Helen is now 14. Seven years ago, her older brother was killed in a car accident and when she meets a local girl, Sam, also recently bereaved, she begins to build up a different picture of her brother's early life from Sam's own memories. Helen's mother is taking an unusual interest in Sam's older brother, Christian, which she is representing to herself and others as motherly affection although her husband suspects this isn't the case. Helen, herself very attracted to Christian, becomes torn between unravelling her family's conflicts and anxieties, and reaching an understanding of her own developing sexuality and the meaning of love. In Flame is a powerful novel from award-winning writer Gaye Hicyilmaz, set in West Wales, which explores love, sex and family conflict.
Gaye Hicyilmaz lived in Turkey for many years, much of that time in the city of Ankara, which provided the setting for her first children's book, Against the Storm. Inspired by a true story in the Turkish press, it was first published in England, where it was shortlisted for the Whitbread Award in the children's fiction category and was runner-up for the Guardian Children's Fiction Award the same year. After leaving Turkey the author moved to Switzerland with her four children and for seven years lived in the small town of Horgen, which gave her the background for The Frozen Waterfall. She now lives in Kent in England.