Home fire A novel

Kamila Shamsie, 1973-

Book - 2017

"From an internationally acclaimed novelist, the suspenseful and heartbreaking story of a family ripped apart by secrets and 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, an invitation from a mentor in America has allowed her to resume a dream long deferred. But she can't stop worrying about Aneeka, her beautiful, headstrong sister back in London, or their b...rother, 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 the 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?"--

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Romance fiction
Domestic fiction
Political fiction
New York : Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC 2017.
Physical Description
276 pages ; 22 cm
Main Author
Kamila Shamsie, 1973- (author)
Review by New York Times Review

LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE, by Celeste Ng. (Penguin Press, $27.) The magic of Ng's second novel, which opens with arson and centers on an interracial adoption, lies in its power to implicate every character - and likely many readers - in the innocent delusion that "no one sees race here." DEFIANCE: The Extraordinary Life of Lady Anne Barnard, by Stephen Taylor. (Norton, $28.95.) Over the course of Taylor's biography, a picture emerges of Lady Anne Barnard as a cleareyed yet self-doubting woman determined to live life on her own terms even as she worried about her right to set those terms. AT THE STRANGERS' GATE: Arrivals in New York, by Adam Gopnik. (Knopf, $26.95.) In his new memoir, Gopnik recalls the decade after he and his soon-to-be wife moved from Montreal to New York, in 1980. Always the elegant stylist, he effortlessly weaves in the city's cultural history, tracing his path from graduate student in art history to staff writer for The New Yorker. HOME FIRE, by Kamila Shamsie. (Riverhead, $26.) In a challenging and engrossing novel full of tiny but resonant details, two families find their fates entwined when a young man travels to Syria to join ISIS, following in the steps of the jihadist father he never really knew. BLUEBIRD, BLUEBIRD, by Attica Locke. (Mulholland/ Little, Brown, $26.) This murder mystery follows Darren Matthews, a black Texas Ranger, as he tries to solve a dual killing in a small town full of zany characters, buried feelings and betrayals that go back generations. THE STONE SKY: The Broken Earth: Book Three, by N. K. Jemisin. (Orbit, paper, $16.99.) Jemisin, who writes the Book Review's Otherworldly column about science fiction and fantasy, won a Hugo Award for each of the first two novels in her Broken Earth trilogy. In the extraordinary conclusion, a mother and daughter do geologic battle for the fate of the earth. AUTUMN, by Karl Ove Knausgaard. Translated by Ingvild Burkey. (Penguin Press, $27.) In this collection of finely honed miniature essays, the first of a planned quartet based on the seasons, the Norwegian author of the multi-volume novel "My Struggle" describes the world for his unborn child. AFTERGLOW (A Dog Memoir), by Eileen Myles. (Grove, $24.) Myles, the poet and autobiographical novelist, turns her attention to the role her dog Rosie played in her life and art. ONE NATION AFTER TRUMP: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet-Deported, by E. J. Dionne Jr., Norman J. Ornstein and Thomas E. Mann. (St. Martin's, $25.99.) Seasoned Washington observers examine how Donald Trump's rise reflects long-term Republican trends. The full reviews of these and other recent books are on the web: nytimes.com/books

