Two days after I turned fourteen the son of our neighbour set his stepmother alight.
Or so Lindiwe Bishop believes, though eighteen months later the charges against Ian McKenzie are dropped and he returns home, full of charm and swagger.
Intrigued, Lindiwe strikes up a covert friendship with the mysterious white boy next door. As a bond grows between them, they cannot foreseee how severely it will be tested in the years ahead – by secrets and by a world that wants nothing more than to divide them.
Vividly evoking Zimbabwe’s slide from independence into chaos, THE BOY NEXT DOOR tells an engrossing tale about what it means to witness, change, love and remain whole when all around you is falling apart.
Irene Sabatini is an author from Zimbabwe who writes fiction. She earned the Orange Award for New Writers (part of the Women's Prize for Fiction) in 2010 for her first novel, The Boy Next Door, a love story set against the backdrop of racism and political turmoil of 1980s Zimbabwe. Her second novel, Peace and Conflict, covers family and political history through the eyes of a ten-year-old boy