[Pictured is a hardcover copy of Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie on a grey fabric ottoman with sunshine streaming onto it.]
Title: Home Fire
Author: Kamila Shamsie
Rating: 5/5 ⭐
Summary: Home Fire is a modern retelling of Antigone set in Britain and Pakistan with two Muslim families at the center. Told from multiple viewpoints, family secrets and tensions are slowly revealed.
If you haven’t read this book yet, you really need to. It’s been a long time since I’ve read Antigone so I don’t remember much except that I really liked it and that one of my favorite ever quotes came from my high school lessons about Antigone: “stand up for what you believe, even if you stand alone.” This is definitely one of the morals of this story, too.
I think this book is also about how, when it comes to people, there is no such thing as black and white morality. Everything is grey. Our countries (Britain but it applies to America too) create problems in other countries and then villianize and dehumanize the people who live there who are left to deal with the devastation. Those who fight back are the most villianized. There motives are simplified and distorted into caricatures that are supposed to represent a diverse population of people. That’s my take at least and certainly something that occurs regularly. Everyone has their own story and as long as we forget that, we will continue to commit heinous crimes (on both sides).
One of the families features three siblings and the dynamics between them were both beautiful and tragic. Family relationships are complicated as hell. Whenever siblings betray each other it really hits me hard. I’m incredibly close with my sisters and I will never understand how people who are supposed to love you unconditionally can hurt you. I suppose it would be a much harder choice if you believe you have to choose between the people you love most. If you have siblings, there will be something here you can relate to for sure.
But seriously, you should read this book. Seriously. You’ll thank me later.