The Kites (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

The story begins in the 1930s with Ludo and his uncle Ambrose - a kite maker, letter carrier, and pacifist.  An encounter with a beautiful young woman haunts Ludo until she returns to their village. The daughter of a wealthy Polish family, Lila gives Ludo a glimpse of high society. The outbreak of WWII throws their world into chaos, with Ludo in France and Lila in Poland. A powerful tale of memory, hope, and love in the face of adversity.  --Jack

— From Staff Favorites List- Fall 2017


On a small farm in Normandy, as Hitler rises to power in Germany, young Ludo comes of age in the care of his Uncle Ambrose, an eccentric mailman, kite-maker, and pacifist. Ludo's quiet existence changes the day he meets Lila, a girl from the aristocratic Polish family who own the estate next door. In a single glance, Ludo instantly falls in love forever; Lila, on the other hand, remains elusive. Thus begins Ludo's adventure of longing, passion, and steadfast love for Lila, who begins to reciprocate his feelings just as Europe descends into war. After Germany invades Poland, Lila and her family disappear, and Ludo's journey to save her from the Nazis becomes a journey to save his loved ones, his country, and ultimately himself.

Filled with unforgettable characters--an indomitable chef who believes Michelin stars are more enduring than military conquests; a Jewish brothel Madam who reinvents everything about herself during the war; a piano virtuoso turned RAF pilot--The Kites is Romain Gary's poetic call for resistance in whatever form it takes.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780811226547
ISBN-10: 0811226549
Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publication Date: October 31st, 2017
Pages: 384
Language: English