The Nature of Stammering 09/08/22
A Flash of Fireflies
Hazel’s family is relocating from Kuwait to the UK and her parents have sent her on ahead to stay with Grant, her unconventional great aunt, while they finalise the move. Hazel finds change difficult and is nervous about travelling alone and meeting Grant. She’s also worried about attending summer school, even though it will give her the opportunity to make friends ahead of the new term.
As she becomes increasingly anxious, Hazel is visited by three fireflies. When she was younger, these creatures would appear whenever she was apprehensive, scratching at her skin and filling her with terror, but with help, she managed to banish them. Now, with so many uncertainties in her life, they are back, pulling her into their sinister fantasy world and exposing her greatest fears.
Beautifully written, this thought-provoking tale can be enjoyed on one level as a gripping fantasy, combining fairy tale elements, such as witches, wolves and dangerous quests. For more mature readers, it serves as a powerful metaphor for mental illness, and sensitively explores the debilitating effects of OCD in an accessible way. At its heart is the important message that asking for help can make even the bleakest situation more manageable.