Unique ap­proach on time travel

Pretoria News - - BOOKS - OONA OUT OF OR­DER Mar­garita Mon­ti­more Loot.co.za (R413) FLAT­IRON BOOKS Oona Out of Or­der

OONA Lock­hart is ready to be­gin her adult life when she turns 19 at the stroke of mid­night.

Sur­rounded by friends at a New Year’s Eve party, she won­ders what her fu­ture holds as the clock counts down the fi­nal mo­ments of 1982. In­stead of blow­ing a horn and kiss­ing her boyfriend, Oona faints, opens her eyes and finds her­self in an un­fa­mil­iar house.

Oona has awak­ened 32 years in the fu­ture in her 51-year-old body.

A kind stranger named Ken­zie as­sures Oona that all is well. Ken­zie ex­plains to Oona that she is home, she’s a time jumper, and even though she’s “old” on the out­side, she’s still her true age on the in­side. With each pass­ing year, Oona turns an­other year older, but hops to a dif­fer­ent age.

Oona never knows which out­side age she will en­counter next.

takes a unique ap­proach on time travel. We see the plot move along with un­ex­pected, yet en­ter­tain­ing twists and turns. We learn at the end of the day, time is of the essence and love en­dures all. – As­so­ci­ated Press

THOMAS Martin seems to be a good man. He has a wife, Miriam, a daugh­ter Ava. A sub­ur­ban home that all but has a white picket fence.

He’s a cre­ative tal­ent at an ad agency, where he is a favourite of the boss Greg, and seems to get on with the women on his team. But from the be­gin­ning of this chilling book, there is a sense of dis­so­ci­a­tion be­tween the life the fam­ily is liv­ing, and the re­al­ity that lies be­hind the warped words of Thomas’s nar­ra­tion of his life.

We meet him as he is pick­ing up gifts that have been de­liv­ered for Christ­mas, one of them is a billy club, and an in­stru­ment that can both hurt and be dec­o­ra­tive.

His wife is French and he meets her in a bar, from the nar­ra­tor’s point of view this is love at first sight, and the right time for Thomas to set­tle down. And so, he woos Miriam, yet be­hind his lov­ing words there is a sense of men­ace.

Be­cause we know that some­thing has hap­pened to Thomas’s girls. In fact, the very ob­jec­ti­fi­ca­tion of them as his “girls” speaks of a toxic mas­culin­ity that the reader hopes might be be­nign (if such a thing ever can be) and yet comes to re­alise as one reads fur­ther in this dark book, about light things that there is catas­tro­phe draw­ing closer.

We know that his life has been ru­ined and that his “girls” are no longer with him, but we don’t know why or where they have gone.

His home on Long Is­land is very dif­fer­ent from the crum­bling Vic­to­rian pile of his child­hood home. Which is a dark and dank place, lived in by his in­creas­ingly sickly mother, and his younger twin sis­ters who have never been to school, or re­ally left home, they love their niece and they rely on Thomas for their needs, but they are dam­aged by a youth that holds hideous se­crets.

His mother has a ver­sion of her life with his fa­ther which is not true, and Thomas knows this, and yet he al­lows it to con­tinue un­chal­lenged, and for his sis­ters’ teeth to rot and their minds to be un­de­vel­oped. He’s a good man, he pro­vides for them, but does he care for them?

There are truths in his life as a good fa­ther, a good worker, a good friend, that run con­trary to the truth of what has hap­pened, and is hap­pen­ing in his life. As things be­gin to un­ravel there is a sense of the nar­ra­tor we can­not trust spin­ning us a story in which his be­hav­iour is ex­on­er­ated, but by him­self.

His love of opera lifts the novel and then plunges it into dark places, as he imag­ines him­self as Wag­ner’s Tannhauser. Be­cause in the end the toxic mas­culin­ity has two faces, and both of them are ter­ri­fy­ing. A ter­rif­i­cally clever novel for our time.

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