Featured debut: The Versions Of Us by Laura Barnett
"This is how it begins. A woman stands on a station platform. The bluish skin around her eyes is wet, and the coal-smoke catches in her throat."
"It also begins here. Another woman stands in a garden, among roses. She wears a long blue painter's smock: her huband's. She moves her hand to the great swelling dome of her stomach."
Eva and Jim are nineteen, and students at Cambridge, when their paths first cross in 1958. Jim is walking along a lane when a woman approaching him on a bicycle swerves to avoid a dog. What happens next will determine the rest of their lives.
We follow three different versions of their future - together, and apart - as their love story takes on different incarnations and twists and turns to the conclusion in the present day.
Laura Barnett's outstanding debut novel, The Versions of Us, examines the unforseen consequences of the choices we make and traces the different paths that a life can follow, given the chance. What if one small decision could change the rest of your life?
by Orion Books
Watch: Laura discusses the characters of Jim and Eva:
What the critics said
"Truly enthralling. The way Laura Barnett manages to weave together such detailed and compelling threads is extraordinary and she finds such poignancy in the everyday. The novel really got me thinking about all the lucky chances we get to start over, and how we live in a state of constant flux. I simply adored this wonderful novel." - Jessie Burton, author of The Miniaturist
"A triumphant debut.. a thoughtful, measured book about the interplay of chance and destiny in our lives." - Elena Seymenliyska, Sunday Telegraph
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 writing for the Guardian, the Observer and Time Out.
Laura has previously published short stories, for which she has won several awards. Follow Laura on Twitter
Book Giveaway: The Versions Of Us
We have 50 copies of the book to give away for review - if you're lucky enough to receive one, please do post what you thought of the book on our discussion thread, or in our book reviews section. This giveaway is now closed but you can order a copy of the book here.
Last updated: over 3 years ago