Joel Smith’s life changes forever when just days before his college graduation he wanders into an abandoned Montana mine and re-emerges in May, 1941. He has no resources at all and jumps aboard a train headed for Seattle, the city he grew up in fifty-nine years in the future. He is stuck in an era he has only read about, trying desperately not to change history. He lands a job selling mattresses and also makes friends with his trailblazing grandmother and her friends, all twenty-one years old.
Joel is a wonderful character with a great deal of depth. He could turn into a crook, taking advantage of the knowledge of the future, but that doesn’t even enter his mind. He does make a few bets to build up some capitol but otherwise, he works very hard not to reveal any of his knowledge in a world on the eve of Pearl Harbor. He has a good time, but he also learns the value of hard work and he is always willing to help others. He matures as he sees life not as his playground, but as a very real place with people about to be caught up in World War II.
The supporting characters are also well-defined and very believable. It is fun to see Joel reacting with his wonderful grandmother who is now a college journalist student. He falls in love with a young lady and befriends another. He stands up for his friends in the face of bullies. And when the chance comes to return to his own world, Joel wrestles with some very complex problems.
This is both a time travel adventure and a coming of age story. It is exciting and moving, as well as a lot of fun. The author has obviously done his research into the time period and the details about Seattle in 1941 are expertly shown, drawing the reader back in time.
Lovers of time travel adventures are sure to find The Mine to be an excellent example of the genre and a most enjoyable read.
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