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 Whirlaway, swing dancing, and a peacetime draft, Joel begins a new life as the nation drifts toward war. With the help of his 21-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.
out of 5
I really enjoyed this book. There was something very real about Joel and his actions that had me believing in him and rooting for him, even when he did some less than noble things. All is fair in love and war as they say. The romance is equally natural, with the characters actions matching their growing attraction for each other. Difficult decisions are given the weight they deserve. The characters are engaging, the writing strong and I wanted to find out what would happen to Joel; how he would handle the repercussions of his trip back in time.
It loses a point because things roll along a bit too easily for Joel, falling into place rather perfectly. He just always seems to be in the right place, to do the right thing every time. I prefer my romance characters to face a bit more difficulty.
On that note, I will add two caveats. This is billed as a science fiction time travel story. I would call it a paranormal romance, with heavy emphasis on the romance. The actual time travel is minimal, and the existence of it remains mostly unexplained. As well, if you're looking for a story about Pearl Harbor and America's entrance into World War II, this isn't it. Those events are of course mentioned and very important to Joel, but the story is set in Seattle, and focuses on a few characters who mostly remain untouched by the war. Mostly.