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Dandelion Summer

By Lisa Wingate


All her life, Epiphany Salerno has been tossed like a dandelion seed on the wind. Now, at sixteen, she must move to the low-rent side of Blue Sky Hill and work where she's not wanted: in an upscale home on The Hill.

J. Norman Alvord's daughter has hired a teenager to stay with him in the afternoons. Widowed and suffering from heart trouble, Norman wants to be left alone. But in Epie's presence, Norman discovers a mystery- memories of another life and a woman who saved him. As he and Epie take an unexpected road trip through sleepy Southern towns, they form a life-changing friendship-and uncover long-held family secrets.

Book Takeaway:

J.Norman never intended to befriend Epie, but ended up being a powerful mentor to her. Epie never intended to like this "rich" man on the hill who hardly cared that she would cook for him and tried to avoid her, but her youthful curiosity and energy just rejuvenated J.Norman and they became like grandfather and granddaughter. How many youth out there and how many older folks could be blessed if brought together?

Why the author wrote this book:

Dandelion Summer is a special book for me, not only because of the connections to my history and to my friend, Ed, but simply because I became so attached to J.Norman and Epiphany. While J.Norman’s family issues are fictional (I’m sure my father would appreciate my letting you know that) many fathers and daughters deal with the issues that J.Norman and his daughter, Deborah, face. Dandelion Summer is a book that both men and women can read, and I hope it will be a source of dialog within families. I also hope it will inspire young parents to not miss precious moments with their children. One of J.Norman’s most poignant regrets is that, while working his way to success, he was often absent, either physically, mentally, or emotionally, in his family life. Lastly, I hope the story will encourage older folks to share their memories and to seek opportunities in which their life experiences and their capacity to love can be beneficial to kids who need someone. So many children, like Epiphany, lack regular contact with grandparents.


"This is my favorite book in ages, maybe since Wingate's Tending Roses. Dauthter trying to care for aging, ornery father hires a teen to help. Fascinating family roots mystery quest!"
- Sherry on February 15, 2012

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