Book Review: Mercer Street, American Journey Part 2, by John A. Heldt

Mercer Street Cover

Summary from Author

Weeks after her husband dies in the midst of an affair in 2016, Chicago writer Susan Peterson, 48, seeks solace on a California vacation with her mother Elizabeth and daughter Amanda. The novelist, however, finds more than she bargained for when she meets a professor who possesses the secret of time travel. Within days, the women travel to 1938 and Princeton, New Jersey. Elizabeth begins a friendship with her refugee parents and infant self, while Susan and Amanda fall for a widowed admiral and a German researcher with troubling ties. Filled with poignancy, heartbreak, and intrigue, MERCER STREET gives new meaning to courage, sacrifice, and commitment as it follows three strong-willed souls on the adventure of a lifetime.


John’s hit another one out of the park! As soon as I finished reading September Sky I knew I wanted to read this one! He’d hinted at the story line and it intrigued me from the off.  He has a way of writing characters so that you become so immersed in their story that you don’t even realize you’ve begun reading a book.  He just writes them that well.  This time was no different, you see the journey of three modern-day women in the late 1930’s, a time when America was at a turning point and Europe was on the verge of war.  The way American’s viewed German’s and the prospect of joining Hitler’s war was not something to be taken lightly.  John manages to see this change in America from the viewpoint of three different generations – Amanda, the youngest, a historian who wants to think that there’s some good in everyone, trusts Kurt even though there’s possibly secrets there that could undo the fabric of their relationship.  Susan, Amanda’s mother whose cynicism toward men and German’s might just over-rule her protective instincts when it comes to Amanda – all the while teaching her a thing or two about being a woman.  And, then there’s Elizabeth, Susan’s mother who lived through WWII as a child – her memories of what America and the world were like during that time period may just lead her toward rash decisions.

This story has many turns that keep the reader engaged – you want to know what’s going to happen to the main characters and see how they’ll interact with the pending war.  John’s development of the characters and the world of 1938-39 Princeton, NJ are definitely not a let-down!

Five out of Five Stars for Mercer Street.

John Heldt

About the Author, John A. Heldt

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.

Connect with John

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Purchase Your Copy of Mercer Street


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