Roses & Thorns

Roses & Thorns

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Mine by John A. Heldt


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 twenty-one 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.

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


The Mine was the first of two books by Mr. Heldt that I read. At some point in each book, someone “sank” into a chair. “Sank” is a verb I have not seen in a book in so long, I was beginning to think it had disappeared from the English language. Thank you, Mr. Heldt, for reintroducing me to an old friend! I was beginning to think I was the only person left who remembered sink had a past tense and not just the perfect past tense “sunk.”

Now, to the rest of the book. When Joel Smith gets caught in traffic on his way home from a trip to Yellowstone just before graduating from college in the year 2000 with a degree in geology, he sees a sign for an abandoned gold mine. Despite his buddy’s protests, he decides to check it out. Inside he encounters a glowing room where he hits his head. When he stumbles out his friend is gone, along with a lot of other things. He discovers it’s June, 1941. He meets a young man who is dating an impressive young lady. I almost fell out of my recliner Joel realized she was his grandma.

The Mine was a page-burner. I actually took time off work to read this book because I couldn’t put it down. I really liked Joel and Grace and wanted them to have a happily ever after. Have tissues ready at the end of The Mine. You will cry!

Warnings: None
Length:  297 Pages
Digital Price:  $3.99

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