When I look back at the summers of my childhood, I can recall ever so sweet memories of having an endless number of days ahead of me and trying to fill them with as many adventures as I possibly could. There is an innocence to childhood summer that can't be replicated once adulthood strikes. It is a metamorphosis brought on by maturity and despite the best attempts - visiting old places, old friends, and even trying to rekindle the spark I felt doing my old rituals - once the innocence of summer is lost, it cannot be brought back.
But Dandelion Wine comes close.
Centered around a recurring character, Douglas Spaulding, in the same town of Green Town, Illinois that makes an appearance in a multitude of his novels, this book is nothing more than a series of short stories loosely tied together illustrating the captivating nature that is boyhood summer. And as the reader sits back and enjoys this timeless classic, it begins to turn, to shift, to become something altogether different as it forces Douglas to undergo this change, this loss of innocence due to various life events that occur during this summer vacation. In typical Bradbury fashion, the writing is more prose than it is novel-esque, and the illustrations leap of the page.
It is a rare opportunity for a reader to be invited to appreciate so many nostalgic feelings all in one book but Bradbury invites us along for the ride. He opens up his heart and spills it all onto the page and grabs the reader by the hand, whisking them away on one last summer adventure. This is the feeling of complete carelessness. This is the untainted joy one feels when the days are long and just waiting to be filled with fun. This is the summer of 1928.
I love to read and to discuss books. My preferred genre is sci-fi but I like to read mostly anything.