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Shortlisted for the Barbara Jefferiss Award. Too Close To Home takes us right inside who we really are.

Shortlisted for the Barbara Jefferiss Award. Too Close To Home takes us right inside who we really are.

How tenuous the links are that build a life.

Freya writes uncomfortable domestic dramas. Her friends work in theatre and film, show in galleries, talk politics and are trying new ways of having children with friends. These are the people who are slowly gentrifying the next ring of inner-city suburbs while praising their diversity.

As the stultifying heat of summer descends, Shane, an Aboriginal man, moves up the road. He was once close to Matt, Freya's partner, and he not only brings with him a different approach to life, he also has news of a boy who might be Matt's son. Despite wanting to embrace all that Shane represents and the possibility of another child in their life, Freya and Matt stumble, failing each other and their beliefs.


Too Close to Home, like its inner suburban setting, appears at first to be relaxed and unassuming, but what begins as a gentle undertow increases to unrelenting pressure. Blain is as comfortable with the domestic as she is with the political: whether writing intimacy or broad social tableaux, she is spot on. The atmosphere of Sydney's inner suburbs is beautifully evoked: you can smell the cut grass, hear the dogs barking. In spare effortless prose, Blain weaves a tightening noose of trouble and uncertainty, leaving you haunted long after the final page.

Fiona McGregor

Georgia Blain has the gift of clarity: in how she sees, and how she writes. After reading this perfectly crafted novel, I felt I was seeing a familiar world with a new set of eyes.

Malcolm Knox

Set in a shifting political landscape, where moral and ethical values are also blurred, this story of a family's unexpected dilemma resonates deeply. Georgia Blain examines the anxieties of a generation that has had so much, yet still lacks confidence, and trust. Her style is subtle but the story builds up a drama that compels us until the final page. Too Close To Home is almost too close to home: these flawed and fallible characters are people just like us.

Debra Adelaide

Her work is poised - and posed. Here is suburban life with its tremors of child-rearing and possible adultery. Be assured Too Close To Home is coming to a reading group near you.

Peter Pierce, The Age

Blain achieves a considerable amount. Characters and the crisis these characters precipitate is well crafted and well handled.

Dorothy Johnston, The Sydney Morning Herald

Blain writes of friendship and prejudice within a certain demographic strata. Must read.

Lucy Sussex, The Sunday Telegraph

Georgia Blain has crafted a page-turning story of a generation and a time in Australia's history that will deeply resonate with anyone in their 30s or 40s. Blain has created an excellent work of fiction and years from now people will read this novel to understand life in Sydney during this time.

Germaine Leece, Good Reading

Too Close To Home, like its inner-suburban setting, appears at first to be relaxed and unassuming, but what begins as a gentle undertow increases to unrelenting pressure.

Border Mail

In this sublime Australian novel, author Blain seamlessly crafts a contemporary tale in which one family's apparent domestic bliss is rocked by the arrival of an Aboriginal man with startling news. As the Rudd government implodes, Matt, Freya and daughter Ella suddenly are on equally unstable ground.

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin

Blain has written an absorbing tale that never takes the easy way out, relentlessly disassembling her likeable protagonist's comfortable life.


Blain has written a thoughtful novel with much to admire.

Lucy Sussex, Sunday Age

Blain's return to literary fiction is re-energised by this new emphasis on affect and impulse. Hers is the pep that comes from having an opposing view.

Melinda Harvey, ABR

The novel is peppered with provocative and interesting observations and ideas.

Felicity Plunkett, The Canberra Times

I finished reading Too Close To Home last night and just wanted to let you both know how much I loved it! What an effortless writer Georgia is and she captures the characters self doubt and fears so well. I felt that I was just observing a group of friends, through a mirror - almost with them, but just on the edge of the circle. I hope this gets widely reviewed. It certainly deserves high praise.

Stef Hoy

Confronting us with our own world, Georgia Blain gives us no safe distance.

Susan Stevenson, Readings Malvern

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Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback


    May 2, 2011

    Vintage Australia

    304 pages

    RRP $32.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Dymocks
    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    May 2, 2011

    Random House Australia

    304 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle AU
    • iBooks
    • Google Play EBook AU
    • Kobo Ebook
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks

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