Gamache Goes Abroad – How the Light Gets In

There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in. – Leonard Cohen

This quote first appeared in A Fatal Grace, then inspired the title of Louise’s ninth book, and clearly guides a recurring theme throughout the Three Pines canon. In examining this week’s international edition, from Slovakia, we were struck by the differences in how we both interpreted this quote. 

Our Slovakian colleagues chose to focus on the first part of the stanza — There’s a crack in everything — with imagery suggesting a crack in the floor. They split the quote even further by actually dividing the cover into two parts. 

It would appear that our jacket designer focused instead on the second part of Leonard Cohen’s quote: That’s how the light gets in. On our cover, the light filters through the spaces between the trees to illuminate the snow on the ground.

By each focusing on one side of the quote, somehow both publishers managed to illustrate the symbolism of separation. 

For more on Leonard Cohen’s influence on Louise, click here

What does this quote, in the context of Louise’s work, mean to you? 

Discussion on “Gamache Goes Abroad – How the Light Gets In

  1. Sylvia says:

    I like our cover – that gleam of light shining through the dark forest. What is back there? What is it exposing?

  2. Susie Stern says:

    I love the symbolism of the blue cover. I knew of Cohen’s quote before I read Louise’s books, but what she does with all the poetry she uses teaches me something every time! I finished How the Light Gets in a couple of months ago. Every emotion – so wonderful. I am currently rereading A Fatal Grace. – will keep rereading what I have until September! Can’t wait. The Slovakian version appears very cold to me – I don’t see any hope. Would love to see Ruth in the Senate – giving you know her famous finger! How about the Supreme Court – at least women and other minorities might stand a chance…….. sorry didn’t mean to get political –

  3. Linda says:

    The Slovak cover certainly speaks to brokenness, and is a bit bleak. No sign of light entering, except through the title. It works, if you mean in conveying the meaning, but counts on a verbal understanding of what is meant by light. Don’t know if the colours would attract me in a bookstore (maybe I should ask Myrna?), but the author’s name is well in evidence, so I would definitely buy it. If I could read the language, that is.

  4. Judith Brodnickova says:

    Actually, the translation of “Tak vchadza svetlo” is “That’s how light comes in.” I don’t know how you all had that title translated to me “everything is cracked” because “svetlo” translates to “light” in English and it is used to mean both visual light (as opposed to darkness) and a lighter hue of a color (as in “svetla modra” translating to “light blue”).

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