Ray Bradbury captured my heart with this novel, Dandelion Wine. It is the story of a young boy and his brother during the summer of 1928, and Mr. Bradbury infused it with magic and wisdom, gifting us a journey through life and death and family and community, all through the eyes of a young boy just becoming aware of it all. It is beautifully written, almost poetry in some parts, and full of warmth and love.
I thought of my Dad throughout the entire book. Born the same year as Ray Bradbury, he was eight years old in 1928. He was named Ray, too, and was a wonderful storyteller and writer himself. The stories in this book reminded me of many of his boyhood stories that we now treasure, so I was already familiar with the “time machine” experience of family stories that span generations, and loved that Mr. Bradbury could put that warm and embracing feeling of family into such beautiful words.
And I also thought of our Grandboy throughout the entire book. Looking at his experiences and our relationship with him through Mr. Bradbury’s lens makes each shared activity seem extra special. Memories of my own grandparents came flooding back, and it is simply incredible that I am now the Grandma. What special memories will the Grandboy have of us in years to come? It gives a poignancy to every moment we spend with him. Ray Bradbury reminds us that we carry those loved ones within us, within our family stories. “No person ever died that had a family.”
Young Douglas in this book becomes poignantly aware during that summer of 1928 of just what it means to be alive. That first awareness is a universal experience, captured and distilled into a wonderful ‘wine’ of words by Mr. Bradbury, to be savored again and again.
Dandelion wine. The words were summer on the tongue. The wine was summer caught and stoppered.
This book is now one of my very favorites. It’s an honored position.