price:  $4.99

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