Nominated for the prestigious Carnegie Medal, this novel is a stunning tribute to fathers and daughters, and to the unique power of art to connect and change us.
Sixteen-year-old Iris itches constantly for the strike of a match. But when she's caught setting one too many fires, she's dragged away to London before she can get arrested. At least, that's the story her mother tells. Soon Iris finds herself in the English countryside, where her millionaire father—a man she's never met—lives. Though not for very much longer.
Iris's father is dying, and her self-interested mother is determined to claim his life's fortune, including his priceless art collection. Forced to live with him as part of an exploitive scheme, Iris quickly realizes her father is far different from the man she's been schooled to hate, and everything she thought she knew—about her father and herself—is suddenly unclear. But there may be hidden beauty in Iris's uncertain past and hopeful future, if only she can see beyond the flames.
"Valentine writes about family dysfunction, arson, and art with equal levels of beauty and lyricism, creating a vivid landscape of heartache and redemption." ---Kirkus Starred Review
"This is a quiet, reflective novel that blooms into a thrilling mystery, and its complex family dynamics will appeal to fans of Jenny Downham’s Unbecoming." ---Booklist
"This beautifully written and darkly funny novel ends with a twist that will keep readers turning the pages long after bedtime." ---School Library Journal
"Wise, brilliantly plotted." ---The Sunday Times
“From the first page to the last, Valentine has crafted a masterpiece of tightly interwoven allusions and motifs that explode into an utterly surprising, utterly perfect conclusion.” ---BCCB Starred Review
"Iris is a grumpy, complex and likable protagonist, with depth and a dark humor, and her hopeful story of redemption will leave readers cheering her on." ---Shelf Awareness
"Gemma Dawson, Fire Color One's narrator, does an excellent job of bringing the characters to life. I'm always impressed when a narrator does both male and female voices and flips between different accents without a hitch." ---Carol Baldwin's blog
"Gemma Dawson's narration reflects the contrast between the author's lyrical writing and the ugly inner world of this novel's protagonist. Deftly, she portrays the intense feelings of 16-year-old Iris, a pyromaniac." ---AudioFile