Home Fire - Kamila Shamsie

Home Fire

By Kamila Shamsie

  • Release Date: 2017-08-15
  • Genre: Family
Score: 4.5
From 57 Ratings


“Ingenious… Builds to one of the most memorable final scenes I’ve read in a novel this century.” —The New York Times



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?


  • An uncomfortably formidable read

    By rokinrev
    “Keep the Home Fires Burning, While your hearts are yearning, Though your lads are far away They dream of home.…” ‘Keep the Home-Fires Burning’ is a British patriotic First World War song composed in 1914 by Ivor Novello with words by Lena Guilbert Ford. It has kept running through my head why I have been formulating this review. In a way, it summarizes the entire book because each of the major characters: Isma, Eamonn, Aneeka, Parvaiz and Karamat are each lookingfor “Home”. The ways they may describe it are different, but their definition of safety is what makes this a very brave book. We have seen all over the news of how British treat second generation non white refugees: those who would hold citizenship by right of birth, but whose parents were not born there. It happens in the US too. We welcome “the huddled masses” to a point...and then argue blame and point fingers. How safe is anyone in this global nexus? That’s the brave question Kamile Shamise posits here, even having Aneeka say it to Eamonn:”You were hope...the world was dark and then there you were, blazing with light. How could anyone fail to not love hope?”. First, she and her siblings lose their immediate family; then she loses her twin, and in trying to reconnect she grasps at hope. Hope means home to her. And Eamonn tries to be his own man while being Karamat’s son, keeping his own counsel as he matures; finding his own way. I know this is a cryptic review, but it’s not an easy read. The book is as modern as the next news cycle and as ancient as the first sibling death in history. Shamise’s work is as uncomfortable as it may be hopeful. Highly recommended. 5/5 [I received this book as a gift so it does not register as a verified purchase. I have chosen to read/review it]
  • Wow

    By susie2123!
    Just read til the last page. Don’t spoil the ending by reading ahead.
  • Home fire

    By Mistress TV
    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
  • Brilliant Novel of Family, Politics and Loss

    By Ken Sonenclar
    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.
  • Hi wx you sZ

    By cuztt/?|*|.'xych