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Publisher's 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 heartbreaking, Setting Free the Kites is a poignant and moving exploration of the pain, joy, and glories of young friendship.

©2017 Alex George (P)2017 Penguin Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book, great narration

First of all, Ari Fliakos deserves major kudos for the narration of this lovely coming-of-age story. He creates distinct characters with his voice, and in a character-focused book like this, it makes all the difference. The story itself is also wonderful, lovely prose, excellent characterization. I loved this story of friendship, loss, and life in small-town Maine.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Outstanding!

This book was such a surprise. Filled with such humanity and little gems of wisdom. As always, Ari Fliakos is a brilliant narrator!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Lori
  • St. Petersburg, Florida
  • 06-01-18

Underwhelming

It might be too early for me to review this one. Maybe it will live with me longer than I anticipate. I loved the first 7 hours, then I didn't anymore, and I can't say why without spoiling it for others. It's just that it got a bit too tragic without ever feeling like Robert (the main character) was enough affected by it all. Also, the character development seemed a bit lacking to me. The characters came to us fully formed, but with no background as to how they were as awesome (or not so awesome) as they were. Robert, after awhile just seemed like a whiny little naysayer at every turn. Where was his sense of adventure?? He was always the one saying, "No! What are you doing?! Come down!" or "No, I don't want to. Let's do (this boring thing)." It just didn't seem real that he would be such a curmudgeon at such a young age, in spite of the things he went through. And we never know why Nathan was such a strong individual at such a young age either. So, in spite of being entertained, I'm underwhelmed. I do love Ari Fliakos! His narration is always a hit!

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A Poignant Tale of Friendship, Masterfully Told

Alex George captures the angst and uncertainty of teenage friendships against the backdrop of family tragedies, using lyrical prose as memorable as his characters. Ari Fliakos demonstrates, as he did in THE WHITES, that he is a narrator of the first order. His characters are distinct and believable, his narration passionate, and his pace affecting. I strongly recommend this book.

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  • Helen Attrill
  • 06-19-18

Friendship, loss and love

A thoughtful exploration of a youthful friendship that survives and flourishes in spite of loss of the hardest type (parent and sibling). Speaks to the power of love that remains with us long after friends and family have passed.