I have been having similar problems with npm on our dev machines ever since I started getting into the SharePoint Framework. Some things work with the new Node.JS version in one machine and the other times it fails. I'll try Yarn and see if it helps
Yes, most of our problems with npm where from different version of node.js.
Switching to Yarn may be the right option, But you need to stick to that. Npm has alot of packages in it. NPM fails to install some of the packages because it has much dependencies. You should try to delete node_modules folder and package-lock.json file that creates an issue sometimes and re-install the packages.
React isn't a framework and Redux is mostly misused as client side views into a DB. Take a look at Apollo Kit by SysGears, a React-based boilerplate that uses Apollo which is far more powerful and correctly implemented. Redux is a joke.