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The Versions of Us - Laura Barnett

The Versions of Us

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What if you had said yes? The moments that change everything . . . One Day meets Sliding Doors in this outstanding debut that is causing a buzz across the publishing world

Some moments can change your life for ever. Have you ever wondered, what if . . . ?

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 Versions of Us explores the idea that there are moments when our lives might have turned out differently, the tiny factors or decisions that could determine our fate, and the precarious nature of the foundations upon which we build our lives. It is also a story about the nature of love and how it grows, changes and evolves as we go through the vagaries of life.

About the Author

Laura Barnett is a writer, journalist and theatre critic. She has been on staff at the Guardian and the Daily Telegraph, and is now a freelance arts journalist and features writer, working for The Guardian, The Observer and Time Out, as well as several other 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.

Summer Reading choice: an intriguing debut * SUNDAY TIMES *
Summer Reading recommendation: the beautiful love child of David Nicholl's One Day and Kate Atkinson's Life After Life * THE TIMES *
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 *
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 *
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 *
An affecting and thought-provoking work, The Versions of Us will keep you gripped until the tear-jerking conclusion. * DAILY EXPRESS *
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 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 *
Truly enthralling... I simply adored this wonderful novel * Jessie Burton - author of The Miniaturist *
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
both brilliant and astonishingly good * Elizabeth Buchan *
skilfully done * MAIL ON SUNDAY *
unique, complex and playful.. Barnett suspends our disbelief like a conjuror -- Elizabeth Fremantle * SUNDAY EXPRESS *
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 *
One Day meets Sliding Doors * ELLE *
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 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 fascinating debut novel that could well be this year's One Day. * BELLA *
All the highs and lows of love are portrayed in this thought-provoking and moving read. -- Cathy Rentzenbrink * PRIMA *
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 *
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 *
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 *
I recommend this book without reservation... This is a wonderful, exceptional book by Laura Barnett. I loved it. -- Moira Please * THE PERFECT WRITING RETREAT *
glorious... a book that I think will do incredibly well come its release * A CASE FOR BOOKS *
Worth every tear rolling down my cheeks. It's a 2015 must-read! * strupag.com *
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 *
In pieces having just finished Laura Barnett's The Versions of Us. Brilliant. * @btwhizz *
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 *
Clever but not showy, romantic but not schmaltzy, it's clear that the buzz around this book is justified. * DAILY MIRROR *
In Laura Barnett's first novel, a good idea is cleverly executed . . . The Versions of Us is a confident debut. * THE INDEPENDENT *
A hugely engrossing and, ultimately, deeply moving book about connections, possibilities, regret and the complicated nature of love. * SUNDAY BUSINESS POST *
written with intelligence and warmth * TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT *
The story of Eva and Jim twists and turns over many decades in this thought-provoking love story. Great read. * PRIMA *
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 *
well-written and constantly surprising, in the way that real life is surprising. * THE 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 *
Like Kate Atkinson's Life After Life or the film Sliding Doors, Barnett's fine debut offers multiple "what ifs" * SUNDAY TIMES *
an impressive debut * SUNDAY EXPRESS *
A clever, touching and unforgettable book * HEAT *

ISBN: 9781474600170
ISBN-10: 1474600174
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 9th June 2015
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.6 x 15.7  x 3.3
Weight (kg): 0.55
Edition Number: 1

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