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Dandelion Summer (Blue Sky Hill #4)

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  1,169 Ratings  ·  226 Reviews
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 t
ebook, 416 pages
Published July 1st 2011 by New American Library
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Jul 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderful book! This is my first book by Lisa Wingate, but it will not be my last. I know I’ve said it before, but I’m a character-driven reader, and this book has two wonderful characters. Epiphany is a teenager who doesn’t quite fit in anywhere. Her mother never wanted her, and for her sixteen years, she’s been trying to find her place in life. When she gets a job looking after an elderly man on the rich side of town, she’s sure she won’t fit in there either. Except J. Norman Alvord isn ...more
Apr 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I literally stayed up until 4:00 in the morning reading Dandelion Summer all the way through. (Didn't have to work the next day!) Wonderful, wonderful book. The development of the relationship between Epiphany and J. Norm touched me deeply. I never had a relationship with either of my grandfathers, and my father and I have been estranged for years. I've felt God tugging at my heart to try again to get passed old wounds, and He used Dandelion Summer to gently whisper encouragement in my ear. I ha ...more
Kathy Gange
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent! I loved this book. like two lost souls finding each other.
Aug 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: journeys, mentoring
Absolutely wonderful!! So rich and real and compelling . . . bittersweet-beautiful! My favorite of the Blue Hill series. Easily could be read as a stand-alone novel. And despite the ultra-feminine cover, this novel celebrating mentoring and friendship could, and should, be read by any and all - male or female, young or old. Encompassing many intertwined themes: aging, facing death, coming-of-age, self-realization, adoption, mystery of heritage/origin, faith, friendship, family, risk-taking, jour ...more
Lisa Wingate is becoming one of my favorite Christian writers. This particular book had many facets that endeared it to me and here is one of my favorite quotes in the book:

Wherever our journeys may take us, whatever struggles they bring, one solid truth underlies all that is. Not a drop of water falls from heaven unintended. We are, each of us, meant to change the ocean and to be changed by it to become new creations as we travel our paths, and answer our challenges, and live and relive our Ca
Cathy Daniel
Apr 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
This is going on my list of favorite all time books! What an amazing story and ending! Here's a peek just to give you an example of the wisdom and beautiful writing!

"We do not live in this world at random, bodies drifting through empty space, forming and colliding by mere chance; nor are we the masters of our own destinies, as much as we may desire to be. Rather, we are like the dandelion seeds my brother cast into the summer sky, ferried along by He who guides the wind and stills the waters, o
Jul 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So, I just finished reading Lisa Wingate's award winning "Dandelion Summer". READER ADVISORY. This book is un-put-downable. Do not start if you have any work in process. This is paradoxically a book you never want to end. I'm not telling you what it's about - just read for 15 minutes and see if you can put it down. Now I'm moping around, wondering if there's any point to getting back to writing my own book. TO MY WRITING FRIENDS - have you ever felt this way? To Lisa Wingate - What a wonderful s ...more
Helen Thompson
Jul 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved, loved, loved this book! It's very sentimental, but then again, so am I. Lisa Wingate returns to her "Summer" series with a wonderful tale about a cranky,retired rocket engineer and a teenager searching for a better life. The two form a close friendship and the adventure begins. Like her other Blue Sky books, Wingate left me feeling like I had been visiting old friends.
Robin Patchen
Dec 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I first opened Dandelion Summer, I wasn't quite sure what to think. An old white guy and a young, self-described "toffee-colored" girl. 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.
Melissa Golus
I enjoyed this book, but I wanted more of the mystery unraveled at the end. I felt that it kind of left you hanging. I know that that may be true to real life, but I wanted to know how they actually found the people they were looking for, rather than just showing up at the dinner at the end.
Jun 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Weeds don't care, is the good thing. They don't need a fancy garen or somebody petting on them, covering them when it's cold, sprinkling them with drips of Miracle-Gro, or loving all over them. You give a reed a little crack ina sidewalk, and it'll put down roots, and suck up water and do its thing no matter what else happens. Weeds don't need much from anybody. They can look after themselves. When you're a weed, you can either die or you can push your way through the concrete and try to surviv ...more
Aug 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dandelion Summer
Lisa Wingate
Contemporary Fiction
5 out of 5

There are some books that you read and enjoy and then promptly forget about them once they are finished. Then there are those books that linger for days, weeks, even years. All you need to do is see the cover or hear the title and you will be brought right back to what you felt while reading that particular book. Dandelion Summer is destined to be one of the lingering books for me.

