The Boy Next Door by Irene Sabatini
Winner of the 2010 Orange Award for New Writers.
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 foresee 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.