Class of ’59 (American Journey #4) by John A. Heldt-a review

Class of ’59 ( American Journey #4) by John A Heldt-a review

Class of 59 / /

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.


5 out of 5 for this reader folks!

OK, so I have been reviewing for John Heldt for a while now, and I admit that when I start one of his books, he is already at a 5 star rating, simply because he ALWAYS delivers. Every time I review I think, “my goodness, seriously there has to be something that I can pick at?”, but NOPE, NEVER IS! This time is not the least bit different, and I struggle to find new ways to gush about John’s writing. So instead of trying to find new ways to write an “OMG, I LOVED IT!” review, I am just going to write the gush of happy that I felt, and if it comes across repetitive, well it’s John’s fault for writing another freaking fantastic book! LOL

Class of ’59 is the fourth book of John A Heldt’s American Journey Series. This book was MY FAVE! I always make mention of my dislike of time travelling books (other than The Outlander Series) and for sure now, other than American Journey Series. This book had a more lighthearted feel, with it’s own unique sense of danger and angst, but forefront to all of John’s books, and especially in this one, is romance and love. I love a gritty dirty book, but John doesn’t deliver this, thank goodness, because what he has done, that many dirty gritty book authors do not, is make me believe in timeless romance and sweet true love. How refreshing!

Mary Beth lives in 2017, and is vacationing with her sister Piper, when she sees a man strolling into the house’s basement. This man is dressed as if he comes from the 1950’s. Before we know it, an elaborate story of finding a letter that the original home owner wrote, with description of time travel, surfaces. Deciding, “well let’s see what happens!” we are back in the 1950’s where poodle skirts, sock hops, drive in movies and old fashioned teenage fun is being had by our characters. Mark (who was the man entering the basement) has a brother Ben who becomes paired up with Piper. Essentially, sisters Mary Beth and Piper become romantically involved in brothers Mark and Ben.

Innocent fun and experiences are being enjoy by both couples, and true love is blooming. However, time travel comes with consequences, and times are dangerous for our couples. Before long, the questions of “Where is it the most safe?”, and “Is it fair to ask one person to jump into life with another outside of their planned existence?” are asked. Is this even possible? Unfortunately, fate takes over and separation must occur. What does one do when they have found a once in a lifetime love with another, but decades is what is separating you? Is there a way back to each other or was it only ever meant to be brief?

Ya, my heart string got pulled as well! LOL I found I asked myself more than once, if I was ever presented with the ability to time travel, would I do it? It also made me reflect of how different eras produce such different generations, but love will always be love.

Strong, well rounded, and believable characters. Strong story with vivid examples of a time I have never experienced but think I came about as close to it as I could reading this book. John, you never cease to amaze me with your talent. If you are looking for a fantastic time travel series, please, PLEASE do yourself a favour and read John A Heldt!


Reading Order and Previous Reviews
September Sky
Mercer Street
Indiana Belle
Class of ’59

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Rachel T.

about the author

John HeldtFollow John: Goodreads / Website/Blog/ Twitter /

John A. Heldt is the author of the critically acclaimed Northwest Passage and American Journey series. The former reference librarian and award-winning sportswriter has loved getting subjects and verbs to agree since writing book reports on baseball heroes in grade school. A graduate of the University of Oregon and the University of Iowa, Heldt is an avid fisherman, sports fan, home brewer, and reader of thrillers and historical fiction. When not sending contemporary characters to the not-so-distant past, he weighs in on literature and life at


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