The two sisters in this book are Norwegian Somalis, aged 19 and 16, who leave home without warning or goodbyes to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State.
The chilling part is how normal their childhood and teenage years have been up until then. Their parents were initially proud of their daughters’ transformation from giggly girls with crushes on boys to serious scholars of their Muslim religion. They became a bit more concerned when the girls spent more and more time at the local mosque and began wearing niqabs and lecturing their brother on their extreme beliefs.
Åsne Seierstad follows the attempts of the father to bring back the reluctant girls and uses actual emails, text messages and interviews with family and friends to bring this true story to light.
I struggled with a lot of the religious and political turmoil described in the book and finished it still uncertain of how it has all come about. However I was swept up in the emotion of a family losing two daughters determined to follow their religion no matter how many hardships they had to endure and how many people they hurt.