Because I don’t want to fall further behind on my blog tour commitments after my recent ill health with Covid, from today I’m going to post on my scheduled day unless I haven’t been able to finish the book yet. I’m still fully committed to posting the reviews I’ve missed and will do so as soon as I possibly can. Thank you to Anne Cater, Tracy Fenton and Rachel Gilbey for your support and understanding during this time, it really has been appreciated.
And so without further ado I’m delighted to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for the utterly gorgeous Together by Luke Adam Hawker. Thank you to Anne Cater and the publisher for giving me the opportunity to read and review this gorgeously lyrical and beautifully illustrated book.
About the book:
‘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 an 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.’
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 of 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.
With words by Marianne Laidlaw.
Let me start off by saying that I absolutely adored this book! Breathtakingly raw and honest in its simplicity, the stunning illustrations and lyrical prose encapsulate everything we’ve been through in the last year. I have to admit I found this book incredibly moving, partly because I’ve recently been ill with Covid myself and am feeling particularly emotional, but mostly because it tells the story of real people and those seemingly small connections we’ve missed so much since March 2020. It tells the story of the people we’ve lost and the enforced distance we’ve endured, keeping us apart so that we can do everything we can to keep those we love safe.
The illustrations themselves are simple but beautiful, each one telling a different story. And each time you look at them you see something new, those tiny personal touches that make this book even more special with every turn of the page. Together is a stunning work of art that you really need to hold in your hands to fully appreciate its sheer beauty, from Luke Adam Hawker’s stunning illustrations to Marianne Laidlaw’s lyrical prose, both of which have the ability to move you to tears. And move me to tears they did, bringing all of the emotional turmoil of the last year to the surface as I studied each glorious illustration and drank in the simple but beautiful words.
Together is a book that I know I will treasure forever, taking pride of place on my book shelf. It is one of those books that I know I will turn to from time to time to contemplate and remember this strange world we found ourselves in that made us appreciate everything we have so much more. I’d like to think that this time of being apart from those we love will bring us closer together as we move forward into a new world after enduring a devastating global pandemic. Maybe even a kinder future? We can but hope and that’s what Luke Adam Hawker does so beautifully with Together. He gives us hope that no matter what the storm brings, we can weather it as long as we’re together. And that’s a beautiful thing.
Together is simply stunning and is a moving yet uplifting read that I would highly recommend, especially in its physical form as it is a breathtakingly beautiful book to hold in your hands that is impossible to capture through a screen. I loved it!
Together by Luke Adam Hawker is available to purchase now: Amazon UK
Check out what these other fabulous bloggers have to say about this gorgeous book: