Spotlight: The Journey by John Heldt

Spotlight is my new regular Saturday feature in which I highlight a book I really enjoyed or am eagerly waiting for.  This time, it’s The Journey by John Heldt, a book I got very emotional about.

The Journey by John Heldt

Seattle, 2010. When her entrepreneur husband dies in an accident, Michelle Preston Richardson, 48, finds herself childless and directionless. She yearns for the simpler days of her youth, before she followed her high school sweetheart down a road that led to limitless riches but little fulfillment, and jumps at a chance to reconnect with her past at a class reunion. But when Michelle returns to Unionville, Oregon, and joins three classmates on a spur-of-the-moment tour of an abandoned mansion, she gets more than she asked for. She enters a mysterious room and is thrown back to 1979.

Distraught and destitute, Michelle finds a job as a secretary at Unionville High, where she guides her spirited younger self, Shelly Preston, and childhood friends through their tumultuous senior year. Along the way, she meets widowed teacher Robert Land and finds the love and happiness she had always sought. But that happiness is threatened when history intervenes and Michelle must act quickly to save those she loves from deadly fates. Filled with humor and heartbreak, THE JOURNEY gives new meaning to friendship, courage, and commitment as it follows an unfulfilled soul through her second shot at life.

I love the way John Heldt handled the whole time travel angle of his second book in the Northwest Passage trilogy.  In his books, time travel isn’t the important thing and the characters themselves aren’t scientists, so it doesn’t take a prominent position.  But, what does take its place is the characters and the incredible writing.  John Heldt pays so much attention to all of his characters that they are three dimensional and interesting, even the secondary ones.  You will love both Michelle and Shelly (Michelle’s younger self) and the ending will both tear you to pieces and give you some hope.

The Journey has the perfect amount of romance, suspense and heartbreak and I absolutely love how John Heldt solved the time travel paradox.  You see, Michelle isn’t some passive time traveller who leaves things be.  No, she wants to change her younger self and prevent her best friend’s tragic death.  But what happens if Shelly actually changes?  Does Michelle disappear into nothing?  Does she herself change suddenly?  I didn’t think he could pull it off, but John Heldt came up with a great way to solve the paradox.  This is a man who can write himself into a tiny corner and get himself out again in fantastic style, so go on and get The Journey!  You won’t regret it, I promise.

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