News of the World

News of the World

A Novel

Book - 2017
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In the aftermath of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, an elderly widower and itinerant news reader, is offered fifty dollars to bring an orphan girl, who was kidnapped and raised by Kiowa raiders, from Wichita Falls back to her family in San Antonio.
Publisher: New York, NY : William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2017.
Edition: First William Morrow paperback edition.
Copyright Date: ℗♭2016
ISBN: 9780062409218
Characteristics: 212, 18 pages : maps ; 19 cm


From Library Staff

apollospacefan Jul 22, 2018

Slower paced book with the fascinating scenario of a man in the later years of life connecting with a young Indian captive girl. They journey south through Texas to return the girl to her aunt and uncle's home, against her wishes and even understanding, while he reads "news of the world&quo... Read More »

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May 01, 2019

2016; William Morrow

"Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels through northern Texas, giving live readings from newspapers to paying audiences hungry for news of the world. An elderly widower who has lived through three wars and fought in two of them, the captain enjoys his rootless, solitary existence.

In Wichita Falls, he is offered a $50 gold piece to deliver a young orphan to her relatives in San Antonio. Four years earlier, a band of Kiowa raiders killed Johanna’s parents and sister; sparing the little girl, they raised her as one of their own. Recently rescued by the U.S. army, the ten-year-old has once again been torn away from the only home she knows.

Their 400-mile journey south through unsettled territory and unforgiving terrain proves difficult and at times dangerous. Johanna has forgotten the English language, tries to escape at every opportunity, throws away her shoes, and refuses to act “civilized.” Yet as the miles pass, the two lonely survivors tentatively begin to trust each other, forming a bond that marks the difference between life and death in this treacherous land.

Arriving in San Antonio, the reunion is neither happy nor welcome. The captain must hand Johanna over to an aunt and uncle she does not remember—strangers who regard her as an unwanted burden. A respectable man, Captain Kidd is faced with a terrible choice: abandon the girl to her fate or become—in the eyes of the law—a kidnapper himself." (From Publisher)

I love the synopsis of this novel, so I am not even going to touch it with my own words. This is my first novel by Jiles, though I have a few of her books on my physical shelf. I have heard such great things about her novels, and I love historical fiction, so I have been wanting to read her novels for awhile. When I had a chance to review this book, I jumped on it, and I am so happy I did. I loved the characters in this book especially the Captain and the girl. They are both endearing so I felt a great connection and investment to them and what was going to happen next. I also like stories where there is an "epic journey" as it reminds me of the inner journey we go through within ourselves. I kind of hope this book will be adapted into a miniseries. As I read the novel, I could picture it like a film in my mind. It is very lush with descriptions, and as I read I was transported to another place. This novel reminds me a lot of the movies, True Grit (original and remake) and book/movie Cold Mountain (one of my favourite novels). I cannot wait to read another book by Jiles.

***I received an eARC from EDELWEISS**

Apr 09, 2019

This is the first of this author’s books that I have read, and it inspires me to read more. She employs beautiful spare and descriptive - in her case, this is not a contradiction - prose.

Apr 06, 2019

Rec from Laurie

Feb 01, 2019

I loved this book...didn't want it to end.

Jan 23, 2019

The war between the states is barely over when Captain Kidd, a white haired seventy year old who is a veteran of more wars than he cares to remember is asked by the local Indian Agent in North Texas to take a blue eyed ten year old girl who had been taken by the Kiowa after they had killed her parents. She was being sent to live with her only remaining relatives in .Castroville, 500 dangerous miles away.
The captain takes her under his wing:she knows nothing of the ways of civilization. She neither eats with a fork sleeps except on the ground. But she does same the Captain’s life on more than one occasion with her native skill and talent.
This is a story of patience. It is a story of someone who is lost. It is a story of a child learning to trust again. This is a story with which one can easily fall in love. It is a bitter sweet tale in which, however, the sweet prevails.

IndyPL_SteveB Nov 24, 2018

A short and intense historical novel, particularly well-written. Captain Jefferson Kidd is 71 years old. He has lived through three wars and fought in The War of 1812 and the Mexican War. He was a printer but debts from the war broke his business. Now in 1870 he wanders between small towns in Texas giving performances where he reads the news of the world from newspapers from Chicago, New York, London, Paris, etc. In Wichita Falls he accepts the responsibility of delivering a young girl, Joanna to her family near San Antonio, after she was kidnapped by Kiowa Indians, although he knows this will be a dangerous trip. But since he raised two daughters, he feels responsible.

And a dangerous trip it is indeed. The two are followed by a man who wants to steal the girl for prostitution. Raiders want their wagon and supplies. Perhaps most dangerous is Johanna herself. She identifies herself as Kiowa and is prepared to run away or kill someone at the least provocation. Captain Kidd must forge an uneasy friendship with her just to make sure they both survive. As he teaches her English and slowly “civilizes” her, mutual respect grows. The level of detail about the trip is fascinating and the emotional connection between the Captain and Johanna completely held my attention. The plot is fairly simple but the beautiful writing and the feeling of truth make it important.

AnnabelleLee27 Nov 01, 2018

A compelling and emotional historical fiction; simply and beautifully written with interesting, well developed, and memorable characters. A story with adventure, heart, and humor set in a place and time (1870s Texas during reconstruction) that is not often explored in fiction. Excellent!

Oct 08, 2018

A lovely book, very well written, descriptions made me see the locations. Great characters

apollospacefan Jul 22, 2018

Slower paced book with the fascinating scenario of a man in the later years of life connecting with a young Indian captive girl. They journey south through Texas to return the girl to her aunt and uncle's home, against her wishes and even understanding, while he reads "news of the world" to the towns along the way.
The writing style Jiles uses omits the usage of quotation marks, which is distracting for a while, but worth persisting.

Jul 18, 2018

Top notch! What a great book. Two spectacular characters. Wonderful prose. I would enjoy reading about Johanna and her adult life. Jiles is a master storyteller. I look forward to reading more of her work.

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Jan 31, 2018

MelissaBee thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Aug 27, 2017

infobetsy thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Feb 03, 2017

feralranger thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 11 and 99


Add a Quote
Sep 14, 2018

Some people were born unsupplied with a human conscience and those people needed killing.
-Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd

cals_readers Feb 17, 2017

Some people were born unsupplied with a human conscience and those people needed killing.


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