February’s Book Club: The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett

This was sold to my book club as ‘sliding doors meets one day’. It wasn’t. I did not like it one little bit.
It was a bit like a cake where I like the ingredients, but not their combination – though some people in the club did enjoy it, different tastes, I know.

The basic premise of the book is three different versions of the lives of two characters, Eva and Jim based around the choices they make on one day when they are students at Cambridge. It is a well structured and well written story, with three plausible versions of different lives. I didn’t actually care what happened to them in any version, they were not interesting characters and their internal lives seemed to remain the same in each version. Perhaps that was the point. There was nothing I could identify with, empathise with or even really hate! The main characters felt very two dimensional and often selfish. Because the minor characters were sketched in, they can’t really develop in three different versions of the same tale, the story had no flesh, just the bones of one rearranged into slightly varied skeletons.

Barnett is obviously a very able writer, but this one was just not for me.



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