A barber, a chef and a portraitist are held hostage in a sparsely-furnished room, in a grand summer residence perched on a hill overlooking the capital city of a nameless hot country. They have been seized in a bloody coup to depose the President, their boss. In the city streets below them, chaos reigns.
With the old order ruined, the moral landscape ravaged and venality widespread, human relationships - personal and political, between lovers and within families - are being dissected, fought over, abandoned. As the tension builds and the story reaches its devastating climax, Blood Kin lays bare humanity's most animalistic and mercenary impulses: lust, vanity, ambition, artifice, betrayal, obsession and vengeance.
The locations are lavish, the detail is scrupulous, and the scope and themes are nothing short of Shakespearean. Blood Kin is a masterful, thrilling and deeply affecting debut.
Ceridwen Dovey's debut novel, Blood Kin, was published in fifteen countries, shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize, and selected for the U.S. National Book Foundation's prestigious "5 Under 35" honours list. She studied social anthropology at Harvard and New York University, and now lives with her husband and son in Sydney. Only the Animals won the 2014 Readings New Australian Writing Award. Her website is www.ceridwendovey.com