I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of people that I
Sep 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After struggling through the first couple chapters, I dove headlong into this book, loving every second thereafter! I love the relationship between Epiphany and J. Norm, especially since they fit each others' needs so perfectly. A great book to get lost in. I truly appreciate "happy endings" and clean stories. Will probably read more of Wingate's novels after this.

Favorite quotes:

"So many things are impossible only because we limit ourselves to what others tell us we are capable of." --J. Norm
Jul 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
OK- so I'm glad that I decided to do this for book club. It's great. Lisa Wingate does a great job swapping chapters with each character, like in "The Help", and you really learn to love both of the main characters so much, and appreciate their plight. The relationships in the story are so sweet and believable, in my opinion - although the premise of this book this so basic and predictable, "the unlikely bond" between 2 unsuspecting people, but it's believable and heartwarming. Lisa W. does a su ...more
Julie Barrett
May 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dandelion summer by Lisa Wingate
Book starts out with an old man, hospitalized and his daughter Deborah is making arrangements for him to come home and having a housekeeper there to tend to his needs and the house.
Jay Norman had just lost his wife and didn't take his heart also follows Epiphany Jones who is just 16 and had been forced to move to this area due to the death of her caretaker. She learns that her father is not who her mom had told her, but she's a black Italian and
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it!! At first, it was a little confusing getting to know the two characters because they both spoke in first person in their respective chapters. But once I got into it, I was hooked!! I wanted to know more about both characters and how their lives intertwined. And I loved hearing their stories in 1st person!! I wanted to know what they were thinking and feeling and only 1st person can tell you that!!

I am so amazed at Lisa's talent and ability to write heart-warming stories with so much de
Alternating chapters between two characters' point of view is a challenging narration to pull off successfully, yet Lisa Wingate does it seamlessly. Excellent writing, remarkable characterization and story-telling. Wingate strikes the perfect balance of inspiration--depth and subtlety--all without being the least bit cloying.

It's been a long while since I was so impressed by a book of contemporary fiction. Highly recommended.
Sep 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dandelion summer is a good book. It contains many of the drama that I injustices, researching family history, recovered memories and To Kill a Mockingbird book. The book tells of different generations that have the family conflicts and how each person works. In the end the book reaffirms that looking out for each other is the best solution. The references to the rocket age and life styles of the 60's and how it becomes involve with today's story is a good story.
Apr 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everybody
Recommended to Mary by: read Lisa Wingate before
Loved this book from the first page to the last. I forced myself to put it down when the clock said bedtime, but I wanted to read it through without stopping. I'd read Tending Roses several years ago & really enjoyed it, but if anything this one is even better. I can't remember for sure, so I'm going to read Tending Roses again now. But the light suspense added into Wingate's endearing & wholesome story here seemed an added bonus in this book. Highly recommend.
Catherine Richmond
Wow! I can see why this earned a perfect score in the Carol awards!
J. Norman Alvord worked in the space program. His daughter, concerned about his declining health, is trying to get him to move into a retirement community. When he refuses, she hires teenager Epiphany Jones to prepare meals for him after school. Norm and Epiphany begin a journey of discovery about each other and themselves. Author Lisa Wingate did a great job keeping these two characters' voices distinct. Wonderful story!
Nov 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book! Author does a great job of introducing the characters than intertwining them in an adventure. J Norm is an elderly man who recently lost his wife and just had a heart attack. His daughter is trying to talk him into a retirement facility. Epiphany is a girl with a Mom who cleans University classrooms, is currently living with Russ and finds Epiphany bothersome. J Norm and Epiphany come together and go on a geneology adventure.

