Review: The Boy Next Door

Why I picked it: It's not a secret that I love reading about Africa and the Middle East so when I found out that Irene Sabatini won the Orange Prize for new fiction I had to read this book.  The day the announcement was made I logged on to the libraries website and was delighted to see an audio copy with no holds.  I picked it up the same day and burned a copy for my ipod. 

Synopsis: 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.

Quick Take: Recommend - I wish I could give this a highly recommend but I can't... I enjoyed most of the book but it does carry on a bit to much in some parts.  I was intrigued by Ian and Lindiwe, she starts a relationship with Ian knowing he has just been released from jail for burning someone.  As the story progresses we slowly learn what reallly happened.

This novel span many years.  I was captivated by Lindiwe's decisions throughout the book and couldn't wait to see how this story would end.  It's wonderfully written.  If you enjoy award winners this book will not disappoint you.

Source: Library (audio)