Book: The Mine
Author: John Heldt
Genre: Historical fiction/romance
Year published: 2012
Morality Rating: PG
Readability Rating: 2.5 stars
22 year old Joel Smith is weeks away from graduation and takes a much-needed break from studying to trek through Yellowstone National Park with a friend. On the way back home, they stop to explore an old abandoned mine in Montana. While exploring the mine, Joel accidentally finds a portal to another time and finds himself in the year 1941 where he meets a girl he just can’t ignore.
When I first started this book, I thought I wouldn’t like it. It started a little rocky, but by a third of the way in, I was interested in the development of the story. I liked the overall feel and I appreciate a clean romance. Although the plot is a little predictable, I enjoyed the read overall.
- Characters: I really feel like the characters were the weakest part of this book. I didn’t really like any of them. I kind of wanted to punch Joel in the face, and Grace seemed uninteresting. Joel’s grandmother Ginny was the most interesting character, but she wasn’t in the story that much.
- Plot: The plot is the strong point of this story. It reminded me of a Nicolas Sparks romance. I liked the time travel aspect, and who doesn’t like star-crossed lovers, divided only by time? However, the plot did drag a little in the last third of the book.
- Setting: the 1940s are one of my favorite decades. I love almost everything about the culture from that time. I think Heldt was able to capture the feeling of the decade for the most part, but it was lacking the immersive quality that I really like to feel from a story.
- Writing Style: I really couldn’t figure the writing style out. At first, things were too descriptive. I felt like the saying, “show me, don’t tell me” applied here. But by the second half of the book the awkward phrasing from the first half vanished and it was enjoyable to read. I’m wondering if the author had trouble writing the opening bridge to the part he really wanted to write. I know that happens to me all the time. Although, I’m the worst at the middle.
This wasn’t a bad book at all. But, with so many books to read, I’m not sure that this one would stand out from the crowd. However, for 99 cents, you could do a lot worse.
*I received a free copy of The Mine to write this review. Opinions are my own.*