The Flames by Sophie Haydock
In this fictional retelling of the lives of four women – Adele, Gertrude, Vally, and Edith – made famous by their intimate depiction in the works of famous artist Egon Schiele, author Sophie Haydock humanises and empowers the former muses, giving voice to them and reimaging their stories in an early 1900s Vienna bursting with artistic and humanistic potential. Haydock’s aptly titled novel is fiery and bright, a compelling story of human desire and connection, all tied together in an explosive ending that makes The Flames a captivating, unmissable read for fans of art history and 21st Century novels alike.
Insider view: “I read the first draft of The Flames during that long, torturous first lockdown. I was in a reading slump, I was fearful about pretty much everything, and worried about how my authors would fare in such a challenging situation. And then in came The Flames and it set all my reading senses tingling! No longer was I sitting at the kitchen table in dreary, grey lockdown Britain. I was there, on the streets of elegant Vienna at the dawn of the 20th Century – a time when Vienna was a hotbed of emerging artistic talent, political debate, music – watching these four women step off of the artist’s canvas and claim a voice of their own.
“I have always wanted to publish books about strong women, and I was so drawn to the characters of Vally, Gertrude, Adele and Edith – each very different, but each, in their own way, determined to be the author of their life’s story. I didn’t actually meet Sophie Haydock, the author, face to face until many months after we’d bought the novel – although of course we had phone calls and Zooms – but when I did, it reminded me of all the reasons why I love being an editor. Not just the joy of the text itself, but also of working with inspiring, creative, passionate people who live and breathe the art of storytelling!”
- Kirsty Dunseath, Publishing Director, Doubleday Fiction/Transworld
For fans of: The work of Egon Schiele, subjects and objects in art, feminist reclamation