This week, we asked Kirsty Capes (Senior Marketing Manager at Mills & Boon) to join us for What We’re Reading! She told us all about Home Fires by Kamila Shamsie, winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2018!
What’s it about?
Isma is free. After years spent raising her twin siblings in the wake of their mother’s death, she is finally studying in America, resuming a dream long deferred. But she can’t stop worrying about Aneeka, her beautiful, headstrong sister back in London – or their brother, Parvaiz, who’s disappeared in pursuit of his own dream: to prove himself to the dark legacy of the jihadist father he never knew.
Then Eamonn enters the sisters’ lives. Handsome and privileged, he inhabits a London worlds away from theirs. As the son of a powerful British Muslim politician, Eamonn has his own birthright to live up to – or defy. Is he to be a chance at love? The means of Parvaiz’s salvation? Two families’ fates are inextricably, devastatingly entwined in this searing novel that asks: what sacrifices will we make in the name of love?
A contemporary reimagining of Sophocles’ Antigone, Home Fire is an urgent, fiercely compelling story of loyalties torn apart when love and politics collide – confirming Kamila Shamsie as a master storyteller of our times.
What did Kirsty think?
‘This has been on my list for a while after winning the Women’s Prize in 2018. I finally got round to reading it during lockdown. The story follows three siblings – Isma, Aneeka and Parvais, who are all British Muslims – as they navigate the ‘hostile environment’ in a post-9/11 West across the UK and the USA. The story explores how to consolidate two identities which are seemingly often in direct conflict with one another. It’s extremely moving and essential reading to help understand how modern British racism and anti-migrant rhetoric disseminates in our culture.’