"Dandelion Wine" is is set during the summer of 1928 in the fictional town of 'Green Town', Illinois — a pseudonym for Bradbury's childhood home of Waukegan, Illinois.
The novel developed from the short story "Dandelion Wine" which appeared in the June 1953 issue of "Gourmet" magazine. The title refers to a wine made with dandelion petals and citrus fruit.
In the story, dandelion wine, as made by the protagonist's grandfather, serves as a metaphor for packing all of the events of summer into a single bottle :
"...young 'Douglas Spaulding' knows 'Green Town', Illinois, is as vast and deep as the whole wide world that lies beyond the city limits. It is a pair of brand-new tennis shoes, the first harvest of dandelions for Grandfather's renowned intoxicant, the distant clang of the trolley's bell on a hazy afternoon.
"It is yesteryear and tomorrow blended into an unforgettable always. But as Douglas is about to discover, summer can be more than the repetition of established rituals whose mystical power holds time at bay. It can be a best friend moving away, a human time machine who can transport you back to the Civil War, or a sideshow automaton able to glimpse the bittersweet future..."
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