Irene Sabatini makes her celebrated debut with this powerful novel set against the tumultuous backdrop of Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe. In Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, there is a tragedy in the house next door to Lindiwe Bishop - her neighbor has been burned alive. The victim's stepson, Ian McKenzie, is the prime suspect but is soon released. Lindiwe can't hide her fascination with this young, boisterous and mysterious white man, and they soon forge an unlikely closeness even as the country starts to deteriorate.
Years after circumstances split them apart, Ian returns to a much-changed Zimbabwe to see Lindiwe, now a sophisticated, impassioned young woman, and discovers a devastating secret that will alter both of their futures, and draw them closer together even as the world seems bent on keeping them apart. The Boy Next Door is a moving and powerful debut about two people finding themselves and each other in a time of national upheaval.
"Sabatini, who grew up in Harare and Bulawayo, offers a beautifully written first novel that explores the complexities of post-independent Zimbabwe - ever-shifting affinities of race, family, and other affiliations--through the love story of a mixed-race couple." (Booklist)
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