The Rearranged Life of Oona Lockhart
This is a topsy-turvy life story told with humour and skill; I enjoyed nearly every moment reading it. There’s no denying that this book borrows heavily from Audrey Niffenegger’s “A Time Traveller’s Wife” which was a big hit a decade or so ago, but this time rather than being (mainly) left behind on the time travels we travel with the protagonist and ‘enjoy’ it through her eyes.
It all begins when Oona, on her 19th birthday, leaps forward in time and ‘comes to’ being significantly older (physically) but internally still feeling 19. She learns from letters she has written to herself and people she trusts about things that have happened and things yet to happen and despite her desire to either change it all, or not change a thing, life – with all its mess – just ‘happens’.
This book was just so enjoyable. I had to slow myself down a few times to just enjoy it. There was no crime to solve, or trick to unwind, so reading at a leisurely pace was (for me, for once!) possible. The Onna of different ages and stages was at times frustrating, relatable, enviable – and I really enjoyed feeling a whole gambit of emotions focused on what was in effect a single character.
The book is set in the 1980’s through to 2017 and I admit there was a lot of pleasure as a reader having lived all these eras and feeling some sense of connection and knowledge of each space. What really brings this book to live however is Oona’s relationships with the people she finds herself with each New Year’s Eve at one minute past midnight – a new cast that know her, but she is yet to discover and the pleasure (and pain) of these relationships, and the revelation of each character and how it will colours Oona’s life going forward (or back!) is where the real magic lies.
It’s early in the year, but I’m picking this will be on my Top 10 list at the end of the year!
About the Author
After receiving a BFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College, Margarita Montimore worked for over a decade in publishing and social media before deciding to focus on the writing dream full-time. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and dog.