The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett

I bought this book after hearing good things about it. It has been likened to One Day and Sliding Doors… both of which I love so thought it sounded like an ideal read. I really enjoyed reading it, it’s written in a way which makes you read carefully and take in the information and leaves you thinking about how moments can change the path of your life forever and what role fate has within our worlds.

The story is about Eva and Jim and tells about their lives together… however, there are three different versions. Their paths first cross during their university days but depending which scenario you read their lives take very different turns yet they are still linked together with various moments of their lives being interwoven- family birthdays and so forth.

This is a very cleverly written story and whilst reading it I often wondered how Laura Barnett achieved it… she must have had so many notes around about which story was which… or did she write each version all in one and then just break them down with the other parts…

The way you read it is that one scenario is devoted to a chapter and then the next chapter is a different one… it doesn’t necessarily go 1,2,3 then 1,2,3 so you do have to pay attention to the numbers at the top of each chapter.

It is complicated, there is a lot to take in with different children in each scenario, different jobs, friendships and so much going on that it can be confusing but actually what it made me do was pause and think back to what had happened before so that I knew which scenario I was reading and what it had continued on from. I didn’t find this a negative, it was quite refreshing to read a book in this way as it meant it gave me more time to think about the actual stories although it did mean on days when i felt too tired to read this wasn’t a book i could easily pick up as you do need to be fully awake!

I really liked the concept of the book, it made me think about the ways our lives evolve and how sometimes at first you think one scenario is the best but then further down the road you realise it’s not. Sometimes it’s best to let life take it’s course and not worry if things didn’t pan out how you hoped as who knows what is around the corner and why certain things didn’t happen. It certainly made me think about not worrying about some negative times I’m having myself, maybe there is a reason…

This is a very cleverly written book with some very well developed characters. I can see why there have been some mixed reviews as it was a little confusing at times but overall I thought it was brilliantly crafted and with such great ideas it is a book which leaves you thinking about it after you have finished reading.


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