The Grace of a Nightingale

Book design and cover illustration

The Grace of a Nightingale is the debut book of author Mary Anne Willow. The memoir is a brilliantly heartfelt odyssey of survival. Even in Mary Anne’s darkest moments she finds courage, faith and a love of music and nature. With the kindness of a handful of friends, strangers and animals she discovers that hope always triumphs over adversity.

The nightingale has huge significance throughout the book. Mary Anne, a former nurse, is not only drawn to the symbolism of this bird of love, loss and new beginnings, it is also the name of the founder of modern nursing. The nightingale first appears in the book when Mary Anne is 4 years old whilst staying on a ‘Nightingale Ward’, then again as a sketch Mary Anne did of Florence Nightingale on her bedroom wall when she is 7 years old. This continues until the nightingale’s final appearance in the last chapter of the book.

The ribbon, which is depicting the nightingale’s song, contains various important symbols derived from the stories within the book. There are 3 crosses, a horse shoe, a paw print, a dog and musical notes – these subtly invite the reader to discover there meaning as they read the book.


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  • Book design
  • Cover illustration
  • Book launch website