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Pojken på andra sidan (2009)

av Irene Sabatini

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MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner / Omnämnanden
17012162,535 (3.97)1 / 76
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.… (mer)
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» Se även 76 omnämnanden

engelska (11)  piratspråk (1)  Alla språk (12)
Visa 1-5 av 12 (nästa | visa alla)
Engaging story of the evolution of love in post-independence Zimbabwe as the country teeters on the edge of civil war. A first novel by a writer I look forward to hearing from again. Good voice, interesting characters and a compelling story ( )
  featherbooks | May 7, 2024 |
I ended up quite enjoying this, even though it does have a major flaw, which is that it takes way too long to get to the hook. For the first 40% of the novel, I was like, "Well, I guess I'm getting a feel for what it was like to live in 1980s Zimbabwe, but this isn't really much of a story." Then there was a major twist and things got so much more interesting.

The main character is Lindiwe, a young Coloured woman in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. The book follows her for about 15 years of her life, starting from when she's a 14yo girl intrigued by the older white boy next door (although with flashbacks to earlier times than that). The narration is rather unconventional, mostly dialogue-based, with Lindiwe not really sharing most of her inner thoughts with the reader and even failing to mention important plot developments until way later, making her something of an unreliable narrator.

The book is partly a view of what life was like and how it changed in Zimbabwe between the 1980s and late 1990s, as corruption and militarism saw it degenerate into chaos. It's also partly a book about domesticity, about a mismatched and not particularly happy couple who keep on making things work regardless. That latter part was not something I'd really expected (although in retrospect the title kind of gives it away), but I found it stimulating reading. The characters' different racial backgrounds and levels of education cause soooo many arguments and also, I feel like that would have been conflict enough without Ian also having to have an alcohol problem and a “being a flighty male who doesn't really respect his female partner's opinions” problem, because it made him rather unlikeable. There are also some other subplots and side characters with their own things going on.

In general, I liked the core story of Lindiwe trying to keep her family going in difficult circumstances, framed by all the turmoil in Zimbabwe. However, I didn't think most of the characters were particularly deep (with the exception of Lindiwe and probably her partner themselves), and it really was an issue that it took so long for an interesting story to come together. Regardless, this is still the best Zimbabwean book I have read (out of three). If you're interested in the country this is worth a read. ( )
  Jayeless | Aug 7, 2020 |
Lindiwe is a shy, bookish girl who is fascinated by the white boy who lived in the house next door in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. He was arrested for his stepmother's murder, but released when his conviction was over-turned. Now that he's back, she's one of the few people who will talk to him, although only when her strict parents can't see. They form a tentative relationship that persists over the years. The story begins with Robert Mugabe's presidency, and the history of Zimbabwe along with its culture are as important as the story itself.

Ian grew up in a white Rhodesian household, with racism built into his language, while Lindiwe is wary of how white people have treated her. She is the only black girl at her high school and her family is the first to move into what was once a whites only neighborhood. Over time that changes, as do Ian and Lindiwe.

This is a well-written and fascinating book. Sabatini is telling the story of two very different people and that is where her focus remains, even as Zimbabwe itself becomes a primary force in their lives. And as it follows both Ian and Lindiwe through a significant portion of their lives, Sabatini also shows how they change as they mature and as events shape them.

This is an excellent novel and I highly recommend it to anyone who would like to know more about Zimbabwe or anyone who just likes a good story with characters who are complex and sympathetic. ( )
  RidgewayGirl | May 13, 2016 |
Not got that far with it but I am enjoying it. A bit disjointed so you have to out it down from time to time and remember what was in the news about Zimbabwe. ( )
  adrianburke | May 21, 2013 |
Boy meets girl novel set among the backdrop of Mugabe's transistion to leader of Zimbabwe that slowly sneaks up on you and draws you in. I really loved Sabatini's writing and look forward to future work from her. ( )
  mtrumbo | Nov 10, 2011 |
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Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Sabatini, Ireneprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Biekmann, LidwienÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Johansson, IngerÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Schwaab, JudithÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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This book is dedicated to Fabio, who never believed otherwise; Griffin and Riordan, treasures; and my parents who set me on my way.
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Two days after I turned fourteen the son of our neighbor set his stepmother alight.
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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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