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
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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.

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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 was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. 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 they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream 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

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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!

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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
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