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What would it be like to travel back in time to 1959 - over 60 years? No mobile phones, for a start, no internet, instead: movie drive-ins, proms and poodle skirts.
Mark and his younger brother, Ben are from 1959. Mark discovers the clue to time travel hidden in the back of a jammed drawer. It involves crystals, a basement and bright lights. They travel forward to 2017 and meet sisters Mary Beth and Piper, persuading them to come back with them to 1959. And so begins an adventure neither sister could ever have imagined. But it also produces a problem, how can they stay together when they don't exist in each other's time, and what about family who may be left behind?
Narrated from the POV of each of the four characters, the author provided a good insight into the reactions of each of them through their adventure.
The very early chapters involved the death of Mary Beth''s fiance in a theft related shooting and I wasn't sure how this related to the main story. I wondered whether this was a character from earlier in the series as it seemed very disconnected from Class of '59.
I also found the early part of the book confusing and I lost track of who was from which era, as they crossed in and out of time zones. I had to rewind and go back over that part. Once we became fixed in '59 it was plain sailing and I enjoyed the author's depiction of a time gone by. I loved the social lives the characters enjoyed, watching tennis from the bleachers and playing music from jukeboxes.
The narration by Patrice Gambardella was good, just a few incorrect inflections that jarred at times.
This was an amazing view into another time and would certainly be enjoyed by lovers of the 50s and time travel fans.
This is the first time I've read/listened by John Heldt. It won't be the last enjoyed this very much. This may be part of a series, but this can stand alone.
The narrator brought the story to life.
This Audiobook was given to me for free at my request from the publisher, author or narrator and I provided this unbiased voluntary review.
Reasons I enjoyed this book:
Action-packed, Easy-to-read, Entertaining, Great world building Happily Ever After, Original, Page-turner, Romantic, Unpredictable, Whimsical, Witty, Wonderful characters.
Class of '59, by John Heldt, is book 4 in his American Journey series. As I've found with Mr. Heldt's other time travel novels, the books are a bit hard for me to get into as I've found them a smidge slow to start. Quickly enough though (within the first hour or so), I find myself being totally swept up in the story and enjoying the subtle and not-so-subtle (Marilyn Monroe, etc.) references to the past. The sisters, Mary Beth and Piper were both likable characters and the brothers (Mark and Ben) were as well.
Patrice Gambardella did a decent job with the narration. I heard a few editing errors, but nothing that was super distracting. She read the part well, though quite dryly and without much emotion. Not sure if that was on purpose or not. The story was so entertaining that I was more focused on that anyways, to be honest.
I'd recommend this book if you want a nice, easy romantic time travel listen, without any hot and heavy sex scenes. It's a book that will take you back to the late fifties and a time of innocence. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher for an honest review.