That Was Then, This Is Now
A Review of A Classic Tale
That Was Then, This Is Now by, S.E. Hinton is a coming of age story about two best friends with a bond like brothers.
Set in the 1960s, the book centers around two teenage boys, Bryon and Mark. The boys spend much of their time at a bar, owned by their older friend, Charlie, and often hustle pool. Mark lives with Bryon and his mom, but the family’s financial situation is steadily growing worse due to Bryon’s mother needing some medical help. The boys struggle to find jobs, and Mark is bringing home suspicious amounts of money.
The boys have very different personalities and have gotten into a lot of mischief in their youth. But Bryon starts to change and mature, he starts thinking more about his future and whom he wants to be. Mark, however, does not, and this starts to cause problems between them.
Other characters we meet are M&M, a young free-spirited kid with big gray eyes; Angela, Bryon’s ex-girlfriend; Mike, a kid they had visited in the hospital, and who’s story really affects Bryon; and Cathy, the older sister of M&M and love interest of Bryon. Cathy is part of the reason Bryon start to mature. He had never been serious about a girl before and being with Cathy is starting to change him for the better.
One of my favorite parts of this book is the way the title fits into the story. It is brought up twice in the book, but the most significant way its mentioned is at the end. I won’t go into detail for the sake of not spoiling the ending but trust me when I tell you that it will send shivers down your spine. Hinton brilliantly depicts growing up and entering adulthood. She shows us how your life changes gradually, and how it can change overnight. If you enjoy coming of age stories as much I do, then I highly recommend That Was Then, This Is Now.