Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie

Home Fire

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,...

Details Home Fire

TitleHome Fire
Release DateAug 15th, 2017
PublisherRiverhead Books
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Literary Fiction

Reviews Home Fire

  • Adina
    Just announced as the winner of Women's Prize for Fiction. So happy the novel finally got the recognition it deserves.4.5* rounded up. Home Fire is the candidate I support to win the Booker Prize. Well, I only read 4 nominees until now so it is not a definite opinion. However, it is highly unlikely that I will make too much of an advancement in my reading of the longlist until the shortlist is published so it will probably remain on top for a whi...
  • Larry H
    Ever since their mother and grandmother died within the period of a year, Isma has cared for her younger twin siblings, Aneeka and Parvaiz. Their well-being has always been her first concern, even if it meant sacrificing her own dreams and ambitions. But now that the twins have turned 18, Isma is finally putting herself first, accepting an invitation from a mentor to travel to America and co-author a paper with her.That doesn't mean Isma won't wo...
  • Elyse (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) Walters
    Update ... WINNER for the women’s prize of fiction for 2018!!!!!SHORT LISTED FOR THE WOMAN’S PRIZE FOR FICTIONLONG LISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZEWOW!!!!!Personal and political life merges together in the most heartbreaking of ways when a man loves a woman whose family is connected to a Muslim terrorist. The author explores justice, love, and passion in ways that can be compared to older classics - think Romeo and Juliet - yet set in modern t...
  • Hannah Greendale
    Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.
  • Diane S ☔
    There are so many timely subjects right now, world concerns and threats, and authors have responded in kind. This novel features two Muslim families in Britain, two families that have very different opinions on family and how to show or display their Muslim beliefs. It moves the themes in Sophocles, Antigone to present times. I remember very little about Antigone, refreshed my memory on Wiki, but I cannot really knowledgeably comment on the adequ...
  • Maxwell
    I don't give 1-star reviews very often because I feel like I don't read a lot of books I would label as 'bad.' And this book, even, isn't 'bad' in my eyes. But when I think about things I enjoyed regarding this novel, there's pretty much nothing redeemable for me. The characters were flat, the plot was paper thin (even though I know it's a modern retelling of Antigone, I don't feel like that knowledge did anything to elevate the story), and the w...
  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    I went looking for a review copy of this when it was included on the Man Booker Prize Long list, and was approved for one by the publisher through Edelweiss.This is a book that kept morphing as I read it and discussed it, and it ended up in a place far removed from my expectations at the beginning. Nowhere in the publisher summary or promotional material does it mention that the author is also basing this novel on the myth of Antigone, but she ha...
  • Hugh
    When the Booker longlist was announced, this was one of the books that most interested me, because I really enjoyed Shamsie's previous two novels (A God in Every Stone and Burnt Shadows). I was a little nervous when I read that this is a modern retelling of Antigone, because my knowledge of the classics is very limited, but it is a fine book and another one which would make a worthy winner.The book is in five sections each of which focuses on a d...
  • Dianne
    This is a powerful and gut-wrenching book loosely based on Greek mythology's story of Antigone, a woman defying a king to secure her brother an honorable burial. I knew this going in, so I did some research on Antigone so I could appreciate the parallels as they unfolded."Home Fire" is told through 5 viewpoints: sisters Isma and Aneeka, their brother Parvaiz (Aneeka's twin), British Home Secretary Karamat Lone and his son Eamonn. Isma, Aneeka and...
  • Dem
    A remarkably short Novel that delivers on an epic scale. A story of family ties, loyalty and a story of prejudice in the modern world. A thought provoking and intelligent novel that left me wanting to read more of Kamila Shamsie's workThis is another one of those books upon finishing I cant help regretting I hadn't read this as part of a group read just for the discussion factor as there is so much to discuss.The Novel has a very powerful opening...
  • Roman Clodia
    Delighted that this has now been recognised as the magnificent book it is: well done Women's Prize panel!Inspired by Sophocles' Antigone, this has a slightly shaky start but then soars into an outstanding tragedy of love, politics, justice and humanity. By drawing on Athenian tragedy, Shamsie makes the point that clashes of civic law vs a deeper, more humane sense of what is right have always been contested, and the tension between family and st...
  • Trish
    Shamsie’s novel was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize for 2017. It is topical: two British families with Muslim religious roots and Pakistani backgrounds cone together in a doomed pas de deux . The author Shamsie, according to cover copy, grew up in Karachi, and yet in her picture she has the round eyes of a Westerner. The cultural difficulties she writes of may not be too difficult for her to imagine, I’m guessing.I read this novel very f...
  • Rachel
    Congratulations to Home Fire for winning the 2018 Women's Prize for Fiction! I don't know why I'd been under the impression that Home Fire was going to be a kind of loose, 'blink and you miss it' retelling of Antigone, but I'm almost glad that that had been my expectation, because the reality of this book completely caught me off guard. And I loved it. In this novel Kamila Shamsie gives us a fearless adaptation set in present-day London, followin...
  • Paul Fulcher
    Deservedly the winner of the 2018 Women's Prize for Fiction: ‘What do you say to your father when he makes a speech like that? Do you say, Dad, you’re making it OK to stigmatise people for the way they dress? Do you say, what kind of idiot stands in front of a group of teenagers and tells them to conform? Do you say, why didn’t you mention that among the things this country will let you achieve if you’re Muslim is torture, rendition, dete...
  • Bookworm
