2019 Reviews · Better Reading Preview · contemporary fiction · new release

Better Reading Preview: The Time is Now, Monica Sparrow by Matt Howard

Title: The Time is Now, Monica Sparrowthe time is now monica sparrow small

Author: Matt Howard

Published: March 1st 2019

Publisher: Transit Lounge

Pages: 288

Genres: Fiction, Contemporary

RRP: $29.99

Rating: 2.5 stars

Cast adrift by loss, Monica Sparrow is marooned in her semi in Neasden, the so-called ‘loneliest village in London’, her home stuffed with nothing she needs. Is it time for her to finally get her house in order? Can she isolate what really matters, and clear the junk? And while it’s too late for her family to be as they were, can Monica fashion an entirely new one, from the unlikeliest set of contenders?

Monica’s once beloved sister, Diane, already a right piece of work and looking to take it up a notch, seems lost to Monica forever. But a few unexpected diversions see her careering in a most unanticipated direction.

Xavier, a master of minimalism, discards people as easily as any other clutter. An editor at a prestigious publishing house, he’s lumbered with Monica – a wannabe writer spectacularly different from any he’s previously encountered.

Having lived virtually family-free into adulthood, Jamie suddenly acquires Monica and Diane as elder sisters, and a job, a proper one. Used to living on the margins and unfamiliar with group dynamics, this proverbial black sheep might just become the most improbable anchor.

Four isolated people. Thrown together by family and circumstance. A humorous and heartwarming story of second chances and new beginnings.


Rows of detached style homes adorn the front cover of The Time is Now, Monica Sparrow, by established Australian author Matt Howard. With the front cover scene set at night, and the lights clearly visible inside these houses, a sense of intrigue was soon established. I wanted to know who Monica Sparrow was, and why it was her time.

The prologue definitely drew me in, just as much as the cover. I was keen to delve into Monica’s character journey. I got the feeling early on when reading this novel that it was going to progress along the lines of recent misunderstood or quirky characters (think The Cactus, or Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine). I was a little off the mark on this assumption. Instead, this was a slow burn style character intersection and introspection piece. Themes defining this book include self discovery/realisation, acceptance, belonging, identity and cultivating relationships.

The structure of the book, which utilises short and sharp chapter styles, encouraged me to read  ‘just one more’ page of this book. A few surprises were issued along the way, but on the whole, I felt confused and distanced from this one, for reasons unknown.

The Time is Now, Monica Sparrow by Matt Howard was published on 1st March 2019 by Transit Lounge. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

*Thanks is extended to Better Reading/Transit Lounge for providing a free copy of this book for review purposes.



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