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