Book Review: Home Fire

Home Fire (2017)
Kamila Shamsie

Home Fire is riveting. Devastating. An ode to the devotion and terrible decisions made in the names of love and justice. Isma, Aneeka, and Parvaiz Pasha are three British siblings born and raised in the Islamic faith; when all of their relatives pass away, Isma is 12 years old when she’s left with the heavy burden of rearing the younger twins. As the story unfolds, a schism is formed within the family when Parvaiz leaves home to join a radical jihadi group. One sister is resentful, willing to let her brother lie in the bed he made in order to protect the sibling she has left. The other would do anything and everything to bring Parvaiz home safely. Each chapter of the book is written from the point of view of a different character, which I believe gives valuable insights into the backgrounds and reasons behind each person’s perspectives. The last few paragraphs were the culmination that I was dreading, where all the sorrow of the story ends with a final blow to the heart. With heavy themes of the current political climate, family ties, and an underlying love story weaving through the pages, Shamsie creates a powerful portrait of the extremes humans will go to for those they care for most.

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Review by Dori Brillard.

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