Episode # 41

Setting Free the Kites
A Novel

Alex George

From the author of the “lyrical and compelling” (USA Today) novel A Good American, the powerful story of the unintended consequences that friendship, hope, and obsession impose on two families in crisis.
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On Sale Date:


G.P. Putnam's Sons
336 pgs.
G.P. Putnam's Sons



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Setting Free the Kites

Haverford, Maine, is a town that’s easily overlooked. So is Robert Carter, an eighth-grader in 1976 who’s a ready target for the class bully. That is, until the first day of school and a new kid appears: Nathan Tilly. Nathan is fearless, impetuous, and obsessed with kites and flying. As Robert and Nathan become friends, they’re drawn into each other’s families, where they witness unexpected tragedy and learn that all families can harbor secrets. When summer arrives, both boys work at the local amusement park owned by Robert’s family, and it’s there that Robert and Nathan begin to learn some harsh truths about family, desire and revenge. Honest and heartfelt, with echoes of novels by Wally Lamb and John Irving, Setting Free the Kites is both a poignant coming-of-age story and a moving family drama that explores the terrible costs of misplaced hope.

Praise for Setting Free the Kites

“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, 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 and the primality of longing, and breaks your heart.”
Megan Mayhew Bergman, author of Almost Famous Women

“Alex George’s brilliant new novel explores a life-changing boyhood friendship in the ’70s, the way first love can whack you out of balance…. Funny, devastating and so human and humane, this novel is filled with characters so alive and complex that I ached to continue on in their lives.”
Caroline Leavitt, author of Is This Tomorrow

The author of A Good American, Alex George is an Englishman who lives, works, and writes in the middle of America. He studied law at Oxford University and worked for eight years as a corporate lawyer in London and Paris before moving to the United States. He lives in Missouri with his family. www.AlexGeorgeBooks.com