I love reading but with working a full time job it is hard to find time to fit it in. I often find I get through numerous books on holiday and it always reminds me how much I love to read,and I make a pact with myself to make sure I make time to read when I return from my holiday, but then life sweeps me up and the books stay on the bookshelf. I therefore decided it was time to change and I thought if I came up with a blog series around books, that would give me an extra incentive to make time to read and so here it is, Around The World in 7 Books.
I will start my around the world journey in the UK, as that is where I am based. Choosing a book to start off my journey was really hard, as I have read so many amazing books that were based in various cities, towns and rural villages throughout the UK. In the end I decided on the book that had the most emotional effect on me, that being The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett.
The Versions of Us is based mainly in Cambridge, London and Cornwall, so it covers some of the best spots the UK has to offer. It is based around the two main characters, Eva and Jim, and follows three different versions of their lives, each path starting at the same point, when Eva almost collided with a dog whilst riding her bike, the immediate aftermath of the accident plays out over three ever so slightly different ways, and this difference sets them on completely different paths, that you then follow side by side throughout the book.
It took a few chapters to get into the swing of the book, as the three versions need to become set in your mind, so that they begin to flow, and it takes a bit of reading to get to the stage where they are distinctive enough apart but also encourage you to make parallels between the paths taken. Once I got into it though, I literally could not put the book down. It was written with such ease, that the words and scenarios just flowed off the page, and sparked my imagination. I could see everything so vividly as I read and I felt like I was really invested in the characters, and how their lives were turning out.
The most evocative thing about this book though was it’s ability to make you reflect on your own decisions. It makes you think what could have been but also, how certain events led you to where you are today. The book had the ability to almost draw my own story into the book and write a 4th version, it meant I became very emotionally involved throughout the lives of the characters and by the end of the book, every single version as it came to it’s end made me weep uncontrollably. My boyfriend actually walked into the room just as I finished, he asked me what was wrong and I let out the loudest wailing cry ever. He looked a bit confused, realised it was the book causing this reaction and walked back out in shock, not really sure what to make of this blubbering mess over a book. A fictional book.
The description of each of the locations was really accurate and made you want to be there in that moment, especially the parts written in Cornwall. It has got me wanting to plan a road trip down there and maybe hire a campervan or something and explore Cornwall’s hidden beaches and coves and just escape from everything for a while.
Overall, I loved this book and I would recommend to anyone who is after a good, emotional journey. Just make sure you have the tissues ready!
Join me next week as I venture deep into the German forests…
Have you read Version of Us? What did you think? Any other UK based books you would recommend?