1 of 2
Courtesy Alex George
2 of 2
Courtesy Alex George
Setting Free the Kites is the second novel from Columbia attorney Alex George, following his bestseller, A Good American, which was named Best Book of the Year in 2012 by A Library Journal and the Number One Title to Pick Up Now by Oprah Winfrey’s O Magazine in February of that year.
Set in Haverford, Maine, beginning in 1976, George’s second book is the first-person narrative of Robert Carter who, on the first day of his eighthgrade year, meets Nathan Tilly when Nathan intercedes in Robert’s altercation with perennial bully Hollis Calhoun. Though different in nature—Robert is introspective while Nathan is gregarious and daring—the two forge a friendship before the end of the second chapter.
In the beginning, the story is humorous in much the same vein as the adventures of Hermie, Oscy, and Benjie in Summer of ’42. But as the story progresses, the boys find themselves coming closer in an attempt to overcome personal tragedy. Innocence is sent packing and the book takes on the attributes of one of the thrill rides at the run-down amusement park where the boys spend their summer. Readers can expect to go from heartwarming to heartbreaking as the boys try to fin their place in a confusing world.
Keeping the ’70s compelling and authentic is an interesting feat from a writer who is likely too young to remember much of that decade. Named one of Britain’s top “thirty-something” novelists by The Times of London, Alex read law at Oxford University and worked for eight years as a corporate lawyer in London and Paris before moving to the United States in 2003. He is married to writer and critic Alexandra Socarides and currently operates his own law firm in Columbia.
Alex is also the founder and director of The Unbound Book Festival. This year’s second annual event will take place in Columbia on Friday, April 21, at Jesse Auditorium on the University of Missouri campus with Salman Rushdie as the scheduled speaker. The festival continues Saturday, April 22, at Stephens College. More information is available at UnboundBookFestival.com.
Setting Free the Kites is scheduled for release February 21.