Can a one-legged pigeon create a connection, however tenuous, among disparate residents of a sleepy South Carolina town?
Sherman has literally flown the coop, leaving Mr. Mineo heartsick. He is, after all, the caretaker of his brother’s small flock of homing pigeons, which have, surprisingly, begun to provide much-needed fulfillment for the lonely man. Meanwhile, a whole group of Meadville inhabitants would like to catch that pigeon, for a variety of different reasons just as individual as they are. The children: Spunky Stella desperately wants a pet; Gerald, slow moving and passive, just wants to satisfy Stella, his only friend; bully Levi and his sidekicks seem to want the bird mostly to frustrate the others; Mutt wants him because that danged pigeon landed on his head more than once, but no one believes him. The others: a small, lonely brown dog seeking companionship; Amos and Ethel Roper—one more thing to cheerfully bicker over. O’Connor weaves the fabric of her tale from each of these separate threads, moving back and forth among points of view, sympathetic to nearly all (except Levi and company). As in The Small Adventures of Popeye and Elvis (2009), she condenses long summer days down into their essence, quiet but humming with an undercurrent of childhood energy.
Yes, a one-legged pigeon can satisfyingly link even these quirky characters together. (Fiction. 9-12)