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Set in Johannesburg, Love Next Door is a love story that begins with the start of a journey of independence. The protagonist, Abongile (Abby), finds herself moving into a new apartment as she sets out to further her career and live life without the rules of her grandparents. Little does she know that her next door neighbour, Kopano, turns out to be the love of her life. With life’s twists and turns – and a large amount of miscommunication – Abby is forced to leave the man of her dreams and jet-set to New York to follow her career path. Two years later, Abby is scheduled to return home to South Africa, and with a few tricks from her closest New York friend, she finds a happy but unexpected ending.
Amina Thula is a female South African author who enjoys writing about African love stories. Her work shines a light on strong African females, in South Africa specifically, who find true love and happiness. Love Next Door is her second book, after Elevator Kiss. Love Next Door is written in the first person persona with many monologues of Abby’s thoughts and inner workings. Thula incorporates into this story unexpected twists and heart-wrenching turns that are able to keep readers captivated and wanting to read further.
The characters are authentic and relatable as this story is set in a typical South African context. The story unravels with a slow pace for the majority of the book and near the end escalates just enough to keep the reader intrigued until the end of the book. With a total of 147 pages, this short novel only leaves the reader wanting more. Well-written and with a strong storyline, Love Next Door is a good read for any romantic looking for a break in their day.