Setting Free the Kites – Reviews

sftk1“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 profoundly moving, charming, heart-breaking, heart-lifting portrait of childhood, parenthood, and friendship. I couldn’t love it more. With a down-on-its-heels amusement park as the perfect backdrop, Setting Free the Kites is both elegiac and comical, a celebration of adolescent stumbling-around. This book is a treasure.”

—Timothy Schaffert, author of The Swan Gondola

“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 Cruel Beautiful World

“Can it be that John Irving’s heir is a British import, writing in the Midwest? Setting Free the Kites is as American as Garp, as heartbreaking as Owen Meany, and as hilarious as Hotel New Hampshire. Alex George proves himself a master storyteller, and with a magic all his own.”

—Lydia Netzer, author of Shine Shine Shine

“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

“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

“Nathan and Robert are two young men bound by both an intense friendship and a tragic knowledge of grief. Robert is quiet and introspective, while Nathan is gregarious and reckless. Their friendship helps them survive the depths of loss, the joys of youthful exuberance, and the impending knowledge of adulthood. Told with a precise poignancy that is not often articulated on the page, Setting Free the Kites is both humorous and devastating in its execution. Alex George’s Bildungsroman is an awe inspiring triumph, and a story that book clubs will embrace with a passion. Get a copy and let your spirit soar.”

—Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books (Excelsior, MN)

“In Setting Free the Kites, Alex George brings us a coming of age novel full to bursting with love, loss, and music. It touched every emoting from laughter to heartbreaking tears. Young and old alike will find meaning in his character’s words and actions. The four years of waiting since George’s last book was worth every minute.”

—Kate Schlademan from The Learned Owl Book Shop (Hudson, OH)