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The Boy Next Door: A Novel
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Published:
Little, Brown and Company 2009
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Available from OverDrive
Description
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.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
09/08/2009
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780316152570
ASIN:
B002M2AT28
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Irene Sabatini. (2009). The Boy Next Door: A Novel. Little, Brown and Company.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Irene Sabatini. 2009. The Boy Next Door: A Novel. Little, Brown and Company.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Irene Sabatini, The Boy Next Door: A Novel. Little, Brown and Company, 2009.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Irene Sabatini. The Boy Next Door: A Novel. Little, Brown and Company, 2009. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Needs Update?:
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 17:02:46
Date Updated:
Nov 22, 2020 02:54:27
Last Metadata Check:
Nov 22, 2020 07:51:58
Last Metadata Change:
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Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
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OverDrive Product Record

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      • bioText: Irene Sabatini spent her childhood in the laid back city of Bulawayo in Zimbabwe, gobbling up books from the Public Library. After University in Harare she ventured across continents to Colombia, excited by the chance to live in, learn from, and be inspired by a new culture. One early morning she found herself in the lush countryside outside Bogotá, sitting on the veranda of a former Dominican monastery: in the quiet, she opened a red notebook and started writing. She has yet to stop.
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shortDescription
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.
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title
The Boy Next Door
fullDescription
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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.
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reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        July 27, 2009
        Sabatini debuts with a love story set against the backdrop of Mugabe's Zimbabwe, from its independence in the 1980s to the decline of democracy in the 1990s. Lindiwe Bishop is 14 when her neighbor, 17-year-old Ian McKenzie, is charged with killing his mother. Lindiwe's shy, at the top of her class and from the first black family that settled in Bulawayo after integration. Ian is boisterous, a dropout and from the last white family remaining in the neighborhood. They only meet briefly before he is jailed, and when he's released a year and a half later they strike up a secret friendship that largely consists of Lindiwe listening to Ian talk. Their friendship endures another hiatus—this one for 10 years—when Ian goes to South Africa, and when the two reconnect, Lindiwe is a spitfire. Subplots of varying interest—the question of Ian's fidelity, whether one of Lindiwe's friends is shacking up with corrupt officials—crop up, but most lack resolution or are abandoned soon after they're raised. Sabatini's writing is fine and shows the potential in this developing talent.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        August 15, 2009
        An interracial relationship plays out against Zimbabwe's slow disintegration in this elliptical first novel.

        Lindiwe Bishop is a colored (mixed race) girl in a country where race and tribe matter enormously. It's 1982, two years since blacks achieved majority rule after a brutal war, but suspicions and resentments simmer. Fourteen-year-old Lindiwe has three stories to tell: her own, her neighbor's and her country's. The McKenzies next door are the last whites in a previously all-white suburb of Bulawayo. Ian, 17, has just been accused of killing his stepmother by setting her on fire. After he's released on appeal (his confession was coerced), he and Lindiwe become friends. Quiet, bookish Lindiwe has complete faith in Ian's innocence. He may talk like a Rhodie (redneck), but she senses his underlying gentleness and is grateful for his attention, something her withdrawn parents don't provide. Lindiwe describes her feelings with such restraint that though she and Ian have a night of love before he leaves for South Africa, we don't know this at the time, nor that it will produce a baby. There are other disconcerting lacunae. Ian's mentally ill mother hovers on the margins, and we don't learn the truth about his stepmother's fiery death; Ian's different versions are not definitive. After a seven-year hiatus, Ian returns. He's a photojournalist; Lindiwe is a university student. She dumps the middle-aged French doctor she's been seeing (another gap), then, on Ian's insistence, pries their son David away from her mother so they can raise him together. Sabatini crams the story with incidents and paints a grim picture of the Mugabe regime, but she never manages to convince us of the durability of the lovers' relationship, which is key. Ian never quite gets the race thing—he's astonished when David is the target of schoolyard taunts—but Lindiwe accepts his obtuseness because, well, he's her man.

        Sabatini is an effective miniaturist but fumbles the big picture.

        (COPYRIGHT (2009) KIRKUS REVIEWS/NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        September 15, 2009
        Lindiwe Bishop, a 14-year-old girl in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, becomes fascinated with her neighbor, a young white man accused of killing his stepmother by setting her on fire. A year later, when Ian McKenzie is released from the charges, Lindiwe strikes up a surreptitious friendship with him and learns his tragic story: hes a fractious Rhodie with a hyper-military father who was part of an elite corps that fought against the independence of the former Rhodesia. She has her own issuesan insecure black mother and loving colored father, both with high expectations for their daughter that dont include a relationship with a white man, particularly as the nation struggles with independence. Separated, they come back together six years later. He is a photojournalist, and she is a college student preparing for a career with nongovernmental organizations. Haunted by intertwining and troubled pasts, they struggle to stay together this time. Sabatini, who grew up in Harare and Bulawayo, offers a beautifully written first novel that explores the complexities of post-independent Zimbabweever-shifting affinities of race, family, and other affiliationsthrough the love story of a mixed-race couple.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2009, American Library Association.)

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