So I wanted to start out by discussing the two covers, that I have seen, of The House of the Spirits. Ironically, my copy of the novel doesn’t have a cover because it has been through a lot of reads, but if you just google the book title, it all comes up!
Here is one of the versions:
This is the cover that I prefer, of the two (you will see the second one below). It is almost hard to discern, who are the three women on the cover? It is clear that these are the women of the del Valle (using Clara’s maiden name) family. Is it Alba, Clara and Nana, these three generations of women connected by ivy? Or is it young, beautiful Rosa? Though it is slightly unclear, it really does not matter. From just looking at the cover, the reader knows that this is going to be a tale about a family, focusing on the strong, female power throughout the journey. This is a sentiment we see reflected in the novel, which consistently shows the strength of the del Valle women.
The women are draped by a brick structure, which calls to mind walls, barriers, establishment. This cover could show the divide we see throughout the novel between the country life and the city life. Personally, I think it is a very rich and moving drawing, especially looking at the integrity that you can plainly see in the woman’s faces.
Here is the second cover:
We can assume that this is Clara, holding her bird cage, flanked by her wild, indomitable hair. That would most likely be Esteban in the back of the picture. Though I like this cover, because of how startling and striking Clara is pictured, I think that the other cover has a more solemn appeal. For me, that reflects how I read the novel more accurately. Though, to its credit, this cover again specifies that it is the WOMAN of the household that are the most important, most influential throughout the story.
They always say “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” but the cover is an important tool that the reader can use to interpret a work of fiction. For example, Toni Morrison’s Beloved, contains the highly controversial forward: “60 million and more.” Though this isn’t in the dialogue within the novel, it is important when looking at the context of the piece. Though Esteban is a main character throughout the novel, I see him more as the second cover portrays him: he is the watcher of the family, records, but did not have the most impact.
Let me know what you think below!
(more review will be coming for other sections of the book!)