I saw this series of book covers at Sarah Higbee’s blog. These are different editions of a book by Clare Fuller called Our Endless Numbered Days. Take a look at these covers and guess what sort of story this might be:
Sarah is offended by these covers because they don’t, to her, suggest the darkness of the story. Kidnapping, says Sarah, and coercion, and mental, physical and sexual abuse. A child “having to cope with losing everyone she knows and loves, other than her father. And spend large tracts of time foraging just to survive in freezing conditions with an increasingly delusional man.”
That does sound pretty dark.
Let me comment in order.
The first cover doesn’t suggest anything like that. The shadowy dot figure could imply horror. Does it? It makes me think of the shadow of the past or something like that. I wouldn’t have thought the story was particularly grim.
The second does look grim, or potentially grim, to me. The figure trudging through the snow looks beaten down — depressed. I have no idea what genre that looks like to me. The title does scream Literary, though. I would not pick this book up and look at the back cover. Nothing about this cover appeals to me at all.
The Czech cover is entirely boring and doesn’t suggest anything. This may be in the Top Ten All Time Most Boring Covers, Any Genre.
The Italian cover, with the girl running in the snow, looks like a murder mystery. Or even more like suspense. The girl looks like Red Riding Hood and I expect her to meet a wolf. I would open the book thinking that she was probably killed in the first chapter. Or more likely, she disappeared, and the story is about looking for her. Probably a tragic ending. It doesn’t look light-hearted to me at all. Maybe that’s because I read Sarah’s post.
That last cover does, to me, suggest dark literary. I think that one is fine. It suggests isolation, probably mental or emotional isolation as well as physical isolation. It looks claustrophobic. I think someone is trapped somehow and probably the story involves an emotional breakdown. I would never even look at the back cover description.
It’s interesting how very, very different these covers are. Would you find any of them appealing? Do any of them look to you like they imply a grim literary story such as Sarah describes?