    Oh wow! What a thought-provoking and emotional read! I was not expecting such a powerful and cleverly written work of fiction. Home Fire tackles a difficult yet important subject matter - the humanistic impact of modern day terrorism. The reader is brought into an all-too-familiar scenario in which people of Muslim faith are automatically branded as Jihadists and suspected of sympathizing with terrorist activities. The prejudices and "extra secur...
  • Jennifer
    This was a 3-star read for most of the book, but the last section was so phenomenal that it elevated the entire novel to something really special. Shamsie establishes the sovereignty of her own story before really diving into the Antigone references at the end, and she plays with a range of themes from Antigone and addresses contemporary issues without diminishing either goal. I leave this book with a much deeper sense of how complicated it is to...
  • Vanessa
    A timely examination of what it means to be a Muslim in a hostile Western modern society where pre conceived notions are at odds with some horrifying realities. It took me awhile to fully invest in this book and about mid way I was deeply absorbed and felt the immense force and power of this book. I felt a deep connection with the plight of the characters and how parts of their personal story unravel to really make you understand the complexities...
  • Gumble's Yard
    Winner of the 2018 Women's Prize. And a book which seems uncanningly prescient given the recent change in Home Secretary.A book I originally read due to its longlisting for the 2017 Booker prize and by an author whose previous works I have not read. In the stories of wicked tyrants men and women are punished with exile, bodies are kept from their families –their heads impaled on spikes, their corpses thrown into unmarked graves. All these thing...
  • Richard
    Although a generalisation (and there’s a few in this review!), I think it’s fair to say that most of us don’t know that much about other religions.We don’t understand orange robed Buddhists with their chanting, meditation and bell ringing. We don’t get the ultra hard line versions of Christianity that seem to preach hate and distrust more than love. We are bemused by the Jehovah witnesses that refuse hospital treatment and try to conver...
  • Trudie
    This book reminded me of why I love fiction so much. Sometimes I pick up a book for escapism, sometimes to be challenged by a writer who is a master with language, occasionally it's because I feel obligated to read a particular book. Home Fire reminded me that if I was to distill my enjoyment down to one factor it would be the pleasure to be had from placing yourself in the minds and lives of others. Particularly when these others are experienc...
  • Erin
    Audiobook performed by Tania Rodrigues 7h 54 min A shortlist candidate for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2018.If my reading of longlist nominee Miss Burma was the least read book, then Home Fire certainly appears to be one of the more popular reads of my fellow reviewers. Written by Kamila Shamsie, a British-Pakistani author, Home Fire strikes a relevant chord in the post 9/11 world where discrimination against Muslim men and women in our ...
  • Nadia
    I can't believe this, I'm absolutely gutted I did not like this book. What a disappointment :(I have been looking forward to reading Home Fire ever since I heard about it last year and I was convinced this was going to be one of the best 2018 ones for me. I could not have been more wrong. Home Fire is a book with lots of potential as the story centers around British Muslim siblings whose father joined a jihadist group. Sounds very promising, does...
  • Collin
    I keep seeing books that somebody has reviewed or wants to read that I lost with my lost account. This was an easy five star for me. You don't have to know anything about Antigone to appreciate this wonderful book.
  • Claire McAlpine
    I read Home Fire in two days, I thought it was brilliantly done, heartbreaking, tragic, essential.Underpinning the novel is the premise of Sophocles' 5thC BC play Antigone, an exploration of the conflict between those who affirm the individual's human rights and those who must protect the state's security. Before reading Kamila Shamsie's Home Fire, I downloaded a translation of Antigone to read, acknowledging herself that Anne Carson's translatio...
  • Sonja Arlow
    A few years ago, one of my best friends eloped to marry a wonderful man. The fact that he was Muslim never even registered with me until she, a former Catholic, tentatively started telling people about this. She got mixed reactions even from those closest to her. Most recently her longest standing friend from London flatly refused to come visit her in SA because of “that Muslim” whom she has never spoken to or met. It broke her heart. So, at ...
  • Dannii Elle
    This is my sixth (and favourite) book read from the Women's Prize for Fiction longlist.This contemporary reimagining of Antigone uses a multitude of perspectives as a nexus to explore the differing experiences a Muslim individual can face, whilst residing in Britain. The opening scene introduces the reader to Isma, as a rigorous searching of her possessions ensues before boarding her plane to America. Her embarrassment is acute, and yet she knows...
  • Peter Boyle
    "Everything else you can live around, but not death. Death you have to live through."Well I can certainly see why this novel has earned heavy praise. It examines provocative themes like the plight of the modern Muslim and radicalization in such a nuanced and insightful way. But the aspect of the story I admired most was its focus on family, and in particular, the sacrifices we make for our loved ones. When you value their happiness as more import...
  • Reading Tam Ishly
    Not worth the hype. Worst read of 2019.Please do not get fooled by the first 2 chapters.After those few pages, the story becomes too dragging and monotonous.The supposedly main character who was introduced in the first 2 chapters gets totally neglected and has almost no part in the plot, which is like 'What the hell is going on?' till the last page of the book!It started out good. Yet the rest (7 out of 9 chapters) were like part of a badly writt...
  • Subashini
    This is a timely reworking of Antigone about issues of citizenship and state power. It's topical and relevant. But that symbolic framework of the tragedy is also its limitation. My problem is with the romance and ending to fit the tragedy. It felt forced, almost cartoonish. Some characters are paper thin and in a book of multiple perspectives, this inconsistency weakens it. A novel that's good in parts but underwhelming as a whole. I was disappoi...