Setting Free the Kites: Book summary and reviews of Setting Free the Kites by Alex George

Setting Free the Kites

by Alex George

Setting Free the Kites by Alex George X
Setting Free the Kites by Alex George
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  Feb 2017
    336 pages
    Genre: Novels

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

From the author of the "lyrical and compelling" (USA Today) novel A Good American comes a powerful story of two friends and the unintended consequences of friendship, loss, and hope.

For Robert Carter, life in his coastal Maine hometown is comfortably predictable. But in 1976, on his first day of eighth grade, he meets Nathan Tilly, who changes everything. Nathan is confident, fearless, impetuous - and fascinated by kites and flying. Robert and Nathan's budding friendship is forged in the crucible of two family tragedies, and as the boys struggle to come to terms with loss, they take summer jobs at the local rundown amusement park. It's there that Nathan's boundless capacity for optimism threatens to overwhelm them both, and where they learn some harsh truths about family, desire, and revenge.

Unforgettable and heart-breaking, Setting Free the Kites is a poignant and moving exploration of the pain, joy, and glories of young friendship.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"George is masterly in his rendition of Maine landscapes and the emotional swings of adolescence. Throughout their mischievous hijinks the boys are always thoughtful and kind and their intentions are noble (even naïve), though serious danger is never far behind." - Publishers Weekly

"George (A Good American, 2012, etc.) can't separate his good ideas from his bad ones, but there's still a lot to enjoy here." - Kirkus

"The mechanics of grief play out gracefully, even if the novel occasionally gets bogged down by relentless tragedy. An eloquent meditation on loss and the necessary action of letting go." - Booklist

"Replete with soaring emotion. Setting Free the Kites is a coming-of-age novel driven by the forces of hope. Alex George skillfully proves that the tethers of a painful past can be cut, freeing us to rise above our circumstances if only we have fearless hearts." - Sarah McCoy, New York Times and international bestselling author of The Mapmaker's Children

"I think I fell a little in love with Alex George's Setting Free the Kites when I heard the beautiful title. Luckily, the book itself - colorful, poignant, winning and touching - does not disappoint and seduces like a spring breeze. Mr. George, please consider me one of your new and ardent admirers." - George Hodgman, author of Bettyville

"[A] captivating, lyrical novel with scenes so crisp and moving you will find yourself holding your breath as page by page he renders the profundity of childhood, the primality of longing, and breaks your heart. It's an absorbing novel, with place and people crafted so fully they become real and important to the reader. A full and beautiful book." - Megan Mahew Bergman, author of Almost Famous Women

"So exquisitely written, I was underlining sentences, and so engrossing, I read through the night. Funny, devastating and so human and humane, the novel is filled with characters so alive and complex, that I ached to continue on in their lives." - Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Is This Tomorrow and Pictures of You

"A profoundly moving, charming, heart-breaking, heart-lifting portrait of childhood, parenthood, and friendship. I couldn't love it more ... This book is a treasure." - Timothy Schaffert, author of The Swan Gondola

This information about Setting Free the Kites shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

Write your own review

Beth Brooks

The Genius of Alex George
There are not enough adjectives to describe this most intriguing book --- it definitely ranks as 10 stars. George is an amazing storyteller and displays his mastery of melodious prose. I would like to tell the author face-to-face what an impact he has made. I would recommend every teacher of contemporary literature to introduce this to their students as so much more than a coming of age story. It would open the door to rich discussion and contemplation.

How masterfully the author has brought his characters to life! The story revolves around Robert but his best friend and the families of both figure prominently throughout. In all honesty, I did not want to approach the last page and am positive the wisdom and life lessons will remain in my mind forever.

I eagerly anticipate whatever Alex George gives to the world. Long may he write!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Author Information

Alex George Author Biography

Alex George is a writer and a lawyer. He was born in London, England, but presently lives in the American Midwest.

Alex was named as one of Britain's top ten "thirtysomething" novelists by the Times of London, and was also named as the Independent on Sunday's "face to watch" for fiction in its Fresh Talent feature.

Alex read law at Oxford University and worked for eight years as a corporate lawyer in London and Paris. He moved to the United States in 2003, and re-qualified as a US attorney.

Alex has four children. His hobbies include listening to obscure jazz albums, playing his saxophone, and cooking (and eating) complicated meals. He has lived in the Midwest of the United States for the last sixteen years. He is the founder and director of the Unbound Book Festival, and is the...

... Full Biography
Author Interview
Link to Alex George's Website

Other books by Alex George at BookBrowse
  • The Paris Hours jacket
  • A Good American jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more novels...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: My Monticello
    My Monticello
    by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson
    In the incendiary opening story of My Monticello, Jocelyn Nicole Johnson's debut collection, a ...
  • Book Jacket: The Wrong End of the Telescope
    The Wrong End of the Telescope
    by Rabih Alameddine
    Rabih Alameddine's The Wrong End of the Telescope follows Mina, a Lebanese American doctor who ...
  • Book Jacket: Lightning Strike
    Lightning Strike
    by William Kent Krueger
    It is the summer of 1963 in Tamarack County, Minnesota. Just outside the small town of Aurora, ...
  • Book Jacket: Skinship
    Skinship
    by Yoon Choi
    The fine thing about short stories in general is their way of following characters through ...

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
Morningside Heights
by Joshua Henkin
A tender and big-hearted novel about love in the face of loss, from the award-winning author of The World Without You.

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Flesh & Blood
    by N. West Moss

    This beautifully written memoir offers insight, understanding, and joy.

Win This Book!
Win Sisters of the Great War

Sisters of the Great War by Suzanne Feldman

A powerful novel of two unconventional American sisters who volunteer at the front during World War I.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

Y A B Up T W T

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.