Book Review: The Versions of Us, by Laura Barnett

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.


Huge thanks go to Rebecca Gray at W&N Publishers for providing me with a copy of The Versions of Us.

I have to admit, I am absolutely terrible for asking the ‘what if?’ question. I constantly worry that I should have done things – big and small  – differently, and wonder at what difference it would have made. I could (and do!) spend hours wondering how things could have been different. Therefore, to have a book that told 3 separate lifelines after a ‘what if?’ moment, immediately caught my attention. (Though let’s be honest, that cover had grabbed it already, isn’t it stunning?). Eva and Jim meet at Cambridge when they are 19 years old, and right from the very first meeting, we see their stories take 3 different routes of how their lives could go.

The Versions of Us is an incredibly poignant and thought-provoking book, that left my mind reeling for days once I’d completed it. Laura has explored those ‘what if?’ possibilities with a compelling purity, that shows there is no one option, no easy answer, no perfect life. This book provoked everyone of my emotions, as I travelled seamlessly through Eva and Jim’s lives with them, weaving between story lines effortlessly and without confusion.

Laura Barnett has taken on a huge task with this complex novel, but she has succeeded beautifully – a stunning debut novel.

As part of her blog tour, Laura Barnett stopped by the Book Nook last week for an interview, you can read it here.

Rating: star-ratingstar-ratingstar-ratingstar-ratingstar-rating

Release date: 04 June 2015
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Amazon UK
Amazon US

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