Dandelion Summer

Dandelion Summer

4.5 22
by Lisa Wingate

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The latest in the inspirational and heartwarming Blue Sky Hill series from 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…  See more details below


The latest in the inspirational and heartwarming Blue Sky Hill series from 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.

Winner of the 2012 Carol Award for Women's Fiction from the American Christian Fiction Writers

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Wingate (Summer Kitchen) roots her tender tale in hope, redemption, and family by following two engaging characters in her latest entry to the Texas-based Blue Sky Hill series. Following the death of his wife, retiree J. Norman Alvord has shut himself off in his big home on the hill. Norman's only daughter thinks a nursing home is best, but Norman, who was on the scientific team involved with the first moon landing, considers himself independent, even virile. So a housekeeper is hired, and offers her mixed-race teenage daughter, Epiphany Jones, as an after-school cook. The friendship that Epiphany and Norman form begins a new chapter for both of them. Wingate's tale, unfolding alternatingly from Norman's and Epiphany's points of view, uncovers a mysterious memory from Norman's youth that eventually reveals siblings that he never knew about. Epiphany finds a mentor in Norman; in turn, she helps him understand the importance of family. Wingate effectively draws us into Norman's mystery, giving voice to elders who wish to be treated as adults as their own kin treat them like children. The early era of space explorationserves as an exciting backdrop to the kitchen sink drama. (July)

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Blue Sky Hill Series , #4
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Sales rank:
File size:
512 KB
Age Range:
18 Years


