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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Two Sisters

Two Sisters

A Father, His Daughters, and Their Journey into the Syrian Jihad

Åsne Seierstad; Translated from the Norwegian by Seán Kinsella

Farrar, Straus and Giroux


The riveting true story of two sisters’ journey to the Islamic State and the father who tries to bring them home

Two Sisters, by the international bestselling 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.

Boston Globe Best Books of the Year, NPR Best Book of the Year



The bunk bed was in the center of the room. A white metal rail ensured that whoever lay on top did not roll off. The bed divided the room in two and was made up with colorful bedclothes. By the door...

Praise for Two Sisters

Book of the Week, The Times
One of Elle's Best Books of 2018 (so far!)

"Two Sisters is a modern tragedy. And a universal one — the sisters, like any other young person, were seeking purpose and meaning." —Anthony Lloyd, The Times

"Meticulously documented . . . Complex and compelling . . . This is a tale fluently told, and a thriller as well, about two young girls who left Norway one evening and were last heard of in the city of Raqqa" Kate Adie, Literary Review

"Remarkable . . . hauntingly written, this book is both a masterpiece and a masterclass in investigative journalism"Christina Lamb, Sunday Times

"Two Sisters is a masterwork by the remarkable Asne Seierstad. Brilliantly conceived, scrupulously reported and beautifully written, this book is compulsive reading. In this real-life tale of two teenaged sisters who leave their comfortable lives in Norway to become the wives of ISIS terrorists in Syria, Seierstad fixes her lens on one of the most disturbing conundrums of our time—what leads ordinary people to become terrorists?" —Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker staff writer, and author of The Fall of Baghdad


Reviews from Goodreads

Åsne Seierstad; Translated from the Norwegian by Seán Kinsella

Åsne Seierstad is an award-winning Norwegian journalist and writer known for her work as a war correspondent. She is the author of One of Us: The Story of a Massacre in Norway—and Its Aftermath, The Bookseller of Kabul, One Hundred and One Days: A Baghdad Journal, Angel of Grozny: Orphans of a Forgotten War, and With Their Backs to the World: Portraits of Serbia. She lives in Oslo, Norway.

Seán Kinsella was born in Ireland and holds an MPhil in literary translation from Trinity College, Dublin. He lives in Norway with his family.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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