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The Mirror (Northwest Passage #5) by John A. Heldt

The Mirror, Northwest Passage, John A. Heldt, book review, On My Kindle Book Reviews

Source: I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Genre: Fiction, Historical, Time Travel, Romance
Format: eBook, Print
Publication Date: March 1, 2014

Back Cover

On September 11, 2020, Ginny and Katie Smith celebrate their nineteenth birthday at a country fair near Seattle. Ignoring the warnings of a fortune-teller, they enter a house of mirrors and exit in May 1964. Armed with the knowledge they need to return to their time, they try to make the most of what they believe will be a four-month vacation. But their sixties adventure becomes complicated when they meet a revered great-grandmother and fall in love with local boys. In THE MIRROR, the sequel to THE MINE and THE SHOW, the sisters find happiness and heartbreak as they confront unexpected challenges and gut-wrenching choices in the age of civil rights, the Beatles, and Vietnam.


In this sequel to The Mine and The Show, Grace and Joel Smith's twin daughters, Ginny and Katie, decide to celebrate their birthdays by visiting the county fair. After viewing some attractions, the sisters decide to stop by a fortune teller's tent before heading home. The fortune teller predicts that the twins will go on a journey and that they will have only one chance to return home. She pleads with the sisters to go straight home, but the sisters decide to visit the fair's house of mirrors before they call it a night.

In the house of mirrors, Ginnie leaves Katie to check out the rest of the attraction. When Ginnie backtracks to find her sister, her sister is gone. After a desperate search, Ginnie returns to the last place she saw her sister and discovers that it is not looking at her own reflection in the mirror; instead, she sees her sister in another place. Seeing how distressed Katie is, Ginny enters the portal and the twins find themselves in another time.

Will Katie and Ginny make their way back to their own time, or will they miss the one chance that they have of returning home?

This fifth installment of Heldt's Northwest Passage Series is different than its predecessors. In an interesting shift, Heldt focused most of his efforts on the characters, rather than events in the timeline or the setting. I thought that it was an odd choice, considering that several events happened during the time that the sisters were stuck in 1964; especially since their great-grandmother was an editor for a newspaper and Ginnie had a gig as a photographer for the same newspaper.

Equally unusual for Heldt was that the twins encountered several people that held conservative philosophies. I have noticed that the protagonists in the previous books in the series usually meet liberal-minded and forward-thinking people, so this deviation from his norm was surprising; especially since the Pacific Northwest is generally known for its more liberal views.

I liked the characters well enough, they had plenty of personality and were interesting, but I felt that the romances were a bit forced as the twins really did not spend that much time in 1964. I just wish that Heldt had spent more time detailing the timeline and setting, rather than focusing on the whirlwind romances that the twins were involved in.

Even I have to admit that the explanation of the mirror that the girls used as a portal was a bit bizarre. It is the first time that a connection with the supernatural has really been implied in the series and I found it perplexing that this was brought up in the last book of the series.

Despite the deviation from his usual style, Heldt still knows how to spin a tale. Readers who enjoyed how he focused on events and settings in his previous books might not appreciate this book; however, those who enjoyed his ability to develop characters will definitely appreciate this change of pace!

About John A. Heldt

John A. Heldt, author, The Mirror, Northwest Passage series, On My Kindle Book Reviews.
John A. Heldt, author. Photo courtesy of Goodreads.
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

Have you read The Mirror? What are your thoughts on it? Let me know in the comments.