The ones we love ... are enemies of the state, writes Kamila Shamsie in the epigraph to her book Home Fire. The story is about what happens when a family member joins a group of people whose actions are seen to be dangerous to society. It is also a contemporary telling of the ancient Greek tale of Antigone.
In the opening pages, Isma, a young woman, is stopped at the airport on her way to America on a student visa. We find out that when her parents died she had to abandon her studies in order to raise her sibling twins, a brother and sister.
The story is told from the points of view of Isma and four other characters: Eamonn, a young man and distant relative of Isma; Parvaiz, Isma's nineteen-year-old brother; Aneeka, his twin sister; Karamat, Eamonn's father. It is a tragedy about a naive boy manipulated into fighting for ISIL, believing that he will discover the truth about the father he never knew. In addition, it raises questions about the corrupting influence of power and ambition, the dangers of keeping secrets, grief, love for family, and what it is to be a man.
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