This book is full of "life-isms".
Dec 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED this story, characters, and dialogue! An unlikely friendship between an elderly man who is struggling to gain back his independence as his health declines and a 16-year-old bi-racial girl who feels unwanted by her mother. Every chapter alternates between the point of view of both characters. The story involves a mystery, also.
Oct 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Multi-generational relationships. Loved the way an elderly man, Norman, sees the potential in Epiphany, a 16-year-old misfit and both lives are changed for the good. Well-written, involving, presented from each character's viewpoint.
Carol McClain
Oct 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hands down, this was one of the best books I've read this year. Two unlikely characters form an alliance, and their lives helped each gain a purpose and achieve goals. I'm not good at writing review, read the back cover, then buy the book. I couldn't put this book down.
Sep 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This author never disappoints.
Jul 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent! I couldn't put it down and devoured it in 24 hours!
Jul 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Don't miss this book! This is a multi-generational story of coming back from the brink of despair and of finding your place in the world.
This was my first Lisa Wingate book and plan to read more.
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5. I really struggled getting through this very predictable book. I'm not sure why the ratings are so high. I wouldn't recommend it.
Debbie Ayres
Apr 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It held my interest all the way through. I highly reccomend this.
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wingate-lisa
This is one of the amazing books that I've read in a very long time. It's difficult for me to do a review as I'm not objective at all right now (intend on purchasing my own copy, which I rarely do). You can read a synopsis of the plot anywhere so I will forego that part. Epiphany & J Norman are so very opposite, but yet so very much alike, in that they are both searching for their family, albeit from opposite ends of the aging spectrum. They both learn incredible things from each other, incl ...more
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Lisa Wingate is a former journalist, an inspirational speaker, and the bestselling author of more than twenty novels. Her work has won or been nominated for many awards, including the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize, the Oklahoma Book Award, the Utah Library Award, the Carol Award, the Christy Award, and the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her work was honored by the Americans for More Civility for pro ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Blue Sky Hill (4 books)
  • A Month of Summer (Blue Sky Hill #1)
  • The Summer Kitchen  (Blue Sky Hill #2)
  • Beyond Summer (Blue Sky Hill #3)

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Dear Deborah,

Words do not come easily for so many men. We are taught to be strong, to provide, to put away our emotions. A father can work his way through his days and never see that his years are going by. If I could go back in time, I would say some things to that young father as he holds, somewhat uncertainly, his daughter for the very first time. These are the things I would say:

When you hear the first whimper in the night, go to the nursery leaving your wife sleeping. Rock in a chair, walk the floor, sing a lullaby so that she will know a man can be gentle.

When Mother is away for the evening, come home from work, do the babysitting. Learn to cook a hotdog or a pot of spaghetti, so that your daughter will know a man can serve another's needs.

When she performs in school plays or dances in recitals, arrive early, sit in the front seat, devote your full attention. Clap the loudest, so that she will know a man can have eyes only for her.

When she asks for a tree house, don't just build it, but build it with her. Sit high among the branches and talk about clouds, and caterpillars, and leaves. Ask her about her dreams and wait for her answers, so that she will know a man can listen.

When you pass by her door as she dresses for a date, tell her she is beautiful. Take her on a date yourself. Open doors, buy flowers, look her in the eye, so that she will know a man can respect her.

When she moves away from home, send a card, write a note, call on the phone. If something reminds you of her, take a minute to tell her, so that she will know a man can think of her even when she is away.

Tell her you love her, so that she will know a man can say the words.

If you hurt her, apologize, so that she will know a man can admit that he's wrong.

These seem like such small things, such a fraction of time in the course of two lives. But a thread does not require much space. It can be too fine for the eye to see, yet, it is the very thing that binds, that takes pieces and laces them into a whole.

Without it, there are tatters.

It is never too late for a man to learn to stitch, to begin mending.

These are the things I would tell that young father, if I could.

A daughter grown up quickly. There isn't time to waste.

I love you,
“One of the secrets to life, Epiphany, is to find your gifts and focus on those. Leave your liabilities in the dust of the road not taken. The world is an imperfect place. Everyone struggles. Successful people see trials as growth experiences, rather than stumbling blocks. You have everything you need for success. You're a beautiful young woman, and you're strong, and you have a clever mind. If you let anyone convince you otherwise, you steal from yourself.” 4 likes
More quotes…