Two days after I turned fourteen the son of our neighbor set his stepmother alight.
A love story between black and white against the back drop of the rise and fall of Zimbabwe. Four hundred pages and a few decades to show that wishes and dreams aren’t enough to uphold reality.
Zimbabwe was the African country that was going to be a great success. They had the resources, they had a sane government, and in comparison to neighbor South Africa, changes went pretty swimmingly. Until they didn’t.
That Zimbabwe went from great to a corrupted, dangerous mess isn’t news (or so I hope). In how many ways it went wrong might be. The Boy Next Door shows the very human story of being judged by your history, your skin color and your gender. And even when you do share those treats with your family, loved ones or neighbors, it doesn’t mean that your life will be easier for it. That – even when outsiders (in this case a lot of French people) – try to help, it doesn’t necessarily has to give good, or even any, results.
It’s easy to forget that the majority of people in such countries are the ordinary ones that just want to live their lives with an education, a job, a family of their own. This book shows it without shoving it into your face.
The Boy Next Door, Irene Sabatini, Sceptre 2010