DANDELION SUMMER

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,

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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.

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  • NAL
  • Paperback
  • July 2011
  • 416 Pages
  • 9780451233271

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$15.00

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About Lisa Wingate

Lisa Wingate lives with her husband and two sons in central Texas, where she is a popular writer and inspirational speaker.

Praise

“An old man’s haunting memories and a young girl’s dreams merge in Lisa Wingate’s absolutely unforgettable story of hope and reconciliation.” Sherryl Woods, New York Times bestselling author of Beach Lane

Dandelion Summer is a rare gem of a book. . . .” Karen White, New York Times bestselling author of the Beach Trees

Discussion Questions

Early in the story, Norman feels that the best part of his life has passed him by. Have you ever yearned for a time in the past? Is there a period of your life you would return to, if you could? Do you associate this time with particular events in the nation or in the world?

Norman and his daughter find themselves at odds over Norman’s care. What difficulties are inherent in the reversal of roles that comes as parents age? What can we do to ease this transition for both aging parents and caregivers?

Although she is smart and talented, Epiphany lacks confidence and is trapped in a difficult situation. Her friendship with Norman changes her life. Has a friendship ever dramatically changed your life?

Norman and Epiphany’s cross-generational relationship is rich for both of them. How can close relationships with people of very different ages benefit us? What cross-generational relationships have you enjoyed the most?

Epiphany is torn between the negative influences of her family and her surroundings, and an innate inner drive to live a different sort of life. How do early family and cultural experiences preprogram us to think and act in certain ways? What aspects of you character hail from the environment in which you were raised?

Norman begins to suspect that a family secret has been hidden from him all of his life. Why do you think his adopted parents chose not to tell him about his past? Do you think it was the right choice? Have you ever discovered secrets that had been hidden in your family?

What is your impression of Cecile? If not for the fire, do you think she would have sought a way to help the children in the house with the seven chairs? What do you think became of her after the children were moved to new homes?

Even though Dandelion Summer deals with serious issues, there are many funny scenes? What is your favorite humorous scene?

The real Surveyor 1 craft is still sitting on the surface of the moon, where it has remained since its mission was finished and its hardware was shut down. Its engineers wonder what has become of their creation. What do you remember about the space missions?

As the country faces major technological challenges-how to feed and house a growing population, and how to address pollution and diminishing resources, for example-many people rely on American technological ingenuity and innovation to solve the problem. Others fear that our faith in technology has outpaced our ability.

Discuss the qualities required of a nation to “be the best” and remain on the cutting edge of technology. Do we as a nation still possess those qualities?

What do you think will become of Norman and Epiphany in the future?