The Versions of Us
A NO. 1 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
‘The beautiful love child of David Nicholl’s One Day and Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life’
What if one small decision could change the rest of your life?
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.
As we follow three different versions of their future – together, and apart – their love story takes on different incarnations, as it twists and turns to the conclusion in the present day.
‘A triumphant debut.. a thoughtful, measured book about the interplay of chance and destiny in our lives’
‘An utterly convincing love story about two people destined to be together somehow, no matter what’
‘Like Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life or the film Sliding Doors, this fine debut offers multiple “what ifs”… Involving and poignant’
The Sunday Times
‘The tantalising “what if?” theme keeps all three stories going at a cracking pace’
‘Truly enthralling… I simply adored this wonderful novel’
Jessie Burton, author of The Miniaturist
A clever, touching and unforgettable book * HEAT * an impressive debut * SUNDAY EXPRESS * Like Kate Atkinson's Life After Life or the film Sliding Doors, Barnett's fine debut offers multiple "what ifs" * SUNDAY TIMES * This bestselling alternative universe romance could be described as Sliding Doors, except with three stories instead of two, or Life After Life, without all the messy deaths. * THE GUARDIAN * well-written and constantly surprising, in the way that real life is surprising. * THE TIMES * Already a bestseller, this debut opens with a chance meeting between students Eva and Jim in 1958. As romance hangs in the air the novel splinters into three different directions with three outcomes, each following the couple over 60 years. * DAILY EXPRESS * The story of Eva and Jim twists and turns over many decades in this thought-provoking love story. Great read. * PRIMA * written with intelligence and warmth * TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT * A hugely engrossing and, ultimately, deeply moving book about connections, possibilities, regret and the complicated nature of love. * SUNDAY BUSINESS POST * In Laura Barnett's first novel, a good idea is cleverly executed . . . The Versions of Us is a confident debut. * THE INDEPENDENT * Clever but not showy, romantic but not schmaltzy, it's clear that the buzz around this book is justified. * DAILY MIRROR * Comparisons have been made with David Nicholls' One Day and yes, it can be compared favourably with his masterpiece. This is a work of great mastery and deserves to be read and re-read for its own merits. * MATURE TIMES * In pieces having just finished Laura Barnett's The Versions of Us. Brilliant. * @btwhizz * Each version had its own moments that made me laugh and cry and I did find myself thinking about what my own different versions would be like. * thepagesbetween.com * Worth every tear rolling down my cheeks. It's a 2015 must-read! * strupag.com * glorious... a book that I think will do incredibly well come its release * A CASE FOR BOOKS * I recommend this book without reservation... This is a wonderful, exceptional book by Laura Barnett. I loved it. -- Moira Please * THE PERFECT WRITING RETREAT * It's hard to believe this is Laura Barnett's debut novel. It's so sophisticated and well put-together - I'm completely in awe of how Barnett managed to write not just one story, but three, and make them all work perfectly together. * GIRL! REPORTER * It's annoying when a book won't let you give it up. You put it to one side and think "maybe I will read that later" because you have more important things to do. And there it is the next day, in your hands, wide open, pulling you back in, just not letting you go... As a first novel this is quite an accomplishment. * NEWBOOKSMAG * We follow (Eva and Jim) as their lives spin out in three different ways and so, inevitably, Sliding Doors comparisons kick in. But this is its own book; deep, sensitive and without a hint of commercial compromise.. Just lovely. * SAINSBURY'S MAGAZINE * All the highs and lows of love are portrayed in this thought-provoking and moving read. -- Cathy Rentzenbrink * PRIMA * a fascinating debut novel that could well be this year's One Day. * BELLA * One to watch: we meet two characters, then time splits and follows three different versions of their lives. Each strand is distinct - and equally captivating. * GOOD HOUSEKEEPING * A clever, romantic debut.. Barnett tells three outcomes of the same affair, a simple, effective metaphor for the paths love itself can take you on, before winding up smartly in the present. * GRAZIA * One Day meets Sliding Doors * ELLE * Everyone's talking about The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett. Eva and Jim's first meeting has three possible outcomes. Barnett interweaves the resulting love stories with their beautifully drawn characters into an elegant, touching tapestry. -- Fanny Blake * WOMAN AND HOME * unique, complex and playful.. Barnett suspends our disbelief like a conjuror -- Elizabeth Fremantle * SUNDAY EXPRESS * skilfully done * MAIL ON SUNDAY * both brilliant and astonishingly good * Elizabeth Buchan * I absolutely loved [The Versions of Us]. It's so elegantly and beautifully written... I was equally enthralled by each of the three versions...a really wonderful book. -- Esther Freud Truly enthralling... I simply adored this wonderful novel * Jessie Burton - author of The Miniaturist * an amazing piece of British literature - this book should definitely be on your reading list this summer if you enjoy contemporary romance and books that really make you think * BUZZFEED * We reckon that you'll see a few other people by the pool with their heads in this book as it's a classic summer read. One day meets Mad Men in this tale of the different ways a couple's relationship could have played out from the late 1950s to the present. * METRO * An affecting and thought-provoking work, The Versions of Us will keep you gripped until the tear-jerking conclusion. * DAILY EXPRESS * Maeve Binchy's death left a gap in the market for stories simply told with no literary affectation. Barnett's promising first novel reads like early Binchy.. the tantalising 'what if?' theme keeps all three stories going at a cracking pace. * DAILY MAIL * 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 * 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 * 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 * Its very scope is a joy, the technical achievement seamlessly done, and the ending - all the endings - suitably affecting -- Jenny Colgan * THE GUARDIAN * a triumphant debut.. a thoughtful, measured book about the interplay of chance and destiny in our lives. -- Elena Seymenliyska * SUNDAY TELEGRAPH * Summer Reading recommendation: I am 20 pages in and already hooked on Laura Barnett's counterfactual THE VERSIONS OF US, which is a kind of literary Sliding Doors * THE OBSERVER * Summer Reading recommendation: the beautiful love child of David Nicholl's One Day and Kate Atkinson's Life After Life * THE TIMES * Summer Reading choice: an intriguing debut * SUNDAY TIMES *
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