Two Sisters by Åsne Seierstad (2018) Virago, 464 pages
What’s it about? The eponymous two sisters are Norwegian-Somali teenagers who leave their comfortable home near Oslo in 2013 to join the Islamic State in Syria. This book is the true story of how they reached that point and their family’s attempts to get them back, told by investigative journalist Åsne Seierstad. The curious thing is how much of their radicalisation is informed by what the author believes is a fairly standard adolescent trajectory. It is also the harrowing tale of the rest of the family handles the decisions the girls have made and how its consequences could haunt all of them for decades. An absolute stunning book that pulls no punches.
What are the critics saying? ‘A page-turning tale of extremism’ (Irish Times); ‘a stunning account of the radicalization of two young people’ (NPR); ‘Seierstad teases out the sense of alienation that a distinct and different heritage can produce in a homogeneous society’ (The Guardian).
Where can I buy it? Via the Little Brown website