The Versions of Us (Paperback)

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“This is a lovely debut that swept me along with the story of two people destined to be together after one chance meeting in college. From there, Bennett presents three different versions of their story, and readers see the next decades played out through the couple's eyes. Each story is different, yet features the same players, and each does not turn out as expected. This is a thoughtful and touching novel about love, expectations, and forgiveness.”
— Kelly Estep (E), Carmichael's Bookstore, Louisville, KY

Description


#1 UK Bestseller
 
“A joy.” — Guardian
 
“Enchanting.” — People
 
“Triumphant.” — Sunday Telegraph


“Stunningly crafted and constantly surprising . . . An utterly convincing love story about two people destined to be together somehow, no matter what.” — Times
 
One Day meets Sliding Doors.— Elle


A dazzling novel about the ways the smallest decisions give shape to our lives, The Versions of Us charts a relationship through three possible futures.

Cambridge, 1958. Late for class, Eva Edelstein swerves to miss a dog and crashes her bike. Jim Taylor hurries to help her. In that brief moment, three outcomes are born for Eva and Jim. As the strands of their lives weave together and apart across the decades from college through wildly different successes and disappointments, seductions and betrayals, births and funerals, joys and sorrows, the only constant is the power of their connection. TheVersions of Us is a tour de force of storytelling.
 
“Barnett renders an irresistible concept in sweet, cool prose — a bit like a choose-your-own-adventure book in which you don’t have to choose.” — Observer
 
“One of the most engrossing novels either of us has read in years.” —Richard Madeley, Richard and Judy Book Club
 
“I simply adored this wonderful novel.” — Jessie Burton, author of The Muse and The Miniaturist

 

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 and features writer, working for the Guardian, the Observer, and Time Out London, as well as several other national newspapers and magazines. The Versions of Us is her first novel. She lives in London.

Praise For…


#1 UK Bestseller
An Indie Next Pick, May 2016
A Publishers Marketplace Buzz Book 2016: Spring/ Summer
One of the Observer’s New Faces of Fiction 
Winner of the Richard and Judy Spring Book Club 2016 (UK)​
 
"Barnett's enchanting debut imagines three possible lives, three possible love stories—each with its unique joys and sorrows—demonstrating that life has no perfect path."—PEOPLE, "The Best New Books"

“Every love affair has an origin story, and the one that launches The Versions of Us is as picturesque as any: A pretty coed, late to class one blustery October afternoon, swerves to avoid the little terrier skittering into her path, and a chivalrous young man comes to the rescue. Her tire is flat, punctured by a rusty nail; their chemistry, electric and instantaneous, is not…Versions is smart enough to know that the fantasy of infinite possibility is thrilling—but not nearly as much as the reality of true human connection.”—ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

"A subtle meditation on the ways people change each other. Although the premise is romantic, Barnett explores romance in a realistic way, including obsession, insecurity, and sacrifice. Jim and Eva bring out the best and worst in each other, and their relationship(s) is a testament to the dark and light sides of romantic love...The choices we make under different circumstances are the real heart of the novel, as well as a sense that all paths are worth traveling."—CHICAGO REVIEW OF BOOKS

"British journalist Barnett’s debut novel imagines the delicious prospect of romantic do-overs, cleverly negotiating the tricky and often dizzying terrain of three versions of first love...Barnett’s evocative presentation is a masterly romantic study of love’s choices and consequences, leaving wide open just what constitutes a perfect ending."—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, starred and boxed review

"Barnett masterfully pulls the reader through these alternating tales. Each option is compelling and believable. Perhaps there’s a lesson to be learned here: Regardless of the paths we choose, the people who are meant to be in our lives will find their way there."—BOOKPAGE

"An intriguing exploration of the many roads not taken."—BOOKLIST

"Fans of the novel One Day and the movie Sliding Doors will want to pick up this debut."—KIRKUS REVIEWS

"A rich, complex, and deeply satisfying novel… One of the most engrossing novels either of us has read in years."—Richard Madeley, THE RICHARD AND JUDY BOOK CLUB

"A triumphant debut… a thoughtful, measured book about the interplay of chance and destiny in our lives."—Elena Seymenliyska, SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

"Its very scope is a joy, the technical achievement seamlessly done, and the ending – all the endings – suitably affecting."—Jenny Colgan, THE GUARDIAN

"Well written, stunningly crafted and constantly surprising… An utterly convincing love story about two people destined to be together somehow, no matter what."—Kate Saunders, THE TIMES

"Barnett renders an irresistible concept in sweet, cool prose."—Hephzibah Anderson, THE OBSERVER

"Unique, complex and playful… Barnett suspends our disbelief like a conjuror."—Elizabeth Fremantle, SUNDAY EXPRESS

"An affecting and thought-provoking work, The Versions Of Us will keep you gripped until the tear-jerking conclusion."—Mernie Gilmore, DAILY EXPRESS

"A clever, romantic debut.. Barnett tells three outcomes of the same affair, a simple, effective metaphor for the paths love itself can take you on."—GRAZIA

"Such an exciting and clever novel. It marks the emergence of a major talent in literary fiction."—Viv Groskop, RED

"A deeply moving and emotional story that has the ability to make you evaluate your own life."—STYLIST

‘A captivating whirlwind of a book… Barnett weaves the myriad strains of her characters’ lives into a cohesive and compelling whole.’ (Sarah Gilmartin, IRISH TIMES)

"She is a stylish writer; so much so, it’s hard to believe that this is her first novel. Spanning the entire second half of the 20th century and much of the 21st, this book is evocative and atmospheric."—Anne Cunningham, IRISH INDEPENDENT

"Where to begin? With the fluid and effortless prose? The poise and control of the author? The tenderness – but never sentimentality – which permeates the characterization? The cleverness of the plot device? The Versions of Us is both brilliant and astonishingly good."—ELIZABETH BUCHAN

"Truly enthralling… I simply adored this wonderful novel."—JESSIE BURTON, author of The Miniaturist

"I absolutely loved [The Versions of Us]. It’s so elegantly and beautifully written… I was equally enthralled by each of the three versions… A really wonderful book."—ESTHER FREUD

"Three roads diverged in a wood...and you have no idea which one the characters are going to take. It’s “Sliding Doors” meets “One Day” and a lot of ‘what ifs.’" —theSkimm
Product Details
ISBN: 9780544947276
ISBN-10: 0544947274
Publisher: Mariner Books
Publication Date: April 18th, 2017
Pages: 432
Language: English

How to read more

https://unsplash.com/@birminghammuseumstrust
( Birmingham Museums Trust’s Digital Image Resource shares thousands of images that span decades of Birminghams vibrant past)

How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.

 

And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.

 

15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.

 

50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.

 

Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.

 

Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.

 

Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.

 

Outcome

Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.

 
 
 

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