Sometimes before I write a review I look up the book here on CBR, just to see what my fellow readers thought. I’m really glad I did because I am not terribly well versed in Greek tragedy and totally missed Home Fire‘s tie back to Antigone. Like, I know enough to know how to pronounce it, but I knew nothing of the story. Knowing it now definitely changes how I reflect on the book. Anyway.
I was definitely engrossed in this story. It started a little slow, but once it built it snowballed and yes, the last two pages will stay with you … forever. Like woah. It’s been a second since I read something that slapped me in the face that hard.
But this also isn’t a book I really know how to talk about. Plot-wise, the story is structured around three British siblings of Pakistani descent, 19-year-old twins and the much older sister who raised them. Now that they are out of high school, the eldest takes an opportunity to go back to college on a student visa in Boston, leaving her brother and sister behind. With her gone, both of their lives seem to rapidly spin out, ending in an incredible human tragedy. It’s a story about identity and being subsumed by ignorance and gaining at the expense of loss. It’s powerful and sad and frustrating. I don’t know that I would recommend this book exactly and I’m a little glad to have it in my rearview, but I’m also not unhappy I read it?