A Pigeon and a Boy by Meir Shalev tells the tale of a young pigeon handler who was a member of the Palmach and participated in Israel’s 1948 War of Independence. Intertwined with the tale is the story of Yair Mendelsohn, a middle-aged, present day Israeli tour guide. Yair is familiar with the pigeon handler’s story but seeks a deeper meaning to the story as it relates to his own identity.
Shalev included just enough history and explanation on the war and pigeon handling to ground the story without bogging it down. His multi-layered characters are well developed and complex without being tedious. You will feel as if you’re parting with old friends once you finish reading.
The novel includes a light mystery, some humor, and realistic romance. The overall conclusion is heartrending yet satisfying. I highly recommend reading A Pigeon and a Boy.