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Dandelion Summer 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
vrush More than 1 year ago
DANDELION SUMMER By Lisa Wingate Epiphany (e.piph.a.ny /i'pif?ne/ Noun)- a sudden intuitive leap of understanding. An epiphany takes place in the spirit of Dandelion Summer. Two people coming from two entirely different places of life, from two different directions, intersect in this story where pasts are brought together. Epiphany, a fatherless teenager has learned from an uncaring mother what it means to be unwanted and branded unworthy by society. J. Norman Alvord, recently widowed, once placed great value upon his work as part of the team that sent rockets to the moon. Now he finds himself aging and a burden as his daughter reluctantly takes over his care. When the daughter, Deborah hired Epiphany to cook for Norman in the afternoons, she has no idea the explosion of discovery that has been set in place. Epiphany and J. Norman find themselves drawn to each other as reluctant allies and co-conspirators. Each has a past with no answers and family mysteries to solve. J. Norm is haunted by dreams of a past has been erased from his mind. Epiphany helps him to find the pieces, and soon they are off on a trip that will astonish you and have you laughing and gasping at once. They make a delightful investigative team as they search for answers for J. Norm. They become not only become friends but family, each a drink of water for the other's thirsty soul. J. Norm and Epiphany will leave you crying with joy. While most hearts will mend in this story, some won't. The end leaves you wanting more of this awesome team as each find the pieces of their puzzles falling into place. You will melt as past becomes present and future. Take the journey with Epiphany and J. Norm, you won't be disappointed!
eds23 More than 1 year ago
"Dandelion Summer" by Lisa Wingate is an extraordinarily moving and inspirational book. To those who followed early launches from Cape Canaveral during America's unmanned and manned moon missions, her book brings back many exciting memories. Memories like the Surveyor Spacecraft was launched to the moon on Memorial Day 1966. The Spacecraft successfully soft-landed and transmitted back thousands of pictures. The first American Spacecraft to do so. One of the characters in the book, Norman, a retired engineer had worked for Hughes on the Surveyor Project. Norman has just about given up. He lives alone and has heart problems. His daughter hires a young girl, Epiphany, to fix Norman's meals and help with the house work. He doesn't want anyone else in his house and devises ways to get her to leave. She needs the money and is as tenacious as Norman, so she stays. Over time they work together to try to solve Norman's mystery. He relates many of his experiences at Cape Canaveral to Epiphany. Dandelion Summer has many inspirational messages: "We were young then, certain of our own importance. Convinced that our presence in the world, that our work, was destined to change it." "So much of life can pass without a thought of where the journey might end." The book also gives the reader an update on Dell Jordan, the young girl from Tending Roses. The Conversation Guide in the back of the book is filled with helpful information on America's early Cape Canaveral launches including the Surveyor Program. Additionally really good suggestions for building positive relationships between fathers and daughters are also included. Dandelion Summer trips many memories and let's us relive some remarkable moments in America's early space exploration. The first two chapters of Dandelion Summer can be found on Lisa Wingate's website. Dandelion Summer is a remarkable and exciting book. It is off the charts! In my opinion, it is a best seller and will be an extraordinary movie! I highly recommend Dandelion Summer! Please note: Dandelion Summer is special for me. I worked for Hughes Aircraft on the Surveyor Project both in California and Cape Canaveral. I was there on Memorial Day 1966 when Surveyor was launched to the moon. Some of my Cape experiences are in Dandelion Summer. My thanks to Lisa Wingate for writing this wonderful book! Ed
gay colgrove More than 1 year ago
This now my favorite book from my favorite author!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Liz66BW More than 1 year ago
Can't wait to read more from Lisa Wingate.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Throughly enjoyed "Dandelion Summer" and looking forward to more Lisa Wingate books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I normally do not write reviews. But I can't say enough great about this book. I did not want it to end. I wanted to go on reading about these wonderful people. Simply a must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
RobinPatchen More than 1 year ago
When I first opened Dandelion Summer, I wasn't quite sure what to think. An old white guy and a young "toffee-colored" girl (as she calls herself). What could they possibly have in common? Wow, was I in for a surprise. The characters in this book are so real, so stubborn, and ultimately, so willing to grow, it is a blessing to watch the story unfold. I highly recommend it.
PBH74 More than 1 year ago
I read a lot, and I've never read anything like this. I don't know why this book isn't a movie yet. It's that good!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
incredible book! I don't know when I've read something so touching and so well written. If you haven't read Lisa Wingate, you should!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wingate's continues to weave intricate stories, with twists and turns and always a connection to her previous books (although all her writings are great stand-alone novels). Love the inter-generational/inter-racial aspect of this book...as well as the wealth of history about the US space program which the aging main character was involved in. As always, Wingate's characters find life-change in their experiences...completely inspiring as well as interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kary31 More than 1 year ago
Without exception, this is the BEST book I have read since Tending Roses. J. Norm kept reminding me of On Golden Pond in some ways. I loved the charming friendship between him and Epie, who he started out to scare off. I hope to see this in a movie. Wingate is a fantastic writer and I've now read all of her books. You'll want to, too!
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RoseSM More than 1 year ago
Dandelion Summer is a thoroughly enjoyable read. I finished it a couple of days ago almost in one sitting! (I had to take a break and sleep a few hours.) Lisa Wingate's characters are so real to me that they keep popping into my mind like relatives I don't see every day. I wonder what feisty j. Norman is doing? And are he and Deborah doing something special for the 4th of July? I bet J. Norm would like some chicken and low fat franks off the BBQ grill. And Epie...I'll bet she's all in a whirl getting ready for...oops I'd better not spoil the book for you. Enough to say that if two people were ever set up to dislike each other, it was J. Norm and Epie. I can't tell you how pleased I am with how the relationship developed. On another level, the father daughter story of j. Norm and Deborah is sooooo true to life. Busy career, not much time for daughter. Daughter resents that, then has to care for him when he is widowed and old. But does it mean they don't love each other? Does it mean they can't enjoy each other? Wingate's sensitive treatment of J. Norm's depression and his emerging memories of early childhood and the evolving mystery about his routes provide plenty of action with a plot that keeps moving. Tears came to my eyes in some LOL moments and again as I read J. Norm's sensitive letter to his daughter. I highly recommend it. It will be your best read of the year!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have all of Lisa Wingate's books, most of which I've read. Dandelion Summer is by far her best. I related so well to the character Epiphany. It brought back so many memories, feelings, and tears from my youth. I was so intrigued by the way she described herself as a dandelion, not necessarily as bad, but as a strength. As a young unwanted misplaced adolescent, Epiphany finds a friend in an elderly gentleman, J. Norm. If only all fatherless girls had a J.Norm to enlighten them in how young ladies should command respect from young men. I cried so many times while reading this book. The letter that J. Norm wrote to his daughter is the something every father should want to say. It's definitely something every daughter deserves to hear. That letter is a pivotal moment in this story. It pulled at my heartstrings. I didn't want his story to end so soon, but I feel there will be more of Epiphany, or at least I am hoping... I have given all Lisa Wingate's books 4 or 5 star ratings, but this deserves 10.