The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett

I bought The Versions of Us with my Christmas vouchers, after reading positive reviews of it. It’s a change from my usual crime novels and thrillers. The reviews described it as being similar to One Day and even to one of my very favourite books of all time, Life After Life. So how could I possibly resist it?

In 1958, Eva and Jim, 19 year old students at Cambridge, meet when she swerves on her bike to avoid a dog. What happens next?

The story has three versions – one where they get together, one where they go their separate ways and one where they get together briefly before going their separate ways. The book shows just how different lives can be, based on small decisions we take. The story follows Eva and Jim, separately and together, for the rest of their lives. There are births, deaths, marriages and affairs along the way.

With books like this, I like to fill in the gaps myself, but this has every chapter referred to as Version 1, Version 2 or Version 3, which makes the strands of the story a lot easier to follow.

I’ll be honest, for at least half of the book, I felt slightly underwhelmed by it. It did remind me of One Day, but, for me, it’s not in the same ballpark as Life After Life. And I remember that, apart from the ending, which completely floored me, I was slightly underwhelmed by One Day too. It was one of those books which had been a little overhyped.

But, gradually, I got drawn into Versions of Us and found myself reading increasingly larger chunks, wanting to know how it ended. Actually, it ended beautifully, and it made perfect sense.

Even though it took me a long time to get into it, ultimately I did enjoy this book. It would make perfect reading for anyone who wants to move on from chick-lit because it’s a little bit chick-lit, only better!

Book review, The Versions of Us, Laura Barnett, The Versions of Us review

Author: Sarah Mummy

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18 Comments

  1. Hmmm I want to read this now just to find out how it all ends. I still need to read Life after Life too!

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    • I thought the ending was spot-on. After Life After Life nothing is quite good enough though!

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  2. I’m not sure I’d like this. I read One Day after all the hype and I thought it was rubbish. I’m not adding this to my must-read list 😉
    Nat.x

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    • Ha ha, probably best not to in that case! I think One Day was a little over-hyped. x

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  3. This sounds quite different to books I’ve read previously, one to get you thinking about your own decisions in life perhaps? Thanks for sharing with #ReadWithMe

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    • Definitely! It’s a lot like the film Sliding Doors.

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  4. Well I’ve read both of the novels that you compare it to. I enjoyed One Day like you, but wasn’t blown away with it. Life After Life is a class act and difficult to follow. I’m not sure I’m ready for another similar book just yet, but I might come to it later.

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    • It’s definitely worth a read – it’s entertaining and emotional, but really doesn’t have that much in common with Life After Life!

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    • That’s exactly what it’s like! It’s an entertaining and emotional read.

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  5. Lovely book, my favourite read this year! #readwithme

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    • That’s good to hear! It’s one of the books I’ve enjoyed least this year, but I did still enjoy it, if that makes sense!

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  6. This sounds different with the 3 versions. I haven’t read anything of that type since game books as a child where a throw of a dice dictated your next paragraph to read. I also haven’t read either of the other 2 books you mention, so have no pre-conceptions #readwithme

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    • It’s well worth a read as it shows how easy it is for life to go off in different directions. The three books are actually quite different and I would definitely recommend Life After Life.

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  7. I’ve heard of this book and it reminded me of One Day which I really enjoyed. Think I will add to my to read list! #readwithme

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    • It’s definitely worth a read! If you enjoyed One Day, I’m sure you will enjoy this.

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  8. Totally sounds like my kind of book. I haven’t read any you have mentioned but I have just popped this in my amazon basket #readwithme

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    • That’s great that you’ve decided to buy it based on my review 🙂 I really hope you enjoy it!

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