One of my favourite book covers is Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. It’s simple but also deeply symbolic. The book is about desire: Bella Swan’s love for the vampire, Edward Cullen, Edward’s love for Bella and his equal and opposite desire for her blood.
The colours on the cover are limited to white, red and black and perfectly encapsulate the love triangle that develops through the Twilight Saga. Edward, the near-god who wants to recover his humanity, has cold, white skin. Bella is the loving heart with irresistible blood pumping through her veins. Jacob ‘Black’ is the fly in the ointment. He also loves Bella and is the antithesis of Edward.
The apple reminds us that Eve offered a piece of forbidden fruit to Adam in the Garden of Eden. In the Genesis story, eating the apple brought death into creation. In the fictional world of Twilight, where vampires and humans are predators and prey, loving each other is the forbidden fruit. The tension in the book is perfectly poised between Edward’s longing for Bella’s blood and his desire to protect her from harm, and Bella’s wish to become a vampire so they can live forever in perfect bliss. Edward resists the temptation to taste her blood because of his concern that she will lose her eternal soul.
The Christian allegory is clear: fall into temptation and you will be lost, but it’s only by being lost that you will discover your need of a Saviour and find immortality.
Although in some circles Twilight gets a bad press because it’s not ‘great literature’, it’s very cleverly plotted, playing around with eternal themes of love, desire, death and immortality. I liked the simplicity of the cover so much that I decided to use the same colour scheme in the cover design for The Girl at the End of the Road. Both books deal with the theme of romance across a seemingly impossible divide. Both stories tell of the redeeming and transformative power of love.