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The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett
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The Versions of Us

by Laura Barnett

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3291949,478 (3.6)16

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English (18)  German (1)  All languages (19)
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
I am sure most of you, like me, have, at one time or another, wondered what if a certain event hadn't happened in our lives, or we hadn't met a particular individual when we did... and in the absence of that said event or person how different our individual lives would have turned out to be? Well, this novel deals with that concept and presents three different versions of the same story - one in which boy meets girl and they get married; second in which boy and girl do not meet initially but at a much later time in their lives; and third in which boy meets girl but they separate. But, whatever be the trajectory of their lives, it ends in the same way... both of them finding their way back to each other. And, that is what hit me the most.
It made me think about missed chances, fate and destiny, and soulmates... it raised questions like does everyone have only one true love and whether all the events and people in our lives are merely there to help us reach towards him/her? The novel might make you question your views regarding certain concepts which is always a good thing when it comes to art, isn't it?! One drawback I experienced while reading was the constant shift... the novel covers many decades and the narrative shifts from one protagonist to another along while jumping between the three versions so I had to skip back and forth a lot... Thank God for the Kindle, otherwise doing that in a physical book would have been quite a task! ( )
  Megha17 | Jan 17, 2019 |
3.5 stars. I really enjoyed the premise--three versions of the lives of two characters. How a chance meeting can result in a big life change. How life may have turned out differently if...

My biggest qualm is that it was a lot of work to keep track of the different versions. I basically had to keep a scratchpad of notes and refer back to them to remind myself of what was happening in each version. I think if there was a "previously, in version 1" kind of two sentence recap at the beginning of each chapter, that would have helped a lot. ( )
  Janellreads | Oct 18, 2017 |
I really loved the concept of this book. I was grateful for the chronological timeline, which made the three storylines easier to keep straight. The what could have been answered in interesting, unique ways that flowed well in parallel streams. ( )
  lissabeth21 | Oct 3, 2017 |
Really not sure about this book, the idea is great, in that if you went with one pathway your life could be so different than if you went another way, and I really wanted to like it, but I just found it a bit of a chore. Trying to remember which version of the story we were at and who was with who and what children belonged to who (or is that Whom?)
I just got weary of it! ( )
  Glorybe1 | Jun 26, 2017 |
Let’s cut right to the chase: I loved this book. The Versions of Us is the story of Eva and Jim, or rather three versions of their story that vary based on small decisions taken in the moment. In version one, Eva's bike gets a flat tire, Jim stops to help her, and fireworks ensue. In version two, Eva ignores Jim and goes home to her boyfriend. Version three is kind of a hybrid. Chapters rotate through the versions and through the years, from 1958 to 2012. Certain events -- like the death of a parent -- mark time in all three versions. Sometimes a chapter ends on a cliffhanger which is carried over to the next version; sometimes the reader has to wait for that version to come around again to find out what happened. Eva and Jim’s lives follow such different paths that I had to keep notes until I could keep the versions straight in my head. That didn’t take long, and the structure totally worked. I was amazed to learn this is a debut novel.

Each version can stand on its own as a compelling story filled with love, joy, sadness, loss, and missed opportunities. And no version is better than the others; each has a different set of highs, lows, and plausible outcomes. I found myself reflecting on how small actions may have changed the course of events in my own life, which was absolutely fascinating. As I approached the end of the novel, I was swept up in the emotional impact of these life stories. I am a "dry reader," but I read the last chapter of The Versions of Us at my desk over lunch, choking back tears. That’s when I knew I’d found a 5-star read. ( )
3 vote lauralkeet | Mar 7, 2017 |
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In one moment, two lives will be changed forever ... and forever ... and forever.The one thing that's certain is that they met on a Cambridge street by chance and felt a connection that would last a lifetime. But as for what happened next ... They fell wildly in love or went their separate ways. They kissed or they thought better of it. They married soon after or were together for a few weeks before splitting up. They grew distracted and disappointed with their daily lives together or found solace together only after hard years spent apart. With The Versions of Us, Laura Barnett has created a world as magical and affecting as those that captivated readers in One Day and Life after Life. It is a tale of possibilities and consequences that rings across the shifting decades, from the fifties, sixties, seventies, and on to the present, showing how even the smallest choices can define the course of our lives.… (more)

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