I have a gorgeous book to share you with you all today as I join the blog tour for Together by Luke Adam Hawker. Many thanks to Luke for providing me with a copy of the book, and to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to be a part of the tour.
“Dark clouds were looming in the distance. We watched them gather, and we wondered… When will it come? How long will it last?”
One year on from the anniversary of the UK’s first lockdown, Together takes a gently philosophical, and very relatable, look at how we have dealt with a difficult year and how we can cope with hard times in general. Simple but striking text is paired with beautiful illustrations from hugely talented artist Luke Adam Hawker.
When a monumental storm arrives, day-to-day life changes overnight. We follow a man and his dog through the uncertainty that it brings to their lives. Through their eyes, we see the difficulties of being apart, how the world adapted to spending more time at home, the rollercoaster of emotions that we can all relate to, and the realisation that by pulling together we can move through difficult times with new perspective, hope and appreciation of what matters most in life.
Together is very much a product of the new ways in which many of us have learned to work during lockdown. Having seen a beautiful depiction of the 8pm applause for the NHS, Editor Marianne Laidlaw approached Luke, asking him to illustrate the emotional rollercoaster we were all on. They started collaborating on the book, Luke mapping out images and Marianne writing words, while not having met – everything took place over Zoom for many months. The book’s creation mirrors its message that we are better joining forces and working together through adversity. Even in difficult times, there are silver linings and beauty can be found.
Luke has dedicated the book to his late grandfather, who was a key father figure in his life. The main characters are based on his grandfather and his own dog Robin who offer a reassuring guide through the challenges of the storm. It’s a story with very personal emotion, but one that speaks to us all.
“Though clouds may gather again, and we may see other storms, we have realised most of all that we’re stronger facing them… Together.”
This book is simply stunning. It is filled with wonderful, intricate illustrations, which every time I look at I see a detail that I hadn’t noticed before. They perfectly capture the fear that I felt as the pandemic developed, the haunting beauty of deserted streets and towns. The minimalism and sparseness of words and illustrations on some pages felt resonant of the isolation I felt at times, separated from my friends.
Together captures the good things that have helped us weather the storm, the small kindnesses, and new friendships formed. It is full of hope and warms your heart. It reduced me to tears both of sadness and happiness and of hope for the future. This is precisely the book that the world needs at the moment.
Together is a beautiful book, perfect for fans of the Charlie Macksey book, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
This is the debut from Luke Adam Hawker, who worked as an architectural designer before becoming a full-time artist in 2015. He lives just outside London with his partner Lizzie and dog Robin. Luke ships his prints and originals to buyers all over the world and has been commissioned by brands such as Soho House Hotel Group, Annabel’s Club, and Eventbrite.
Don’t forget to visit the other blogs taking part in the tour for this wonderful book.