Book Review: The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett

The Versions of Us…

Book Description:

What if you had said yes? The moments that change everything… One Day meets Sliding Doors in this outstanding debut that is causing a buzz across the publishing world
Some moments can change your life for ever. Have you ever wondered, what if…?

A man is walking down a country lane. A woman, cycling towards him, swerves to avoid a dog. On that moment, their future hinges. There are three possible outcomes, three small decisions that could determine the rest of their life.

Eva and Jim are nineteen and students at Cambridge when their paths first cross in 1958. And then there is David, Eva’s then-lover, an ambitious actor who loves Eva deeply. The Versions of Us follows the three different courses their lives could take following this first meeting. Lives filled with love, betrayal, ambition but through it all is a deep connection that endures whatever fate might throw at them.

The Versions of Us explores the idea that there are moments when our lives might have turned out differently, the tiny factors or decisions that could determine our fate, and the precarious nature of the foundations upon which we build our lives. It is also a story about the nature of love and how it grows, changes and evolves as we go through the vagaries of life.

 

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My Thoughts:

What a wonderful novel this was! The Versions of Us is perhaps the single most unique story I have ever read. It takes the reader on a journey through the lives of Eva and John, but what differentiates this story from others within its genre, is that it gives us three versions of their lives, told simultaneously. It’s quite ambitious, but Laura pulls this off to perfection.

While at the heart of this book lies a fated love story, there is so much more to it and you will be hard pressed to put this novel down once you’ve started it. I had a favourite version – everybody who reads it probably will – but in the end, I was surprised to find that the version I liked the most was not the one I had favoured throughout. This novel is a constant source of surprises which just adds to the overall pleasure of reading it.

The Versions of Us challenges the reader to question what we hold most dear and it forces us to acknowledge that at times, we are most certainly capable of doing things that in ordinary circumstances we would never even contemplate, much less approve of. For me, The Versions of Us is a story about life, the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly. It’s a novel that I will highly recommend for a long time to come as one of my all time favourites.

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