This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.
“Ingenious… Builds to one of the most memorable final scenes I’ve read in a novel this century.” —The New York Times
WINNER OF THE 2018 WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION
LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE
The suspenseful and heartbreaking story of an immigrant family driven to pit love against loyalty, with devastating consequences
Isma is free. After years of watching out for her younger siblings in the wake of their mother’s death, she’s accepted an invitation from a mentor in America that allows her to resume a dream long deferred. But she can’t stop worrying about Aneeka, her beautiful, headstrong sister back in London, or their brother, Parvaiz, who’s 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, Isma’s worst fears are confirmed.
Then Eamonn enters the sisters’ lives. Son of a powerful political figure, he has his own birthright to live up to—or defy. Is he to be a chance at love? The means of Parvaiz’s 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?
Hi wx you sZ
Brilliant Novel of Family, Politics and Loss
Let’s acknowledge first that “Home Fire” is a retelling of Sophocles’ "Antigone". Built on ancient scaffolding, the story reminds us of the play’s timeless themes of love and the power (and vulnerability) of the individual when confronting the state.
That said, Kamila Shamsie’s novel couldn’t be more contemporary. While germinating from a kernel planted by Sophocles about the power and responsibilities of sibling love, Shamsie burrows deep into the matrix of family relations, especially the minefield of fathers and sons. But this is no mere family saga, since the story – set largely in London and Amherst, Mass., though with critical scenes set in Syria and Karachi – fearlessly explores western society’s uncertain response to religious zealotry, terror and barbarism.
Shamsie’s agonizing tale of how Parvaiz Pasha, a born-but-not-bred Englishman, just 19 years old and with a twin sister studying the law, is reeled into the grip of Islamic terrorism, is psychologically credible, even though Parvaiz is smart enough that he should have other choices. Meanwhile, his twin Aneeka – Antigone – goes to astounding lengths to save him in life and death.
Revolving around the twins and their older sister, who raised them following their parents’ early deaths, is another family, also Pakistani-British, which has managed, through force of will and an opportune marriage, to approach the pinnacle of British politics and power. The intermittent though profound interplay between the families across 15 years drives the action.
The book moves in paired chapters (with one exception) from one key character’s perspective to the next, and Shamsie inhabits each with no loss of nerve or understanding. Her writing is always compelling, powerful as a jackhammer or delicate as crystal, as the moment merits. And the ending is… well, you won’t forget it.
This book is beautiful in so many ways. It shows how hard it is to be a Muslin even if you live in so called democratic countries