For our Illustration project we need to choose three books to create new book covers for. I have decided to focus on one author for all three books, the author is Jojo Moyes. I love Moyes books but i never thought the covers expressed any of the book. The covers as they are now are done using a silhouette figure with a girly (usually pink) background, making the viewer assume they are just another bunch of romcom reads. Which is completely wrong, yes they do have a romantic storyline but they usually contain something more dark and shocking that an average romantic book.
Take ‘Me Before You’ for example. This book is about a young woman who gets a job caring for a man who is wheelchair bound, he is entirely disabled and only just about move his fingers. Although this man is funny, sarcastic, witty and still very bright he is terribly depressed (as you could imagine). Within just a few chapters of the book the girl overhears the man speaking to his mother, he is begging her to take him to Switzerland to get the leathal injection to end his misery. And to the girls shock the mother makes a deal with the man, she says if he feels no different within a few months that she will agree and take him to Switzerland and let him end his life.
Throughout the book the girl tries her hardest to make him change his mind and see that there is still things to live for.
This book is a whirlwind of emotion and i am to afraid to reread it as i know how i hard i cried in many different parts of the book.
Now that you know the synopsis of the book, do you really think that this below, is an appropriate cover? I don’t. Yes, i understand the silhouette represents someone ‘letting go’ or ‘being freed’ but it doesn’t prepare anyone for the seriousness or beauty of the story.
Wanting to keep with this author,thecond book i plan to redesign the cover too is ‘The Last Letter From You’re Lover’ which yes, is a much more ‘normal’ romantic novel, but it still isn’t conventional, is tells a story of love, loss, rebirth and loss all over again. It was a book that i had keep reading as each chapter unlocked a new missing piece from the story.
Based in the 1960’s, the book begins as a woman wakes up in hospital, suffering terrible amnesia. a man comes to the hospital every day, they tell her its her husband, she has no idea who he is, she has no idea who she is. When she gets home from the hospital she has no recollection of her house, her house keeper or any of her things. She has no connection to her husband, a man who is entirely of the time period, who feels he owns and controls his wife, who can get drunk and jump on her in bed, when she still has no idea who he his, she knows its her husband ofcourse, but he is a stranger like everyone else.
One day she decides to rip apart their bedroom so that she can rearrange all her things and know where they are and what she has, when she comes across a letter in her shoe box, a love letter from someone signed ‘B’. Knowing her husband is called Lawrence, she knows these letters aren’t from him and her adventure begins, are these letters from an old lover? Was she unfaithful to Lawrence? She uncovers more and more letters and realizes that yes, she was unfaithful to Lawrence (as a reader we can understand why). We find out that this mysterious lover was called Anthony and ‘B’ was because she always called him ‘Boot’ a character from one of her favorite stories.
One night she plans to leave her husband, she cant take living with him anymore, she packs her things and when her husband gets home she tells him shes leaving as there is someone she needs to find and be with. To whch he calls her a number of horrible names and explains that she did runaway with man and that he died in the car crash that caused her amnesia and she is running off to someone who no longer exists.With this information she doesn’t share the same bedroom as her husband anymore and lives the rest of her day’s mournful and planning parties and such emotionless, pointless things that her husband expects of her.
One night, he is at a party, and who is there but Anthony (Boot). He doesn’t even want to talk to her, she let him down and never came to him to run off together. She nearly faints at the sight of him, all the memories come back and she cant understand, hes dead, that what she was told. When they finally meet in private again she finds out that she had asked his friend to drive her to the train station to meet Boot, the friend was drunk, crashed the car and died.
He asks her to run away with him again, and she says she can’t he doesn’t understand, thinks she is a horrible woman, who has played him and hurt him to the point were he almost killed himself with alcohol, but he see’s her later that day with a child, a little girl. and he realises she now has a daughter and this is the only reason she doesn’t leave her husband.
A day or two later more information unravels, her husband has been having an affair with his secretary, who is madly in love him, when he moves her out of his office to a receptionist job, she wants revenge. She takes his secret letters confirming that asbestos has killed many of his workers (which at the time he is trying to prove that asbestos doesn’t kill) and she gives these files to his wife, says she can do whatever she wants with them and she has resigned her position working for him.
Finally she has her chance, she goes to his office tells him she is leaving him, he puts her down, makes her feel like dirt to wich she informs him she has the files to ruin him and his company, has them ready to be published infact, and if he doesn’t pay for her and her daughters care that she will publish them, with that she had her daughter move into a hotel and try to contact Boot, He is a newspaper journalist and she is told he has went back to Congo, her dreams are crushed. She leaves her daughter with her husband and she goes to Congo to find Boot, when she gets there she is told things are so bad she isn’t even allowed to leave the airport and that almost all troops are confirmed dead. Battered and beaten by this news, she flies home, takes her daughter and finds a small house for them, gets a job and moves on with her life.
Back in the 2000’s a newspaper journalist is writing a collumn about love letters and how it has changed over the years and have emails, texts etc killed the power of words used in a letter. She comes across Boot and Jennifer, she falls in love with these letters and becomes obsessed with trying to find out what happened to these two star crossed lovers. She herself, is with a man who has a wife and children, and needs reassured that he will leave his wife for her. Throughout the book she finds out more and more and ends up finding Jennifer, now an elderly lady, who is shocked to see the letters she hasn’t held in at least 55+ years. She tells the journalist of her life, how she travelled to Congo and was told Boot died and carried on her life alone. More and more comes to the story, we find out Boot never went to Congo as he was hospitalised from the damage the alcohol had done to him and that he is lucky to be alive, his boss is a kind and understanding man, he doesn’t want Anthony (Boot) doing any more stories as its to stressful for a man in his position and moves him and puts him in a job in the library, in the library of the news paper that Ellie (the journalist) works at!
Finally after years Ellie is able to reunite the couple in a heart warming tale.
There were a few covers for this book as i have found,
None of witch i feel capture the essence of the story inside them, and this is what i want to create.
Finally the third book i want to redesign a cover to by Jojo Moyes……i haven’t decided yet!