Books by Monique
Now available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble
Monique Rardin Richardson can typically be found walking with her favorite companions, family, and camera. Or sitting at her computer writing.
She found the joy of reading early in life and began writing poetry and short stories in middle school. Unfortunately, life got in the way of her dreams. Still, she realized it was never too late and started following her two passions and is now an author of The Unlikely Dreamcatcher and When Then Became Now.
She is a member of the California Writer's Club and Pleasanton Art League and has award-winning photos in galleries throughout the United States.
When Then Became Now
After John dies, Monique learns his journal filled with the life story he was writing for his son also did not survive the streets; she begins writing to heal her grief and share the man she knew with his son and grandchildren.
So many often saw his flaws and internal battles with addiction, not the big heart who tried so hard to be who he wanted to be—travel back to the 80s and discover a lifetime of unconditional love and friendship through the eyes of John's high school girlfriend.
The Unlikely Dreamcatcher
If an inanimate object could give you what you are missing in your life, would you keep it or throw it away?
When a young woman named Annie, who lives in Washington State, discovers a camera that can come into her dreams and take photographs, it forever changes her life and those after her who possess it.
Now Available in Audio
on Amazon, Audible and iTunes
When Then Became Now audio narrated by
the incredible talented voice over actress
Now Available in Audio
on Amazon, Audible and iTunes
The Unlikely Dreamcatcher audio narrated by award-winning director, writer, producer, and three-time 2021 Award Nominee for a SOVA, Daniel Henning!
When Then Becomes Now
My immediate reaction after I finished reading were uncontrollable tears and sobbing. This is a huge first step towards my grieving process. This book is about my father and someone who loved him unconditionally to the very end.
To the author, I don't know what to say other than you've given me a gift so special that only my children are are ahead of. I've just cried my heart out so harder than I ever have in my life. My wife heard me from the garage where I'm reading. The garage is my safe space. Years of bottled up grief finally bursted from my eyes. When I finally finished and pulled myself together I noticed “Alexa” was playing Stairway To Heaven by Led Zeppelin.
I am very grateful for Monique to have been such a great person to my father and to my family.
I absolutely adored this book. I started reading it and just couldn’t stop and finished the whole thing in two days. This is one of those memoirs that combines all my favorite elements: intriguing characters meshed with a slice-out-of-time that feels so real it’s like you’re actually there.
This particular story takes place in the Bay Area (around Oakland) in the 1980’s and it was so fascinating to read all the little details the author included about the culture and the environment of that region during that time. The character development was also phenomenal—I really feel like I got to know the characters so well, especially the main character, John. I won’t include spoilers for those who haven’t yet read the book, but John was a truly heartbreaking character and his journey deeply moved me. By the end of the story, I felt exactly as if I had met him and known him in real life, the characterization was that well done. I really felt a bond with him.
I was also so interested in watching the narrator’s journey unfold. It was really cool to see her move from a struggling teenager who was doing her best to deal with a mom who had issues, to an adult woman who ended up becoming a successful writer and artist. So many of the situations the narrator went through resonated with me because of my own upbringing and I felt a sense of being seen and understood for those experiences. Reading this story definitely brought me a greater degree of acceptance for my own life, and also greater acceptance for the experiences others have gone through that might be very different from my own.
This was an amazing read. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves memoir, memoirs by women writers, or who is interested in learning more about first-hand experiences with addiction, homelessness, and mental health issues.
-Lauren Sapala, Author of The INFJ Revolution
There’s something magical about this book. For most of it, I forgot that this is a memoir, treating it as fiction instead. It’s so perfectly written, so enticing and engrossing, that I couldn’t stop reading, no matter how much I tried. Richardson is a very skilled writer, her prose coming alive off the page in several magical, humbling ways that I just could not forget.
Her description of her life before and after John, her description of her life with John Reposa…It all comes to a head in a beautiful, poignantly melancholic end that I can’t seem to get out of my mind no matter how much I try. I don’t want to forget it.
Of note to me in this book, more than the relationship that seems to define so much of her teenage years and early adulthood, is Richardson’s relationship with her mother. As cruel as that relationship may be, there’s also a deep love involved, one that seems to cry out for recognition beyond the page. Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s much resolution for it in the book, as its focus is almost entirely on Richardson’s relationship with John.
Nevertheless, it’s still such a beautifully defined thing, as fraught as it was with anger, regret and all the negative emotions that go into such a relationship.
Ironically, the relationship she shares with John parallels and intersects with this in such tragically similar ways that I can’t help but feel for Richardson. There’s so much to be lost here, and so much to be gained, that it does leave me hoping that she finds peace in her life after writing this.
When Then Became Now is such a good memoir that I hope more people pick it up. Gorgeously written, deeply moving and just completely heart-breaking in many ways, it just begs to be read by as many memoir lovers (and more) as possible.
Monique is a brilliant and talented writer. This book is hard to put down as the first chapter draws you in. Then you start to learn about about two teenagers both from broken homes who are able to connect and relate to each other. They both want to protect each other from their pain and suffering they have both experienced and continued to experience at a young age. The book fills you with emotions as you learn about their love and how addiction pulled them apart.
I was gifted a copy of this, and was surprised to see no reviews yet, so I wanted to leave one. Monique and John's tale is one of incredible friendship and love. A love so strong, that Monique knew she had to walk away in order to help him. I teared up at several parts. She's a beautiful writer, and naturally gifted with words. I've already bought her next book and can't wait to read it.
The Unlikely Dreamcatcher
"The Unlikely Dreamcatcher" introduces readers to a host of intriguing characters. Reality and fantasy meet in a perfect blend - like one of those vanilla/chocolate ice cream treats from Dairy Queen. Annie...Vince...Richard...Heath...Caroline...Otto...and a dog named Augustus all find their lives inexorable impacted by the most intriguing (and enigmatic) character, a magical camera. Open the book and find yourself captured in a wonderful world of imagination. "Dreamcatcher" represents Monique Richardson's initial foray into the writing world - and what a delightful first step it is!
A tale of wish fulfillment that twists fantastically into a heart warming adventure. The author has an accessible, charming writing style and an incredible imagination for drawing pictures with words.
This book, and its characters captured my heart from chapter one! Written with warmth, ‘The Unlikely Dreamcatcher’ introduces us to lovable, relatable characters and a world that feels like home. I cannot wait to read more from this author!