Dandelion Wine - Ray Bradbury
There was something about reading this at the end of summer and beginning of fall, coupled with my recent moodiness, I found Dandelion Wine surprisingly somber, a sweet melancholy touched with magic. We meet the unusual town of Green Town, Illinois in the year 1928 and, tableau by tableau we add to our cast of characters to complete the picture of that "vintage summer." Dandelion Wine resides in the interim, in a space where boundaries are malleable and change is constant. Reality and imagination are in flux. We see the tensions of adulthood and childhood, the exploration of memory and the celebration of the present, happiness is contrasted by devastation, fantasy (it is Bradburry) meets truth, man vs. machine, even life and death come into question. We explore, through the eyes of (protagonist) Douglas Spaulding, the ways in which these tensions create meaning and context in life, as if he's coming upon the coming of age, but isn't quite there yet. This fluidity is mirrored in the text itself as it dances between poetry and prose. Thick with metaphor, the writing is rich and thoughtful, filled with imagery and sentiment.
"It was a quiet morning, the town covered over with darkness and at ease in bed. Summer gathered in the weather, the wind had the proper touch, the breathing of the world was long and warm and slow. You had only to rise, lean from your window, and know that this indeed was the first real time of freedom and living, this was the first morning of summer."
Miss Rachel, thank you thank you for sending this sweet book my way.