The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett

The Versions of Us

Laura Barnett

We've all had a 'what if' moment; I'd not taken the job, left her, gone to the party? Eva and Jim meet. Three versions of their existence, shared or apart explore what might have happened - if. Keep your wits about you, they aren't consecutive, most of the characters and some situations are the same. The choices are not. Art, women's changing roles and family life all play a part in stories that absorbed, satisfied and, at the end, moved me.


As they talk, Eva has the sense that she is drifting further and further from the room, into a borderless place where time fractures, loosens, and there is only this man, this conversation, this inexplicable sense of profound connection. There is no other way she can describe it though she is not yet trying to describe it to herself - she is simply here, intensely aware of the moment ( the nearness of him, the soft rise and fall of his voice) as the rest of the world drops away.

  • Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
  • Sliding Doors - the film
  • Hearts and Bones - song by Paul Simon

Books with similar mood

Paradise Jazz

Kat Pomfret

A Rhinestone Button

Gail Anderson-Dargatz

Half Moon Lake

Una Brankin

Night Waking

Sarah Moss

Mr Vogel

Lloyd Jones

Empire Falls

Richard Russo

Ghost MacIndoe

Jonathan Buckley

The Lowland

Jhumpa Lahiri

The Big Music

Kirsty Gunn

London and the South-east

David Szalay

Gap Creek

Robert Morgan

Infinite Home

Kathleen Alcott

Winter Under Water

James Hopkin


Mischa Berlinski

The Seeing Stone

Kevin Crossley-Holland

Five Quarters of the Orange

Joanne Harris

The Sealwoman's Gift

Sally Magnussen

The Kindness

Polly Samson

Let Me Tell You About a Man I Knew

Susan Fletcher

Easter Island

Jennifer Vanderbes


Marilynne Robinson


Colm Toibin


Susan Fletcher

Someone Else

Tonino Benacquista

Fifty Days

Sarah Quigley

The Book of Israel

Jeremy Gavron

In Clara's Hands

Joseph Olshan

The Light Between Oceans

M L Stedman


Jane Rusbridge


Monique Roffey

The Cookbook Collector

Allegra Goodman


Laura Beatty

The Harmony Silk Factory

Tash Aw

The Promise of Happiness

Justin Cartwright

Bad Boy Brawly Brown

Walter Mosley

Grand Ambition

Lisa Michaels

Bee Season

Myla Goldberg

The Vanishing Half

Brit Bennett

Ten Things I've Learnt About Love

Sarah Butler

So Much For That

Lionel Shriver

Little Hut of Leaping Fishes

Chiew-Siah Tei

Sweets from Morocco

Jo Verity


Manzu Islam

The Idea of Perfection

Kate Grenville

Pieces of Light

Adam Thorpe

James Miranda Barry

Patricia Duncker


Naomi Alderman

Broken Verses

Kamila Shamsie