Beach reading

Dandelion Summer by Lisa Wingate is the sweet tale of an improbable friendship between an old man and lost teenage girl. Epiphany Jones is the bright but lonely teenager. She and her mother moved to Dallas to be with her new stepfather. They live in a rough neighbourhood where being a good student can get you beaten up, and Epie is often alone as her parents work long hours.

After Epie gets into a spot of trouble trying to fit in at school her mother gets her an after school job looking after J. Norman Alvord, a retired aerospace engineer. J Norman is fighting to stay independent after a heart attack that has left him weak. He is cranky and withdrawn, but determined to solve the mystery of his childhood, something that has plagued him all of his life.
Together, he and Epie form an unlikely friendship and empower each to reach their goals. J. Norman encourages Epie to stand up for herself and to use her considerable intellect. His peaceful and well-appointed home offers her sanctuary from her rough neighbourhood and empty apartment. Epie helps J. Norman accomplish what he can no longer do on his own.
Together they embark on a life-changing adventure.
Dandelion Summer is saved from being overly-sentimental and predictable by Wingate’s gift for memorable characters. Epie and J. Norman are real, and so are their problems and pain. This is a contemporary tale about the all-too common alienation faced by the young and elderly today.