“The summer of ’28 was a vintage season for a growing boy. A summer of green apple trees, mowed lawns, and new sneakers. Of half-burnt firecrackers, of gathering dandelions, of Grandma’s belly-busting dinner. It was a summer of sorrows and marvels and gold-fuzzed bees. A magical, timeless summer in the life of a twelve-year-old boy named Douglas Spaulding—remembered forever by the incomparable Ray Bradbury.”
Honestly I probably wouldn’t have read this book by Ray Bradbury except for the fact that my cover caught my attention and also coincided with a monthly challenge on Instagram. So I took my photo and decided to give it a whirl, as the book was so small (only 184 pages). And honestly it was quite an interesting read and very Ray Bradbury.
So based on my cover, pictured above, I thought it was going to be a little bit more out there and a little more supernatural, kind of like Something Wicked This Way Comes. But it was pretty normal overall. It really had this feel of To Kill A Mockingbird with the setting of the town and the kind of events which were occurring and also the fact that the ‘main characters’ were children. I use the word main characters loosely because sometimes chapters would focus on other people within the town.
The entire book happened within three months; within the summer of ’28. Now, you may be asking why the book was called Dandelion Wine. And the answer intrigued me so much (not a spoiler, it’s told in the first page or so). Dandelion Wine is made by dandelions which only grow in the summer. So what would happen is Douglas’ family would make Dandelion Wine and he would say that a little bit of summer was bottled up, so that during the winter he would be able to open a bottle of summer and taste it as a memory. It was quite an interesting idea.
As for the story, to say what it was about exactly is difficult as it was not just about one thing. It was about different experiences and events that occurred in the summer which lead Douglas to learn what would happen in this life.
Overall it was definitely an enjoyable read and one to add to the list. It wasn’t difficult and it didn’t take a lot of time to complete either, so it’s not a massive commitment. I did find some of the points covered in the book quite intriguing and a little depressing. There was this air of super-naturalness or something otherwordly at a few moments, but it never really resolved those issues, just in perfect Bradbury style.
I do recommend this one and what better than a book about summer in the summer.