It really is a case of the sins of the father ... orphaned siblings Isma, Aneeka and Parvais Pasha are children of a jihadist terrorist whose history is about to shape their futures. When nineteen-year-old Parvais is lured into finding out more about their father, the fall-out ripples right up to the office of the Home Secretary.
In this original re-telling of Sophocles' Antigone, Ancient Greece is replaced with contemporary Britain, but the challenges of family, identity and divided loyalties remain, enhanced by a sensitive exploration of the mechanism of radicalisation. [Larger font]
Very well-written and well received by our group. Provoked wide ranging discussion.
Well-written on a difficult subject. Very perceptive about how a person can be radicalised in subtle ways. Very dramatic ending - a must-read until the last full stop. Great on many levels.
On point messaging for the times and relevant to N.Z. as well. Many felt the language and character development not as strongly developed. Still generated much discussion around nationhood, the law, citizenship and challenged the reader about issues such as racism, tolerance and acceptance. Thought-provoking.
A well received book showing us a very different life viewpoint than we are used to, as well as showing us how media portrayals sway our opinions so strongly. Our initial view of those young people who travelled overseas to join Islamic jihadi groups, was that they were bad and evil - not realising that in some cases they may have been entrapped or misled... A relatively short but hard hitting novel - highly recommended.
We had no meeting to discuss this book but the feedback was positive. A real 'Greek tragedy'. Very well written, well drawn characters. One of our group's most popular titles.
Our group really enjoyed 'Home Fire' by Kamila Shamsie. We had lively discussions about the characters in the book and drew parallels between the current British Home Secretary ("send refugees to Rwanda") and Mr Lone, Eamonn's Dad. Kamila clearly speaks about a world she knows - that of the refugee who tries to fit in and do well in the West, and that of the Muslim extremists and their families. It is very well-written, changing focus from one character to another, and the finale is masterful.
Educational. A very grim outcome.
The group enjoyed the book greatly. It was well-written, the characters were well differentiated, and the narration involving each of them was very effective. We had a wide-ranging discussion - prejudice, airport security, etc. etc. Most people signaled their intention to seek out other books by this author.
Very topical and relevant - led to an interesting discussion on current events. Well-written. Interesting characters, and cultural differences were well illustrated. A good read.
We "enjoyed" it - some liked the writing style, most of us learnt something.
A challenging and somewhat disconcerting read with an unexpected ending. Some parallels with author's own life. An important read because of the reality of the prejudices and because we have a certain sense of isolation from much of this.
Those of us who read it felt it was a well-written and thought provoking novel.
Storyline and writing really enjoyed. Well written, topical, interesting and insightful. Powerful, and we felt a true insight into issues and problems of multi-cultural racism. Psychologically dynamic divided loyalties with resulting outcomes completely understandable.
Great book. Excellent writing style. The impact of war against terror on people who would love to live 'normal' lives.
Our group all enjoyed this book despite finding it disturbing at times and the ending tragic. We thought it was very well-written, felt like non-fiction as the characters were so easy to relate to, and quite an easy read. Very good discussion generated, and not many if any answers found to solve the predicaments of the individual characters.
Not an easy read - thoughtful writing about a different culture. Some members rated it highly - others could not get into it.
Most of the group thought it was a great read. Well-written and insightful regarding racial profiling and recruitment of terrorists; and the characters were well drawn.
A thought provoking read, with insight into the 'extremist' world, and how they recruit new members in by subversive 'grooming'. It was well-written and very absorbing, and a heartbreaking end!
Gripping, topical, confronting and enjoyable.
Most unusual for all 12 members of our group to give this book a 5 star rating. A rather disturbing insight into how a young person can be coerced into joining an extreme and radical group. Strong characters and some very sad moments. Highly recommend this book. We also enjoyed the connection to Sophocles "Antigone".