Posted in reviews

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (review)

Hello friends!  

I come to you with good news: I have officially broken my reading slump!!! It’s been a while,  but I am finally in the mood to read, and now, I truly don’t think I’ll be able to stop for the foreseeable future.  

What is this amazing book that finally broke the slump, you may ask? Home Fire by Kamila  Shamsie. In addition to being a beautifully written narrative that exposed me to a perspective I  never would have had before, this book is also incredibly special to me as it is my first Literati  Book Club pick! Literati is a hub for online book clubs hosted by 13 different authors, leaders,  and visionaries including Roxanne Gay and Malala. Not only does a Literati membership include a copy of the novel but online discussions, Ask the Author events, and more are also included!  Thank you, Literati!!! 


*** This review may contain minor spoilers *** 


“You were hope. The world was dark and then there you were,  blazing with light.” 

Home Fire

 

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie follows the lives of three siblings, Isma, Aneeka, and Parvaiz,  living in Britain and dealing with racism in both a political and social sense. The eldest sibling,  Isma, has been caring for Aneeka and Parvaiz for years after losing their mother, but now she has the opportunity to move to America to resume her dream she sacrificed to take care of her family. Aneeka, on the other hand, has never stopped pursuing her dream of studying law. When she meets Eamonn, son of a prominent political figure who opposes everything Aneeka is fighting for, everything changes. Parvaiz, also pursuing his dream of proving himself to be a son his late father would be proud of, maybe the catalyst that makes the family that survived the worst fall apart. An immigrant family forced to choose between love and loyalty may face consequences none of them are prepared for.  

The novel itself is divided into multiple parts, each of which focuses on the perspective of different characters. My favorite plotline, personally, was that of Aneeka and Eamonn. While I  found Isma’s goal honorable and her storyline interesting, I couldn’t stop reading Aneeka and  Eamonn’s tale. The Romeo and Juliet love story paired with the political intrigue seemed to tie the rest of the plotlines together. Parvaiz’s chosen life path directly opposes the views of  Eamonn’s father which puts both him and Aneeka at a crossroads in whether or not family loyalty is the most important, even over love.  

Shamsie created a cast of beautiful, three-dimensional characters. Every single character seemed to exist beyond the confines of the novel, typically through the scope of loyalty. This familial loyalty is a running theme with the characters. Parvaiz’s actions are a direct result of the loyalty he feels to his late father that he never knew. Even without knowing him, Parvaiz still uses him and the respect he had for him as a driving force. Isma has goals that have been harbored for years before finally being able to act on them. She put her own dreams on hold for the sake of her siblings. This expresses an undeniable sense of familial loyalty. Aneeka has undying loyalty to her brother which jeopardizes her relationship with Eamonn. Eamonn, similarly, has an unbreakable bond with his father; however, he is willing to stand up to him for his relationship with  Aneeka. This characterization is beautiful and really drives the novel.  

I could go on and on about how amazing this book is, but, honestly, words will never be able to do it justice.  

Thank you again, Literati, for gifting me this fantastic read.  

5 stars.

Author:

Hey y'all. I'm ej, a 20 year old, book lover and occassional blogger.

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