Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
“Well, you obviously don't love anyone very much if your love is contingent on them always staying the same.”
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.
|Courtesy of John Cameron, Unsplash|
Then Eamonn enters the sisters’ lives. He meets and befriends Isma at a coffee shop in Amherst, where she’s living at the time. He’s the son of a powerful political figure, with his own birthright to live up to—or defy. “You are, we are British. Britain accepts this. So do most of you. But for those who are in some doubt about it, let me say this: Don’t set yourself apart in the way you dress, the way you think, the outdated codes of behaviour you cling to, the ideologies to which you attach your loyalties. Because if you do, you will be treated differently —”
Home Fire took some time to get into initially, but it got there in the end, and really started to gather speed in the middle. It’s extremely well written, and the story line is exceptional. Home Fire won the 2018 Women’s Prize for Fiction and was Long Listed for the Man Booker Prize 2017. It’s also one of the 100 Notable Books from the New York Times Book Reviews from 2017.
Kamila Shamsie was born in 1973 in Karachi, where she grew up. She has a BA in Creative Writing from Hamilton College in Clinton, NY and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her books have been translated into a number of languages.