Isma is free. After years of watching out for her younger siblings in the wake of their mothers death, shes accepted an invitation from a mentor in America that allows her to resume a dream long deferred. But she cant stop worrying about Aneeka, her beautiful, headstrong sister back in London, or their brother, Parvaiz, whos disappeared in pursuit of his own dream, to prove himself to the dark legacy of the jihadist father he never knew. When he resurfaces half a globe away, Ismas worst fears are confirmed.Then Eamonn enters the sisters lives. Son of a powerful political figure, he has his own birthright to live up toor defy. Is he to be a chance at love? The means of Parvaizs salvation? Suddenly, two families fates are inextricably, devastatingly entwined, in this searing novel that asks: What sacrifices will we make in the name of love?...
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Home Fire Reviews
I read Home Fire in two days, I thought it was brilliantly done, heartbreaking, tragic, essential.
Underpinning the novel is the premise of Sophocles' 5thC BC play Antigone, an exploration of the conflict between those who affirm the individual's human rights and those who must protect the state's security.
Before reading Kamila Shamsie's Home Fire, I downloaded a translation of Antigone to read, acknowledging herself that Anne Carson's translation of Antigone (Oberon Books, 2015) and
The Burial a ...more
"Everything else you can live around, but not death. Death you have to live through."
Well I can certainly see why this novel has earned heavy praise. It examines provocative themes like the plight of the modern Muslim and radicalization in such a nuanced and insightful way. But the aspect of the story I admired most was its focus on family, and in particular, the sacrifices we make for our loved ones. When you value their happiness as more important than your own. When the thought of living with ...more
Deservedly the winner of the 2018 Women's Prize for Fiction:
‘What do you say to your father when he makes a speech like that? Do you say, Dad, you’re making it OK to stigmatise people for the way they dress? Do you say, what kind of idiot stands in front of a group of teenagers and tells them to conform? Do you say, why didn’t you mention that among the things this country will let you achieve if you’re Muslim is torture, rendition, detention without trial, airport interrogations, spies in your ...more
I don't give 1-star reviews very often because I feel like I don't read a lot of books I would label as 'bad.' And this book, even, isn't 'bad' in my eyes. But when I think about things I enjoyed regarding this novel, there's pretty much nothing redeemable for me. The characters were flat, the plot was paper thin (even though I know it's a modern retelling of Antigone, I don't feel like that knowledge did anything to elevate the story), and the writing was nothing special and verged on poor at t ...more
A relevant novel given our political climate, Home Fire details the complicated ordeal of three siblings haunted by the legacy of their jihadist father. The story begins with Isma, the eldest sister, a Londoner of Pakistani descent on her way to start her Ph.D. at Amherst. We then learn about her younger twin siblings, Aneeka, a headstrong and intelligent law student, and Parvaiz, who disappears to follow his own dreams. When Isma and Aneeka learn about Parvaiz's whereabouts, their wors ...more
Ever since their mother and grandmother died within the period of a year, Isma has cared for her younger twin siblings, Aneeka and Parvaiz. Their well-being has always been her first concern, even if it meant sacrificing her own dreams and ambitions. But now that the twins have turned 18, Isma is finally putting herself first, accepting an invitation from a mentor to travel to America and co-author a paper with her.
That doesn't mean Isma won't worry about her siblings—Aneeka, smart, beautiful, a ...more
I went looking for a review copy of this when it was included on the Man Booker Prize Long list, and was approved for one by the publisher through Edelweiss.
This is a book that kept morphing as I read it and discussed it, and it ended up in a place far removed from my expectations at the beginning. Nowhere in the publisher summary or promotional material does it mention that the author is also basing this novel on the myth of Antigone, but she has, and that proves important in understanding some ...more
This is my sixth (and favourite) book read from the Women's Prize for Fiction longlist.
This contemporary reimagining of Antigone uses a multitude of perspectives as a nexus to explore the differing experiences a Muslim individual can face, whilst residing in Britain. The opening scene introduces the reader to Isma, as a rigorous searching of her possessions ensues before boarding her plane to America. Her embarrassment is acute, and yet she knows she must say thank you for the privilege of being ...more