We’ve all experienced it but “coming of age” – transitioning from childhood to adulthood — doesn’t happen at the same time or in the same way for everyone. In fact, I’m still waiting for some middle-aged friends to grow up! For most of us, and for most literary characters, “coming of age” occurs sometime during the teen years. In real time, it is usually angst-ridden, yet in later memory, we often find humor in it; not always so for our literary counterparts.
One of the best recent coming-of-age novels is Alex George’s Setting Free the Kites and I’m delighted to announce that the August 27th BOOKS ‘n’ BOTTLES™ will host the award-winning, bestselling author and his latest work. The book is already a staff favorite at the Book Bin in Northbrook, IL — voted Make It Better magazine’s Best Book Store on Chicago’s North Shore – where we’re hosting this summer’s events.
Setting Free the Kites strikes the right balance between poignancy and humor, a heart-rending story full of charm and quirkiness that explores the pain, joy, and glories of young friendship. It is a worthy successor to the author’s acclaimed previous novel, A Good American. If you are in the Chicagoland area on August 27th, I hope you will join us for great books, great wines, great people and great times at the Book Bin.
Meanwhile, how many of these other notable coming-of-age novels have you read:
Little Women – Louisa May Alcott (1868)
The Yearling – Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (1938)
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith (1943)
A Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger (1951)
Go Tell It on the Mountain – James Baldwin (1953)
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee (1960)
Bless Me, Ultima – Rudolfo Anaya (1972)
The House on Mango Street – Sandra Cisneros (1984)
Harry Potter (series) – J.K. Rowling (1997-2016)
The Namesake – Jhumpa Lahiri (2003)
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian – Sherman Alexie (2007)
All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr (2014)