Home Fire is the re-telling of the Greek tragedy of Antigone, set in modern day Britain. It deals with radicalisation, ISIS and strong family ties. I read this book for my book group and I’m going to be honest and say that I knew of it already but hadn’t rushed to buy it. It felt like one I should read because it touched on important subject matters but it wasn’t one that grabbed me immediately.
How wrong was I? Very, apparently. This book is a fantastic re-telling of Antigone but I do warn you, if you don’t know the story of the Greek play, don’t read Wikipedia until you’ve finished the book! It will spoil the ending and even the names of the characters are very similar.
The book is told with each section from the viewpoint of a different character. Which gradually builds our understanding of their reasoning and actions. But what I liked the most was the way Shamsie cleverly caught the melodrama, family betrayal and politics of a Greek myth and made it relevant for today. She carefully handles very emotive subjects and made me rethink some of my views.
As you can tell, I’m not spoiling the plot for you, you need to read this book for yourself and enjoy it for the expert storytelling and important message it imparts.