Two Sisters: A Father, His Daughters, and Their Journey into the Syrian Jihad by Åsne Seierstad
Featured on The Thread: 'Two Sisters' leave home for Syria, tearing a family apart
Two Sisters, by the international best-selling author Åsne Seierstad, tells the unforgettable story of a family divided by faith. Sadiq and Sara, Somali immigrants raising a family in Norway, one day discover that their teenage daughters, Leila and Ayan, have vanished - and are en route to Syria to aid the Islamic State. Seierstad's riveting account traces the sisters' journey from secular, social democratic Norway to the front lines of the war in Syria and follows Sadiq's harrowing attempt to find them.
Employing the same mastery of narrative suspense she brought to The Bookseller of Kabul and One of Us, Seierstad puts the problem of radicalization into painfully human terms, using instant messages and other primary sources to reconstruct a family's crisis from the inside. Eventually she takes us into the hellscape of the Syrian civil war as Sadiq risks his life in pursuit of his daughters, refusing to let them disappear into the maelstrom - even after they marry ISIS fighters. Two Sisters is a relentless thriller and a feat of reporting with profound lessons about belief, extremism, and the meaning of devotion.