The Versions of Us - Laura Barnett

In one moment, two lives will be changed forever . . . and forever . . . and forever.

The one thing that's certain is 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.

I wanted to like this book much more than I actually did, but it ended up being ridiculously hard to follow which version I was reading.


This book was told in three versions and chapters alternated in various orders focusing on one of two characters. While each chapter was clearly marked with which version it was about, I had to write down a quick description of which version referred to which plot in order to keep track of where I was.


Additionally, remembering which characters were doing what became challenging. In all three versions, children were born and each had a distinct personality, and three different sets of spouses and divorces and friends came along with three different lives. I felt like this book should have been a pleasant read, but instead I was juggling names constantly.


Though I normally adore books written in present tense, it felt finicky here. I was constantly aware of it and it was constantly jolting me out to reread sentences to check for congruency.


I did think the concept of this book was fabulous, how one minor decision could completely and utterly change a life, and I enjoyed the way certain threads of the stories stayed constant throughout all three. However, it wasn't enough to really captivate me.


The concept of this was great and I did enjoy the ultimate ending, but getting through this book was a serious struggle at some points.


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.