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Reader Reviewed
The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett
  

The Versions of Us

Relationship Stories   Family Drama   Literary Fiction   eBook Favourites   eBook Favourites   
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Spanning the lives of a couple (and their friends, lovers and family) over several decades from Cambridge undergraduates to old age with an affection for the characters that drips off the page, we follow the subtle (and at times frustrating ) way insignificant moments can change the unfurling of a life and how happiness can sometimes depend on the smallest incident –a dog colliding or not with a cyclist- and the road of life can so easily bifurcate into alternate and often contradictory existences. A gentle book which will appeal to fans of David Nicholls and well beyond, in the way that a clever existential concept can illuminate the seesaw nature of people’s lives but still displays an endearing voice of its own. We loved it.

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Ruth Carson - 'it is probably the best novel I have read so far this year and I would highly recommend it.'
  • Linda Birt - 'I highly recommend this book, Laura Barnett has us considering our own lives and 'What if's'.'
  • Val Brown - 'Fascinating debut novel from Laura Barnett, complex and intriguing. A really satisfying read, I almost didn’t want it to end.'
  • Lynne Morgan - 'Laura Barnett poses a very interesting question for us all in this book, which will make you think about where you would be now, had you just done things a little differently, or simply made a different choice.'
  • Sarah Harper - 'Heartbreaking and beautiful, this is a love story which will make you laugh, cry and seriously consider the ‘what if?’ moments in your own life.'
  • Angela O'Donovan - 'Great storyline/s - we all make choices which direct our paths in life. Sometimes, we can't help look back and think 'what if..? This novel explores that idea with a cast of characters...'
  • Stephanie Harding - 'The ending was poignant and beautifully written, I thought. A very enjoyable read and I would look out for this Author again.'
  • Katie Hoare - 'a beautifully written debut, written with fluidity and with each version taking its turn, as well as each scenario being treated with empathy and warmth.'
  • Jo Turner - 'Wow! I've just finished reading this book and can hardly begin to describe how it's made me feel...a fantastic read and I can't wait to see what follows from such an amazing debut novel.'
  • Sophia Ufton - 'This book is brilliant, three different versions of a man and a women. Amazing!!'
  • Sarah Webb - 'A great ‘what if’ story.'
  • Sue Broom - 'Along with intelligent and sophisticated plot construction, I was equally impressed by the quality of her writing - and to think this is a debut novel!'
  • Alex Hetherington - 'The novel is illuminated with a sense of vibrancy I have rarely come across, it has that ability to age and nurture its characters with such boldness.'
  • Maureen Evans - 'Wonderful concept, elegantly written. The three accounts of possible relationships for a young couple meeting by chance had me enthralled right from the start. This summer’s must read!'
  • Katy Noyes - 'Three lives lived from one moment in time, swerving (or not) to avoid a dog in the road. Students Eva and Jim are the leads in this parallel life novel that has heart, pathos and love at its core.'
  • Phylippa Smithson - 'Oh dear.  We all do have those ‘what if’ moments, so this was a book that really took my eye.  I just did not find it captured my interest.'

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Synopsis

The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett

What if you had said yes ...? Eva and Jim are nineteen, and students at Cambridge, when their paths first cross in 1958. Jim is walking along a lane when a woman approaching him on a bicycle swerves to avoid a dog. What happens next will determine the rest of their lives. We follow three different versions of their future - together, and apart - as their love story takes on different incarnations and twists and turns to the conclusion in the present day. The Versions of Us is an outstanding debut novel about the choices we make and the different paths that our lives might follow. What if one small decision could change the rest of your life?

Reviews

'a triumphant debut. a thoughtful, measured book about the interplay of chance and destiny in our lives.' -- Elena Seymenliyska SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

'Its very scope is a joy, the technical achievement seamlessly done, and the ending - all the endings - suitably affecting' -- Jenny Colgan THE GUARDIAN

'Barnett renders an irresistible concept in sweet, cool prose - a bit like a choose-your-own adventure book in which you don't have to choose.' -- Hepzibah Anderson THE OBSERVER

'The Versions of Us is well written, deftly crafted and constantly surprising, in the way that chaotic real life is surprising; through the technical exercise might sound a tad mechanical, Laura Barnett uses it with verve to tell an utterly convincing love story about two people destined to be together somehow, no matter what.' -- Kate Saunders THE TIMES

'Like Kate Atkinson's Life After Life or the film Sliding Doors, The Versions of Us, a fine debut by Laura Barnett, offers multiple what ifs ... involving and poignant.' SUNDAY TIMES

About the Author

Laura Barnett

Laura Barnett is a writer, journalist and theatre critic. She has been on staff at the Guardian and the Daily Telegraph, and writes for a number of national newspapers and magazines. Laura was born in 1982 in south London, where she now lives with her husband. She studied Spanish and Italian at Cambridge University, and newspaper journalism at City University, London.

Her first non-fiction book, Advice from the Players - a compendium of advice for actors - is published by Nick Hern Books. Laura has previously published short stories, for which she has won several awards. The Versions of Us is her first novel and has sold in 24 countries, with television rights optioned by Trademark Films. Laura is currently working on her second novel Greatest Hits.

Author photo © Rick Morris Pushinsky

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Book Info

Publication date

31st December 2015

Author

Laura Barnett

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Author's Website

www.laura-barnett.co.uk/
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Publisher

Weidenfeld & Nicolson an imprint of Orion Publishing Co

Format

Paperback
432 pages

Categories

Relationship Stories
Family Drama
Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9781474600897

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