Book Review: Then and Now by RJ Gould

Coming is age doesn’t just happen in your teenage years. Find out why in this next review.


Sandy is about to retire following an illustrious career as editor of an upmarket fashion magazine.

Michael can’t retire, he thinks his work to explain the dangers of climate change is far too important.

Jonathan is considering retiring from running his fundraising consultancy.

These three were the best of friends at university before a tragedy wrecked their friendship. They haven’t spoken since.

Fifty years on, they arrange to meet at a reunion. Having reminisced about student life during a wild and self-indulgent era with its heady mix of free love, drugs and ground-breaking music, they share their life journeys since the Swinging Sixties – the successes and failures, the happiness and despair, and their optimism and fears for the future.

The reunion is drawing to a close. Dare they tackle the incident that tore them apart, an event that has brought guilt for so many years? If they are to have any chance of reconciliation they have to, but the clock is ticking.


To be honest, I was all set to write a less than positive review of Then and Now. For my personal preferences, the story was a bit slow and didn’t have enough action. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the characters. I couldn’t really relate to them then or now (this is a duel timeline book).

However, after finishing and reflecting on the book, I realised the author did a great job in getting me to think about certain things: the Free Love era and attitudes towards drugs and sex, regret, feeling life is over at a certain age, and making the most out of the time that’s left. Once I began to appreciate this aspect of Then and Now, I began to see it as a story that didn’t need big twists and turns to be considered enjoyable.

Sounds like something you might enjoy? Pick up your copy here.

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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