Sunday, 5 November 2017

Class of '59 (American Journey #4) by John A. Heldt



I am still not convinced that, as a genre, time travel books are for me but John Heldt’s books certainly are and I was not disappointed with class of ‘59.

I was looking forward to reading Class of ’59 because it is a time I remember and loved the music, fashion, television shows and movie stars. I wasn’t disappointed. John A Heldt brings to life a time where the pace of life was slower, young people were ladies and gentlemen, and young love precious.

The four main characters, sisters Mary Beth and Piper, and brothers Mark and Ben, travel between 1959 and 2017. They meet when Mark discovers the time tunnel and appears in the backyard of the house where Mary Beth is holidaying. Young love grows between Mary Beth and Mark and, Piper and Ben but how will they resolve the difference in their times? The full precis is below.


Mary Beth is already a fan of the 50s but it is her sister who wants to experience high school in that era. The two sisters and the two brothers are very different characters. They balance and complement each other both as siblings and lovers.

The story is more light-hearted than the others in the series with sweet romance but with trouble and danger caused by a book from the future. The time travellers also don’t begin their journey with the help of Professor Bell

The girls even got to meet and chat with Marilyn Munroe and Mary Beth debates with another student when John F Kennedy would run for President.

Like all of Heldt’s books, the time period is both well researched and brought to life. In fact, I am starting to get a bit suspicious that John Heldt has a secret life as a time traveller.

If you have read the other American Journey books you will be interested in the brief appearance of Professor Geoffrey Bell’s parents and the conversation he has with Mary Beth at a lecture about time travel.

The ending is both clever and different to Heldt’s other stories but to even hint at it would be a spoiler.

I found the story a bit slow at times and the ending happened all too soon but it is still of a quality I have come to expect from Heldt.

I received this copy from John A. Heldt in exchange for an honest review.

Though it is the fourth in the American Journey series, like all the books in the series, you don't have to read the others. Except for Professor and Mrs Bell, these characters aren't in the other books. no introduction to what one should and should not do when traveling into the past or into the future by Professor Bell.

My rating 4*

Precis 

When Mary Beth McIntire settles into a vacation house on June 2, 2017, she anticipates a quiet morning with coffee. Then she hears a noise, peers out a window, and spots a man in 1950s attire standing in the backyard. She panics when the trespasser sees her and enters the house though a door to the basement. She questions her sanity when she cannot find him.

In the same house on March 21, 1959, Mark Ryan finds a letter. Written by the mansion’s original owner in 1900, the letter describes a basement chamber, mysterious crystals, and a formula for time travel. Driven by curiosity, Mark tests the formula twice. On his second trip to 2017, he encounters a beautiful stranger. He meets the woman in the window.

Within hours, Mary Beth and Mark share their secret with her sister and his brother and begin a journey that takes them from the present day to the age of sock hops, drive-ins, and jukeboxes. In CLASS OF ’59, the fourth book in the American Journey series, four young adults find love, danger, and adventure as they navigate the corridors of time and experience Southern California in its storied prime.