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Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite
The Past We Step Into by Richard Scharine discusses the daily life and struggles of a couple as they love together, live together, and build a family against the backdrop of rapid modernity in America. The work opens with the narrator reminiscing about past generations and how his ancestors migrated from Ireland to the USA for a fresh start. From there onward, each story gives us a glimpse into the lives of different characters and how they deal with the chaos that life throws at them over the years. Our narrator stays at the forefront of the story to share how each moment can lie heavy on one's heart, shaping and changing us for the times yet to come.
The Past We Step Into can be explored as a collection of twelve interconnected short stories, each one teaching a life lesson. While the pace of the story can be a little slow at times, the narrative is far from boring. I love that our narrator for the first few stories was nameless, yet we knew the names of every significant person in his life. His father was quite a character, but my favorite was Great-Aunt Alma. She was an incredibly sassy character, and her dialogues were fantastically sarcastic yet so on point. Rik was a close second. What I loved most about this collection was how author Richard Scharine depicted life in all its natural glory. Neither grief nor happiness overpowers anything, keeping life in balance. Each of the emotions and upheavals in the lives of the characters was as realistic as possible.