Book Review: Home Fire

Kamila Shamshie’s Homefire is a story about three siblings, Isma, Aneeka and Parvaiz, whose father was an extremist and was killed when the children were young. Aneeka and Parvaiz are twins, while Isma is the elder sister who has sacrificed a lot to take care of her brother and sister after their mother’s death. The story starts with Isma being interrogated at London airport. She is to board a flight to US, and being a Muslim she has to face the prejudice of the interrogating officers even though she is a British citizen by birth. In the US she meets Eamonn, son of a MP in London and they become friends before he moves back to London.

Aneeka is the more outgoing and beautiful of the two sisters and she loves Isma as much as Isma dotes on her. Parvaiz, Aneeka’s twin brother, has left home to become a jihadi, like his father. Though, Isma hates Eamonn’s father for not helping them find her father when she was little; Eamonn is all praises for the father Karamat Lone.

Now, as I started this book, I liked it. The British Muslim, moving to US for further studies, erratic brother, beautiful and headstrong sister, a friendship that did not blossom into love; Aneeka, getting into a passionate relationship with Eamonn for reasons only she knows; Parvaiz, being mislead into joining an extremist group as their cameraman. This could have been turned into a very interesting plot. But, Alas! That didn’t happen. What I got was a half-cooked story with no development in the characters. Until about halfway, I was still interested because I was hopeful. But every part of the book is left hanging and that is disappointing.

My rating: 2.5/5

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