Friday, August 11, 2023

Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore

Wow! What did I just read?

I have always enjoyed split timeline books, so when I heard about Oona Out of Order, a story with a disjointed timeline I was intrigued and put a request on the book.

About the Book:

A remarkably inventive novel that explores what it means to live a life fully in the moment, even if those moments are out of order.

It’s New Year’s Eve 1982, and Oona Lockhart has her whole life before her. At the stroke of midnight she will turn nineteen, and the year ahead promises to be one of consequence. Should she go to London to study economics, or remain at home in Brooklyn to pursue her passion for music and be with her boyfriend? As the countdown to the New Year begins, Oona faints and awakens thirty-two years in the future in her fifty-one-year-old body. Greeted by a friendly stranger in a beautiful house she’s told is her own, Oona learns that with each passing year she will leap to another age at random. And so begins Oona Out of Order...

Hopping through decades, pop culture fads, and much-needed stock tips, Oona is still a young woman on the inside but ever changing on the outside. Who will she be next year? Philanthropist? Club Kid? World traveler? Wife to a man she’s never met? Surprising, magical, and heart-wrenching, Margarita Montimore has crafted an unforgettable story about the burdens of time, the endurance of love, and the power of family.

The story starts with 18 year old Oona at a New Year's Eve party. We get to learn a little bit about her and her current group of friends. Then as the clock ticks midnight, she faints and finds herself awaking in her own body in another time. It has to be a strange experience to still be you but to know little of what's currently going on. There were times where I felt as confused as Oona, trying to figure out what was happening in each new time of her life. Some years were better than others. There were times where I was disappointed in the way she lived her life in a given year and times where she tried to impact her own outcome. I think that in part it was because she was much younger on the inside and was living a life that normally is lived by someone with more experience. There were clearly advantages and challenges to living out of order. When she finally had the chance to return to her 19th year (where the timeline first shifted), it was refreshing to see some of what she had learned about living.

This quote near the end of the book sums it up nicely:

"Oona would always try to create continuity and meaning in her life - she couldn't help it - but she'd also seie these moments of happiness and relish them. Whichever way the years flowed, it was impossible to outmaneuver their passage. Even chronology doesn't guarantee security. All good things ended, always. The trice was to enjoy them while they lasted. Oona was still learning."

This book was an interesting read and had to be a challenge to write. The author has a couple of other books that I will keep an eye out for at the library in hopes of reading them as well.