Laura Barnett was born in 1982 in south London, where she now lives with her husband. She studied Spanish and Italian at Cambridge University, and newspaper journalism at City University, London. Her debut novel, The Versions of Us, was published in May 2015. The novel spent ten weeks in The Sunday Times hardcover bestseller list; and went straight to number one in The Sunday Times paperback fiction bestseller list, going on to spend six weeks in the Top Ten. The Versions Of Us was nominated for the 2016 BBIA Award for Debut Fiction, and won the Richard and Judy Spring 2016 Book Club. It was also selected by Waterstones as a Book of the Month and Book Club choice, and the US edition, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, is a Barnes and Noble Discover pick for summer 2016. Translation rights have been sold in 26 other countries, and TV rights have been optioned by Trademark Films.
The Versions of Us
The Versions of Us is a love story told three ways. A young man is walking down a country lane. A woman, cycling towards him, swerves to avoid a dog. On that moment, their future hinges. There are three possible outcomes, three small decisions that could determine the rest of their lives.
Eva and Jim are nineteen and students at Cambridge when their paths first cross in 1958. There is also David, Eva’s lover, an ambitious actor who loves Eva deeply but cares more for his own talent. The Versions of Us follows the three different courses their lives could take following this first chance meeting. Lives filled with love, betrayal and ambition, but through it all a deep connection that endures, whatever fate might throw at them.
The Versions of Us explores the idea that there are moments when our lives might have turned out differently, the tiny factors or decisions that could determine our fate, and the precarious nature of the foundations upon which we build our lives. It is also a story about the nature of love and how it grows, changes and evolves as we travel through life.
(photo © Sarah Lee)