Some moments can change your life forever. 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 19 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.
©2015 Laura Barnett (P)2015 Orion Publishing Group
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"Forces individual reflection"
Was hard to follow in parts (you need to give yourself hints to help e.g. The 3 looks like a pregnant woman so version 3 had the baby in it!). However once used to that, the story was moving, insightful and gripping. The closing chapters had my gut clenching many times. It makes one reflect on ones own life and how one would want their story told. An excellent novel that makes one want to discuss it with others.
"Slightly tricky to keep up"
I really loved The Versions of Us. The narrators were also both excellent!
The only flaw I found with it - and it is pretty minor - is trying to keep each different version clear and separate in my own head at times. I did have to rewind a fair few times to refresh my memory as to what version I was in. Maybe if the versions had proper titles rather than just a number it'd have been easier? But anyway, it was an excellent listen to an incredibly cleverly written and told story. I enjoyed it immensely!
The theme that a different corner turned, a different decision taken, can have a massive impact on your life, but also that certain themes ageing, ill health, loss, etc will follow you whatever path you choose because they are an inevitable part of the human experience.
All of the characters were interesting. ..but because there were several versions of each I felt less engaged with them than with many books.
The endings. The path travelled may vary but the ending is ultimately the same.
There was something a little depressing about the book....I suppose because of the inevitability of loss whatever path is chosen. It was also a little hard to follow at times and I did have to keep trying to work out which version I was in. It's definitely worth a listen, the theme is interesting and thought provoking, but something about the different versions did result in me feeling less invested in and engaged with the characters overall.
Didn't want it to end - that's the sign of a great book to me! Great escapism fiction, considering the consequences of our decisions.
"Great for a background story"
Not the most thrilling of books but one where you need to know what happens next.
For me some of my favourite characters were not always the main ones. Eva is a constant favourite though and is lovely but for me teds storyline is great and the stories of their children too.
The 3 versions thing is a good idea but if you're like me and don't necessarily pay attention to every word of an audiobook you need to keep going back and figuring out which version you are on which can be a little frustrating.
Poignant, confusing, melancholy.
Ava, seemed to remain an inherently good and fair character in each version of events, although a little wet and weak at times.
No, I needed regular breaks to process the different versions and figure out the history of that version.
I liked the premise of intertwined lives and how a chance meeting can change the path of someone's life, it just became a little confusing and yet predictable in places.
This is a complicated and intricately woven story. Beautifully written and performed. Highly recommended indeed.
"Could not part with my earphones!"
It is a lovely book. Very well constructed. I was hooked on listening to it. And yes, it needs some concentration but that should not be a greater challenge. Beautifully read.
"Wonderful, but you have to work at keeping the stories separate"
Loved this book, as an older reader it was so evocative, and in the end, rather depressing. But fascinating. Makes you review your own life. Beautifully written and well narrated. Wonder if three separate tales would have been just as rewarding instead of such a mixing up. Wonder if the gimmick was unnecessary and just a marketing tool or essential to the book. Whatever, it's a must read. Best book for a long time.
I found it really difficult to keep up with the three versions of lives. I kept going only because I enjoyed the film sliding doors and love the idea that had I followed a another path my life could have been so different. But this story was let down as I began to get confused with which life was which. Made it to the end but overall a hard read.
"much too confusing"
The idea was no doubt great but it became much too confusing too many inconsequential characters were a chore to keep up with. Not really worth the time (or the hype ).
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