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Book Review

Updated: May 21, 2023

By Maduabuchi Eze review of "When Then Became Now" by Monique Rardin Richardson.]

John and Monique, two young children from "cold" family backgrounds, are connected by fate at Island High School, Alameda, California, USA. They quickly become a source of strength for each other. They would take part-time jobs, hang out with friends and family members, and promise each other the utmost loyalty and devotion. Their future seems to be bright until cracks so uncontrollable, so ferocious, and so cruel begin to develop. From the ashes of the devastation comes the story of When Then Became Now. This is a memoir written by Monique Rardin Richardson to celebrate John Robert Reposa, her childhood boyfriend and hero. The account was so raw and emotive that I felt the agony of the crushed soul and the bleeding heart. This story was also written to help John's family appreciate a man so imperfect and yet so humane. I was impressed by Monique's exceptional narrative prowess. She gave life to every word in this book. She also did a nice job with character development and was meticulous and consistent while doing so. I was able to gain a deeper understanding of the reasons behind the actions and emotions of the characters in this book. For example, I was able to understand the source of Monique's negative energy and mindset before John showed up in her life. I found the role played by Matt to be symbolic. He was there when fate "built" and "looted" John and Monique. The central message in this memoir is eternal. Please pick up this book and find out what it is. I liked how the author developed the plot of this memoir. The story started from the end and was narrated downward. The word choices made in this book were appropriate. They give readers access to the minds of the characters. The author titled each chapter in this book. This should help readers figure out from the onset the thematic preoccupation of each chapter. The chapters were concise. This helped to sustain my interest till I finished the book. The themes explored in this book were mortifying. There is a raw display of true friendship, devotion, loss, addiction, mourning, loneliness, and disillusionment. When Then Became Now is recommended for people suffering from any form of addiction. It is an excellent recommendation for those who are hurting from the loss of loved ones. This book will resonate with those who have experienced true love and devotion. Adults looking for a captivating literary piece can consider picking up this book.

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