Justin & the Magic Stone
When Justin moves to a new home in a small town, he misses all his old friends, especially his best friend, Tom. But, one day, while he's out in the woods, he finds a magic, heart-shaped stone. With the stone in hand, he finds he can speak with all the animals around him! What's more, the stone also has the power to let him change size, and even travel through mirrors and telescopes to other places. Could the stone help him find his way back to his friend? What else might the magical stone do?
The Dandelion Cloud, Dale Boyer’s remarkable debut novel, told the story of three friends coming to terms with love and sexuality in the late 1970s in the small, college town of Thornton, Illinois. In Thornton Stories, Boyer continues the themes of that earlier work through a series of inter-connected stories that create a modern day Winesburg, Ohio. Here are students, teachers, and small-town residents, all trying to make sense of loneliness and love. His new book stands on its own, but -- for those who have read The Dandelion Cloud -- also enriches the understanding. Intriguingly, this new set of stories is told by other characters on the campus or in the town, sometimes at the same time as the events of the novel. Thornton Stories is a rich and wonderful experience: a series of stories that work independently, yet link together like a puzzle to deepen our understanding of the overall themes, as well as the previous novel and its characters. It is an ingenious, penetrating, and insightful work that continues to signify that Dale Boyer is an important and exciting new literary voice.
“Dale Boyer’s debut novel dives deep into the eternal questions: Who am I? What is love? What is friendship? The Dandelion Cloud is a joy to read. The beautiful prose often lifts off the page, much like the dandelion seeds Boyer describes to great effect. Words take life in this book. Tenderness lives in these pages.” Michael Kiesow Moore, author of What to Pray For
The Dandelion Cloud -- A Novel by Dale Boyer
…"the root of all wisdom comes from having loved someone" claims Evelyn Waugh in Brideshead Revisited. Decades ago, as I was writing what would become my novel, The Dandelion Cloud, I saw it as the perfect summation of that book – that only by loving someone does the main character, Justin, finally reach a place where he can confront the truth about himself and what he feels.
Now, all these years later as the novel finally makes it into print, however, I see that statement as something much larger: that only by focusing love and attention on something can we truly understand it. Whether it be a poem, a photo or a story, you have to love a thing to really bring it into focus. That love, that focus, and that eventual understanding, is what I hope to achieve through all my work.