Thursday, May 21, 2009

Review: Dandelion Wine

It’s not often that I find myself in the perfect frame of mind, on the perfect day with the perfect book in my hands but at one point or another it’s happened to all of us. I’m happy to report that I had such an occurrence this past weekend.

It was a picturesque day in Michigan. The sun was shining down, the lawn freshly mown and a warm breeze rustled the leaves in the trees. I had nothing to do that afternoon but read. I parked myself in a nice chair with a cold glass of water within reach and opened up my copy of Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury. Over the course of the afternoon I was transported not only back to small town of Green Town circa 1928 but also my own childhood.

The story focuses on Douglas Spaulding and his brother Tom as they make their way through the summer months in the small town they call home. The boys are both at the age when the world still seems a place filled with magic and mystery and through their adventures it reminds you how much magic truly does exist in the world.

Page after page made me wax nostalgic for my own childhood. As I read about Doug and Tom’s lives it conjured up many fond memories for me. I remembered the long days of swimming at the beach followed by long sessions of Mario Kart 64 with my friends. The lazy summer evenings spent reading Battle Tech novels on the back porch until the sun finally set. The novel evoked so many feelings for me it truly made me appreciate all the small moments that make life worth living.

Doug and Tom remember their summer days by bottling them in the form of Dandelion Wine. One bottle for each day of summer. Whenever they yearn to return to summer they simply go down to the cellar and open a bottle of Dandelion Wine. As they savor the taste of the wine it transports them back to the wonderful moments of summer’s past.

Like Doug and Tom whenever I need to remember my own lost summers I’ll turn to Dandelion Wine again and again. This is a book that will touch your heart. I can’t recommend it highly enough.


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