Setting Free The Kites
“Funny, devastating, and so human and humane, this novel is filled with characters so alive and complex.” – Caroline Leavitt, author of Is This Tomorrow
A powerful coming-of-age story of love, loss, and hope from the author of A Good American.
Setting Free the Kites tells the story of two teenagers, Robert Carter and Nathan Tilly, and the summers that mark turning points in their lives. The boys are unlikely friends: Robert is cautious, reticent, an observer; Nathan is curious, daring, and an eternal optimist. Yet when they meet on the first day of school in their coastal Maine town in 1976, they form a bond that both come to depend on. Their friendship is forged in the crucible of two family tragedies, and together the boys navigate paths away from heartbreak, finding comfort in unexpected places: the blistering crash of rock and roll records, the mysteries of a long-closed paper mill, and kites soaring high above a windswept beach. Nathan’s unflagging confidence is the catalyst for many of their adventures, but as the boys discover, too much hope can be a dangerous thing.
When Robert and Nathan take summer jobs at the local rundown amusement park, they make their first forays into a less innocent world. Amid the dilapidated thrill rides and concession stands, they come to understand that all of us keep secrets from the ones we love. In the process, they uncover some unexpected truths about family, desire, and revenge–and, most of all, about themselves.
Compelling, heart-breaking, and deeply human, Setting Free the Kites is a funny, moving drama that explores the pain and joy of childhood, and the glories of youthful friendship.
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