Book club questions for Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore will cover all the different eras and themes in this engaging novel about living in the moment. There will be spoilers so be sure to check out my spoiler-free review first.
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.
Book club questions for Oona Out of Order
- Oona Out of Order is a time travel story but in a fairly unique way. Do you tend to read time travel stories or is this one of the first ones you’ve read?
- We never learn why exactly Oona experiences this “condition” so let’s speculate. Why do you think Oona travels to a different era in her life every year on her birthday?
- Let’s go back to the Prologue at the start the novel. When are we first meeting Oona? What do you think she means by when she says, “I can still get this right?'”
- Let’s dissect this book by each of its parts. Starting with Part I in 1982 were 18-year-old Oona is in love with her boyfriend Dale and she deciding whether to tour with him or go to economics school in London. What were your initial impressions of Oona in this section?
- Part II comes quickly and Oona is transported to 2015 and she’s age 51. Let’s talk about Oona’s jump to her future. What would you have done if you were Oona and went from being 19 to 51?
- Throughout all her “jumps” in time, her mother is always there. Let’s talk about their relationship.
- Oona says she’s never been susceptible to nostalgia and wonders: is this what it means to get older, replaying happy memories because the best times are behind you? Do you agree with this? Why or why not?
- Oona goes from an unhappy and confusing year at age 51 to back being in her 20s again in 1991. What did you think about Oona partying in this era? Why was it important for her to let loose?
- Do you think that Oona had any control of her past and present or do you think her fate was inevitable and no matter what changes she tried to make, her life would always end up the same?
- After the ’90s, Oona is 40 and in 2004. And she’s married to a Brit named Edward. In this section, she never really falls for Edward and instead has feelings for her guitar instructor Peter. Let’s talk about Oona’s relationship with Edward and Peter in this section.
- And, in a twist, the next section is when Oona is 39 and in 2003—right before she meets Edward. So she experiences the romance with Edward backward. Were you surprised when she did actually fall for him, even though she knows how it ended up?
- Oona is then back to her 30s and in 1995. She’s grieving over her failed marriage to Edward and a fight with her mother. But in this time period, she goes with her mother to Asia. Let’s talk about how Oona matured throughout this year.
- When Oona goes to 1999 at age 35 she learns that Kenzie is not just her assistant but also her son she had with Dale. Did you suspect that he was her son or were you surprised by this? Do you agree with her mother that Oona wasn’t fit to raise him in her condition?
- In 2017, Oona is 53 and has a repaired relationship with Kenzie but her mother dies of cancer. Let’s talk about this chapter.
- The chapter ends with her running into Peter, her former guitar teacher, and they agree to meet up in 2018 for a dinner date. Do you think they will get together?
- And it ends with Oona back in 1983 and at age 19 where she’s learned from all the different eras. How did it change Oona for good?
- If you could jump back (or forward) into any era of your life, when would it be?
What to Read Next
Hope you enjoyed book club questions for Oona Out of Order! Here are some more recommendations along with links to book club questions.
In Five Years by Rebecca Serle
In Five Years by Rebecca Serle also has a hint of a “time travel/look into the future” storyline. It’s very heartfelt and emotional. One of my favorites so far this year.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Dannie Kohan lives her life by the numbers.
She is nothing like her lifelong best friend—the wild, whimsical, believes-in-fate Bella. Her meticulous planning seems to have paid off after she nails the most important job interview of her career and accepts her boyfriend’s marriage proposal in one fell swoop, falling asleep completely content.
But when she awakens, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. Dannie spends one hour exactly five years in the future before she wakes again in her own home on the brink of midnight—but it is one hour she cannot shake. In Five Years is an unforgettable love story, but it is not the one you’re expecting.
The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James
The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James is a ghost story but not like one you’ve read before. Take it from me, I don’t handle scary stories and I loved this one.
Upstate New York, 1982. Viv Delaney wants to move to New York City, and to help pay for it she takes a job as the night clerk at the Sun Down Motel in Fell, New York. But something isnʼt right at the motel, something haunting and scary.
Upstate New York, 2017. Carly Kirk has never been able to let go of the story of her aunt Viv, who mysteriously disappeared from the Sun Down before she was born. She decides to move to Fell and visit the motel, where she quickly learns that nothing has changed since 1982. And she soon finds herself ensnared in the same mysteries that claimed her aunt.