For as long as they can remember, siblings Aneeka and Parvaiz have had nothing but each other. But darker, stronger forces will divide Parvaiz from his sisters and drive him to the other side of the world, as he sets out to fulfil the dark legacy of the jihadist father he never knew.
The synopsis of this book didn’t really give a lot away for me before reading this novel so I wasn’t sure what to expect really, though I was excited to read it as it had recently won the Women’s Prize for Fiction Award 2018.
For me this book was like a fire, it started slow, I wasn’t sure really what was going on, but as it went along and more characters perspectives were given light then novel picked up the pace, the fire started crackling and it got going, by the end the book was a roaring fire and I couldn’t put it down. Although quite a short book of 260 pages it was packed full of rich characters and an interesting and modern plot line.
The novel is split into 5 sections following different character perspectives; the sibilings Isma, Anneka and Parvaiz, the Home Secretary Karamat and finally his son Eamonn. As the story unfolds you discover that the brother Parvaiz has basically been groomed into joining ISIS because of the connection their late father had with Jihadi’s, Parvaiz is convinced that he is doing his father justice and honour by going out and helping within the media section of ISIS. Like a lot of men who get groomed to do this from the UK, he ends up regretting it and wanting to come home, this is where his loyal and brave sister Anneka comes into play and will do anything to get her twin brother back home safely.
I felt the topic of his novel was so modern, and gave me a greater understanding of what happens to young men who get “chosen” to become part of ISIS and jihadi groups. We all see it on the news as negative and these men are traitors to the country and are no longer classed as British, but this novel really makes you think about that, a lot of men go out there and fight and do betray their country but a great amount of men go out there because they were brainwashed and when they see the reality it scares them, but they have had their passports taken away, any phones or contact to home and are trapped into something they thought they wanted to be a part of but no longer wish to be. I found the novel very thought provoking and eye opening, powerful and emotional.
Quite a brief review for this one as I don’t want to give too much away of the story. I really enjoyed reading this novel for its modern and current storyline, also how love, loss, betrayal and forgiveness were at its core. This book really made me think and I felt for all the characters, beautifully written a deserving winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2018.
Have you read Home Fire yet? What were your thoughts on it? I would love to know so please get in touch. Thanks for reading. Katie x