Better Off Read is a book club collaboration between The Bookshop and The Porch, focusing on books that you'll definitely be better off having read.
The suspenseful and heartbreaking story of an immigrant family driven to pit love against loyalty, with devastating consequences.
Isma is free. After years of watching out for her younger siblings in the wake of their mother’s death, she’s accepted an invitation from a mentor in America that allows her to resume 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. When he resurfaces half a globe away, Isma’s worst fears are confirmed.
Then Eamonn enters the sisters’ lives. Son of a powerful political figure, he has his own birthright to live up to—or defy. Is he to be a chance at love? The means of Parvaiz’s salvation? Suddenly, two families’ fates are inextricably, devastatingly entwined, in this searing novel that asks: What sacrifices will we make in the name of love?
PRAISE FOR THE BOOK
WINNER OF THE 2018 WOMEN’S PRIZE FOR FICTION
FINALIST FOR THE 2019 INTERNATIONAL DUBLIN LITERARY AWARD
LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE
“Ingenious and love-struck . . . Home Fire takes flight. . . . Shamsie drives this gleaming machine home in a manner that, if I weren’t handling airplane metaphors, I would call smashing. . . . Builds to one of the most memorable final scenes I’ve read in a novel this century.”--New York Times
“[U]rgent and explosive . . . near perfect . . . a difficult book to put down.”--NPR
“[A] haunting novel, full of dazzling moments and not a few surprising turns . . . Home Fire blazes with the kind of annihilating devastation that transcends grief.”--Washington Post
“A blaze of identity, family, nationalism, and Sophocles’ Antigone.”--Vanity Fair
Better Off Read is a book club with an added twist: an optional writing exercise for interested participants to complete before the event. Here’s the prompt: Choose a sentence from the book and use it as a springboard to write about whatever you want. See where it takes you! Again, this part is completely optional, and those who wish may share what they’ve written at the end of the meeting.
When: Sunday, September 15, 2019, 5:30 to 6:30ish pm
Where: The Bookshop (1043 West Eastland Ave.)
How Much: $17 + tax. Each participant will receive one paperback copy of Home Fire, available for pickup at the shop. Wine and treats will be served, and participants will also receive 10% off purchases at The Bookshop the day of the event.
All of the spots in this gathering have been claimed! Stay tuned for details about our next gathering, in November.
Previous BETTER OFF READ Books
The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner (July 28, 2019)
Warlight by Michael Ondaatje (May 19, 2019)
In the Distance by Hernan Diaz (March 24, 2019)
Improvement by Joan Silber (January 20, 2019)
Stay with Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ (November 18, 2018)
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt (September 16, 2018)
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (July 22, 2018)
Sorry to Disrupt the Peace by Patty Yumi Cottrell (May 20, 2018)
Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh (March 18 & 25, 2018)
Rabbit Cake by Annie Hartnett (January 7 & 14, 2018)
Broken River by J. Robert Lennon (October 22, 2017)
The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. by Adelle Waldman (August 6, 2017)
Stoner by John Williams (May 21, 2017)
Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller (March 19, 2017)
Margaret the First by Danielle Dutton (January 22, 2017)
My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff (October 30, 2016)
Better Off Read is a collaboration between The Bookshop and The Porch, Nashville’s independent center for writing.