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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
There are no innocent bystanders in Blood Kin, a bold and strikingly fresh literary page-turner about the aftermath of a military coup in an oppressively hot, nameless country. First-time author Dovey fuses the precision of an anthropologist with a poet's sensuality in the distilled prose of this short, wondrous novel.
A brutal dictator is overthrown and imprisoned in his summer residence along with his wife and others, including his portraitist, barber, and chef. Each of the three men has served him with humility, loyalty, and most of all, skill. Will they face execution by the conquering rebels merely for associating with his cruel regime? Or are they somehow complicit in the president's dictatorial sins?
The voices of the three servants and three of their women -- the portraitist's pregnant wife, the fiancée of the barber's lost brother, and the chef's estranged daughter -- narrate alternate chapters, drawing us into their web of fear, desire, and regret with a harrowing intimacy. Each one feels their way in the darkness, revealing their souls in moments of moral reckoning. They discover, as we do, that a country is torn asunder not by the cruelty of a lone tyrant but by the blackness in our own hearts. (Summer 2008 Selection)