A group of young men, "the lost generation of the 80s," are involved in a search for the meaning of life in various forms; initially by experimenting with communal life – they join an army kibbutz unit, try living on a kibbutz and eventually form a commune in Jerusalem. The attempts to revert to the communal-socialist lifestyle of the founding fathers fail and each of the heroes must seek out his own individual path. Even the development of personal relationships with the opposite sex is problematic and fraught with difficulty. The novel focuses on three main heroes – Yaron, Hovav and Yoni. Yaron searches for the perfect relationship with a woman but cannot consummate it. His sexual inclination remains unclear but at the end of the novel he finally achieves an intoxicating sense of self-realization. Hovav is the only one truly capable of giving love, but after he is rejected by the one he loves, he fulfils his need for affection by building a temporary, paternal relationship with a little boy. Yoni is well-liked, but he is also self-destructive. Whenever he excels at anything, he immediately moves on to something else. Eventually Yoni sinks into total ineffectuality. Nevo tells this intricate and moving tale in a flowing, omniscient style, reminiscent of the renowned writer Yaakov Shabtai.
This is an impressive first work. It reveals a descriptive and expressive talent, sharp powers of observation and the profound literary knowledge of the writer.
An excellent first novel, sculpted with great care, never stooping to the simplistically sensational.
A reading experience...not readily forgotten.