Who needs puzzles when you can read The Versions of Us

The Versions of Us

It’s just hit me that I haven’t sat down and wrote anything in ages. OK, two weeks. But in blogger-time that’s ages. It’s high time that I publish another book review seeing that I finished six books between the last review and now. I know, it’s terrible that I left it this long.

I’ll write about The Versions of Us, a novel by Laura Barnett today.

Thinking about it, the title of this post should probably be confusing, yet great story that will challenge your memory and those little grey cells more than trying to beat the Rubik’s cube. Because it’s a story about two people, but in three different versions as the title suggests. And because the first bit of version 1 is followed by the first bit of version 2 and then first bit of version 3, but it isn’t always in this order. All of this jumping around made it difficult to follow the versions at the beginning, but after you develop a system, you’ll be alright. You know like colour coordinating or in my case who’s married to whom and who are their kids. And that was the question I kept asking myself before starting a new chapter of one of the versions. And it helped, but it also made me feel like I’m trying to pass some bizarre exam on relationships where I just have to name people.

But the story has a great premise. Hands up if you’ve never ever asked yourself the “What if…” question. I’d be surprised if a forest of hands, manicured or not, shot up in the air. I’m definitely guilty of the what ifs.

In the Versions of Us we meet Eva and Jim, both 19, while they’re students in Cambridge. Throughout the versions we follow their lives, or three different versions of their lives, filled with love, betrayal, divorce and ambition, events and decisions that most people are familiar with. There’s always a connection between Jim and Eva and the novel shows how one tiny decision can completely change the course of a person’s life.

Despite the initial difficulties, the book is well written and I loved it. I’d recommend it to other readers, but be prepared for jumping around three different versions that span over 60 years. Don’t read this while you’re tired or lying on a beach though as your head may not be able to cope with the puzzle.

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