Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Journey (Northwest Passage #2) by John A. 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.

Last year, I read Heldt's book, The Mine, and I fell in love with it. I was excited to read The Journey but I wasn't sure how it was going to top the first book in the Northwest Passage series.  However, Heldt pulls out all stops and writes a memorable novel that I just fell in love with.

 Michelle is a widow with no children and about to go to her thirtieth class reunion.  There, she and some old classmates have some fun in an old abandoned mansion.  A few things go awry and next thing Michelle knows, she's back in time when she was a senior.  Only this time, she's a teacher who watches her young self.

The old saying, "If I only knew then what I knew now", comes to mind as Michelle tackles her past and her future.  But just imagine seeing your loved ones again that you've lost and not being able to approach them as you would when they were alive, simply because you really aren't supposed to be in this time.  Imagine going back in time with nothing but the clothes on your back, knowing no one and the world not as advanced as what you just left.  

I could say so much more but you need to read this book.  It's an emotional rollercoaster with memorable characters and a storyline that will strike a chord with you on many levels.  Heldt has a knack for creating a world that is easy to relate to, and character lives that you find yourself invested in.  A fresh voice is fiction, I highly recommend The Journey!

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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