The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett - a book that will give you ALL the feelings


Every now and then you read a book that gives you ALL the feelings. Laura Barnett's debut novel, The Versions of Us, does just do that. 

An exceptional book to me is one where you can't put it down but by the last 50 pages you find yourself reading super slowly because you do.not. want. it. to. end. And then you read the last chapter several times over just to make sure you've taken in every last detail and you have to leave it at least three days until you pick up another book while you digest what just happened. And when a friend casually mentions the book's name in passing, you talk about how great it is it for 20 mins and even when they change the subject you bring back round again to THE BOOK.  

Well, The Versions of Us is beyond exceptional. 

With the style of Sliding Doors and hailed as this years One Day, I would say it's actually better (oh yes, I went there…) Don't get me wrong, I LOVED One Day, but it was completely ruined for me by Anne Hathaway staring as Emma (what were they thinking?) and I've never really been able to get over it. 

The Versions of Us was a breath of fresh air. 

So what's it about? 

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 book explores the idea that there are moments when our lives might have turned out differently. Decisions could determine our fate and how love changes. 

It's clever. It's romantic. It takes you on a journey. 

Please, please, please read. 

Eva: “You don’t really believe that anything is meant to happen, do you?”
Jim: “No. Maybe not. Who knows?”
Eva: “No regrets, Jim, all right?”
Jim: “No regrets, Eva. Not now. Not ever.”