The Woman Next Door is brilliant and drenched in macabre.
Two old women, one black and recently widowed, the other white and ignorantly racist, have lived as sworn enemies in an affluent suburb in Cape Town for decades. Hortensia James is a native of Barbados, with a successful career as a designer behind her, and a wealth of hurt and regret bubbling deep inside her. Marion Agostino is estranged from her four children, and has refused to see how her privilege as a white woman growing up in apartheid South Africa put millions of others at a disadvantage. An accident brings the two together under the same roof and what ensues is a well-needed, yet unwelcome, catharsis.
Omotoso writes like no other, in her ability to tackle very disturbing topics so light-heartedly, pulling you, the reader, deeper and deeper into the narrative until you stop and wonder just how you got there. It’s a good book. I had to read it in short bursts but I thoroughly enjoyed it.