Cover to Cover with Our Endless Numbered Days

portraitThe premise of Our Endless Numbered Days is absolutely killer: a survivalist father tells his eight-year-old daughter that the rest of the world has been destroyed and takes her into the forest, where they live for the next decade.

I describe this book as a cross between Emma Donaghue’s Room and Claire Cameron’s The Bear:  the absolute extreme exploration of the trust a child can have in a parent, and the surprising resilience and ability children when it comes to surviving in the wilderness.

All in all, this book is one that I loved in theory and ultimately found disappointing. and I think I was in a bad place to appreciate children narrators when I picked it up, and the conclusion (supposedly shocking) left me nonplussed. But it does have a killer premise, and it has some seriously cool covers. 

Tin House edition

 

This is the cover I first saw, and frankly it’s kind of creepy. Something in the art style reminds me of Eastern European fairytales, which I think might have been the point. The weird shadow made out of bugs (?) tops off the freaky-deaky factor and I’ll show myself out. No thank you!

 

 

 

The other North American version and the UK versions, in my opinion, do a much better job of conveying the loneliness of the novel – the idea of utter solitude. They lean heavily on minimalist tree imagery – branches without details or any real colour, which is an interesting touch.

Penguin    Anansi Trade Paperback   UK edition

My favourite cover has to be the Powell’s special edition – which picks out the same creepy tree details in gold. Swoon.

Hardcover edition - Powell's    Powell's back cover

Front cover on the left and back cover on the right – images snagged from Connie at Random Lot, who had a subscription to Powell’s “Indiespensible” box when Our Endless Numbered Days was featured.

Finally, as ever, some foreign editions that take cover design and imagery in a totally different direction. Right to left and top to bottom: Chinese, French, and Turkish editions.

Chinese   French edition   Turkish edition

Notice any neat covers that I’ve missed? Link to them in the contents!

Cover to Cover is a weekly feature appearing every Wednesday. You can browse through past posts here

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6 thoughts on “Cover to Cover with Our Endless Numbered Days

  1. Why so many US and UK covers, I wonder? Didn’t this book come out fairly recently? Anyway, I really love the one with the black background and the chalk drawn house. And it sounds a little creepy! Thanks for sharing:-)

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    • I agree – the chalk cover is my favourite of the paperbacks!

      And I know it had a lot of buzz around it almost as soon as it came out, which might help explain how many editions there are for a book published less than a year ago. But I always find it interesting when a book has more English covers than foreign covers…

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  2. This is so interesting! I do agree about the “twist” at the end – for me, that felt completely unnecessary and wasn’t the punch-in-the-gut moment it should have been.

    My problem with the premise is that it presents a huge problem of pacing – the most interesting parts of the story (in my opinion) are going to be the beginning and end of the child’s life in the woods. The “how” I mentioned in my review – how does she end up there, believing that the world is destroyed; how does she escape and adjust to life back in the real world – are the points that I am most keen to find out as a reader. The middle part where she and her father are surviving in the wilderness is going to be the most boring and repetitive, but it also can’t be glossed over as that’s so important to the novel. I think that’s the crux of my gripes!

    By the way, I spent a year studying in Canada and am fascinated by Canadian literature so if you have any suggestions please ping them my way!

    Liked by 1 person

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