Gamache Goes Abroad – A Trick of the Light

Today, we find Gamache in Spain, with the Spanish edition of A Trick of the Light, or El juego de la luz. Both covers play off the novel’s use of shadow and light to illustrate the suspense of the story. In both covers, the light filters through a tree’s dark branches, suggesting the juxtaposition between good and evil. 

Note that in the Spanish edition, only half of the cottage’s windows are illuminated. This again might fortify the notion that there are two sides to every story. While the Spanish edition features a landscape of the cottage and its surroundings, our version zeroes in on a tree with very few leaves. Only when the branches are exposed can the light truly shine through. 

The juxtaposition between darkness and light is a recurring theme in the Louise Penny canon. Which other books in the series come to mind when you consider this theme? 

The plot of this book heavily features Clara’s artwork. If you were to design a cover for this book featuring her artwork, what would it look like to you?

Discussion on “Gamache Goes Abroad – A Trick of the Light

  1. Lucie Easley says:

    I really like the cover of the Spanish edition. The cabin at first looks inviting and catches my eye. However, with a closer look, a cabin in the wood, a long walk to get there and with only half the lights on, it begins to feel more ominous…so it peaks my interest to see what’s there, but also warns me off. So I know this book is filled with suspense.

  2. Michele H. says:

    Again, such wonderful comparisons to choose from.
    This time I like the Spanish version El juego de la luz!
    I love the moodiness of the cottage and the surrounds as well as the expectation that something is going to happen…and not end well.
    Thank you for offering another intro to the next book by sharing how international publicists have chosen a variety of covers to draw in the reader!

  3. Alice Briggs says:

    I like the cover of the Spanish edition, because it shows a cottage. I can’t recall if Clara’s cottage is of this construction; but much of this book revolves around Clara’s home, so this cover design seems appropriate.

  4. Paula mooty says:

    A trick of the light. The house at a quick glance looks like an owl searching in the dark and then you realize it’s only a house with a foreboding look to either welcome you in or keep you away.

  5. Patricia says:

    I have always liked the tree with light shining through. With a quick first glance, I felt the front branch looked carved out, thus a good trick of the light.

  6. Lynn says:

    The Spanish version is very eye catching and real. I love it (though I love every single thing about the Gamache books)!

  7. Jeann Cetera says:

    I like the American cover. The light on some of the branches is coming from the left, and they are very dark on the right side.Yet, what I take to be the moon is behind the tree, and then, some of the branches are looking as if they are in twilight. Light can not come from three directions at once thus the trick.

  8. chauvesouris says:

    I prefer the simplicity and elegance of the U.S. edition. It’s both ominous and illuminating, the dark branches stark against the light. The Spanish edition, while working to be ominous while providing the seeming comfort of a cottage – is just a wee bit too cute for me.

  9. Sylvia says:

    I like the U.S. version. We know that eerie things can happen during a full moon.

  10. Gail Newman says:

    I have to agree with Patricia and Jeann Cetera. The lighting on the branches of the U.S. cover seems to come from several directions. A mystery. Plus the light of the moon is blurred. Maybe not as illuminating as one might wish.

  11. Lin Robinson says:

    A cover based on Clara’s artwork? How about a closeup of a corner of an oil
    painting, with a drip of red and a tiny reflection of light/tiny spot of white on the drip

  12. Sands says:

    I’d like the painting of Ruth as Madonna

  13. Jane Nolen says:

    I like the Spanish version. It has a contradicting appearance. The one unlit window and slightly crooked path is a little unsettling. At first glance, it is cozy….

  14. Anne H says:

    I like the cottage, because it helps me to visualize how part of the village looks. Overall, I feel that the US covers are quite artistic and lovely; I mostly favor them. I guess I’d like to see pictures of the village because my imagination cannot get the look of the village green and the surrounding businesses and homes quite in perspective. And I realize that one great aspect of reading is to develop my personal visual images of the story. Perhaps the planned series by Amazon will fill in the blanks in my mental image? (Although moving favorite novels to film creates lots of anxiety. Trusting in Louise’s gifts for creating such a lovely spot!)

  15. Patti says:

    Definitely prefer the Spanish cover! There just seems to be too much text on the US version to be able to focus on the actual cover photo!

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