One morning in October 2013, 19-year-old Ayan Juma and her 16-year-old sister Leila left their family home in Oslo. Later that day they sent an email to their parents. "Peace, God's mercy and blessings upon you, Mum and Dad ... Please do not be cross with us..." Leila and Ayan had decided to travel to Syria, "and help out down there as best we can". While their father, Sadiq risks his own life to bring his daughters back, at home his wife Sara begins to question their life in Norway. How could her children have been radicalised without her knowledge? How can she protect her two younger sons from the same fate? Seierstad - with the complete support of the Juma family - followed the story from the beginning, through its many dramatic twists and turns. It's a tale that crosses from Sadiq and Sara’s original home in Somalia, to their council estate in Oslo, to Turkey and to Syria - where two teenage sisters must face the shocking consequences of their decision.
The investigative journalist’s previous books include The Bookseller of Kabul and One of Us. See also .