Copyright (c) The New York Times Company [August 30, 2019] Review by Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Gut-wrenching and undeniably relevant to today's world, Shamsie's (A God in Every Stone, 2014) newest literary accomplishment focuses on members of two British families of Pakistani heritage and their life-changing decisions and entanglements. Isma Pasha had essentially raised her orphaned younger siblings, twins Aneeka and Parvaiz, although their closeness ended after Parvaiz left for Syria to follow in his absentee father's footsteps as a jihadi. With the beautiful, enigmatic Aneeka in college in London, Isma enrolls in a long-awaited doctoral program in Massachusetts, where she befriends Eamonn, son of rising MP Karamat Lone, a man who built his political career partly on renouncing the Muslim faith of his birth. When Eamonn returns to London, he's swept into a secret love affair whose repercussions have a profound impact on both families. In this multiple-perspective novel, Shamsie peers deeply into her characters' innermost selves, delineating the complicated emotions, idealistic principles, and vulnerabilities that drive them. Scenes showing Parvaiz's mindset as he is indoctrinated into ISIS are daring and incredibly disturbing. In accessible, unwavering prose and without any heavy-handedness, Shamsie addresses an impressive mix of contemporary issues, from Muslim profiling to cultural assimilation and identity to the nuances of international relations. This shattering work leaves a lasting emotional impression.--Johnson, Sarah Copyright 2017 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Shamsie's memorable novel features timely themes in this epic tale of two Muslim families whose lives are entangled by politics and conflict. As the novel opens, 28-year-old Isma is on her way to the U.S. for a Ph.D. in sociology. She's left behind her siblings, 19-year-old twins Aneeka and Parvaiz, in London. One of the first connections Isma makes in Amherst is an old friend of the family-24-year-old Eamonn, whose father was just elected home secretary of London. Though Isma is immediately smitten, Eamonn only has eyes for Isma's beautiful sister, Aneeka, whom he vows to meet after seeing a photo of the girl at Isma's apartment. When back in London, he tracks Aneeka down and the two fall into a secretive affair, hiding the truth of their relationship from her family. But what Eamonn doesn't realize is that Aneeka has a reason for being with him besides true affection-she wants his help in getting his father to allow safe passage and immunity for Parvaiz, who joined the media arm of a jihadist group in Syria. The novel is separated into five parts, and each reveals a portion of the story from a different character's perspective. The highlights are the sections devoted to Parvaiz's recruitment and personal transformation-they're both salient and heartbreaking, culminating in a shocking ending. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by Library Journal Review

This latest from London-based Shamsie (God in Every Stone) depicts the lives of three Pakistani siblings from Great Britain, responsible older sister Isma and her younger siblings, brother-and-sister twins Parvaiz and Aneeka. After their mother's death, Isma spent seven years helping raise the younger children and now resides in the United States, where she is pursuing her PhD. At 19, the twins are on their own paths. Parvaiz, who harbors the secret of having a jihadist father, is befriended by the son of a man who was acquainted with him and in an effort to learn more about the father he never knew soon finds himself following in his father's footsteps. When Aneeka tries to help him, concerned for his safety, a twist of fate entangles her with Eamonn, a man to whom her sister is attracted. Verdict Written with great fluidity, Shamsie's work imaginatively addresses the issues of identity, culture, politics, religion, and nationalism in an absorbing story. Definite fodder for book groups, this well-crafted relational novel is at times hauntingly disturbing and will easily generate much discussion.-Shirley Quan, Orange Cty. P.L., Santa Ana, CA © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Kirkus Book Review

A modern-day Antigone set against political tensions in London, Shamsie's latest is a haunting and arrestingly current portrait of two families forever caught in the insurmountable gap between love and country, loyalty and desire.Long the caretaker of her younger twin siblings, Isma Pashafree at lastaccepts an invitation from her mentor to trade London for Amherst to finally earn her long-deferred sociology Ph.D. But even in America, she cannot forget her siblings: Aneeka, feisty and beautiful in London; and Parvaiz, who has disappeared into Syria, following in the footsteps of the jihadi father he never knew. Britain, however, is not as far away as it seems, and it is in a Massachusetts cafe that Ismaserious, studioussees a face as familiar as it is unlikely: Eamonn Lone, whose politico father has made his career winning white votes by denouncing the "backwardness" of British Muslims. This is where it might become a campus novel, a complicated but gentle love story between two expats with warring families abroad. But it doesn't. For one thing, it's not Isma Eamonn loves; it's Aneeka, whom he meets back in London while running an errand on Isma's behalf. Within hours, the two begin a secretive romance, but it is Aneeka's brother, Parvaiz, trapped now at a jihadi camp in Raqqa and desperate to come home, who occupies her thoughts. With all the stakes of the original, two-time Orange Prize nominee Shamsie (A God in Every Stone, 2014, etc.) has written an explosive novel with big questions about the nature of justice, defiance, and love. Though its characters are trembling with humanity writ largeall of them are tragic figuresthey don't quite come alive, remaining Grecian archetypes, dramatic embodiments of powerful ideas. As a result, despite its obvious power, the book remains emotionally disconnected, unsettlingmoving, evenbut poetically removed, as though a dance behind glass. A powerful novel and a timely one. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.