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News of the World by Paulette Jiles
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News of the World (2016)

by Paulette Jiles

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,6591587,240 (4.2)256
"In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.In the wake of the Civil War, 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"--… (more)
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» See also 256 mentions

English (157)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (158)
Showing 1-5 of 157 (next | show all)
I enjoyed News of the World up until the ending. I'll start with what I liked about the book. I loved the paced writing style that focused on details and sensual descriptions. As a Texas native I really enjoyed reading about what places I've been my whole life were like in the 1800s. I didn't love the story itself. While I did feel a connection to the Captain by the end I didn't feel Johanna or any other characters were very well developed. The ending seemed rushed and abrupt. I would have liked another 50+ pages to keep the same pace as the rest of the book. Overall a good read. ( )
  technodiabla | May 11, 2020 |
Fascinating tale of post-civil war times in Texas. Child who had been taken by Indians after the murder of her family is recaptured, and old man undertakes the journey to return her to her relatives, and they form a bond. Based on historical fact that captured children had difficulty reintegrating into their birth culture. ( )
  FBGNewbies | May 7, 2020 |
In Texas, a 6 year old girl gets abducted by Indians--her family is all killed. After 2 years she gets returned & a 70nyear old man (Captain Kidd) travel with her to return her to her remaining relatives. the Captain & girls relationship--she takes on the Indian Culture & no English, different standards...very well written
good book ( )
  evatkaplan | Apr 30, 2020 |
Entrancing.

> Captain Kidd traveled from town to town in North Texas with his newspapers and read aloud the news of the day to assemblies like this in halls or churches for a dime a head. He traveled alone and had no one to collect the dimes for him but not many people cheated and if they did somebody caught them at it and grabbed them by the lapels and wrenched them up in a knot and said, You really ought to pay your goddamn dime, you know, like everybody else. ( )
  breic | Apr 26, 2020 |
Jefferson Kyle Kidd the aging man who has lost his purpose, finds it again when he is tasked with return a 10 year old girl who was kidnapped to the Kiowa Tribe at age 6. He is such an interesting man with a history of fighting in the Civil War, of running "news" to soldiers as the only means of communicating. He has a love for information and for print, and a love of history and place. The strong young girl would ultimately never fit in with her abusive German Immigrant Aunt and Uncle. This is a beautiful book, paced slowly and deliberately. The characters are lovely.

I have never heard of a "newsreader" but it is fun to compare how the news was received and longed for, with the constant bombardment of news we have today. The love of print comes through so strongly in the pleasure Kidd took in his print shop and the almost reverence he give the newspapers he can get his hands on. "He loved print, felt something right about sending out information into the world. Independent of its content." Chapt 3

The captain is deeply spiritual and protective. "More than ever knowing in his fragile bones that it was the duty of men who aspired to the condition of humanity to protect children and kill for them if necessary. It comes to a person mosts clearly when he has daughters. He had thought he was done raising daughers. As for protecting this feral child he was all for it in principle but wishes he could find somebody else to do it." Chapt four

As for Johanna she will always fall between two cultures, she has been through 2 creations Doris says comparing it to the Irish famine. Chapt. 6

For both the Captain and Johanna, their relationship is life saving. The captain is "drawn back into the stream of being because there was once again a life in his hands. Things mattered. The strange depression and spiritual chill he had felt back in Wichita Falls was gone. "Chap. 8 . I think as we age we feel less and less useful. With integrity and if we push ourselves we may see unlikely opportunities to say engaged. It may be with jobs no one else wants to take on.

For Johanna, the captain gives her stability, love but also a life that suits her need to be moving and not standing still. When she marries it was into "a life she could love". Chapt. 22. Without her captain, this would not have been possible. ( )
  Jeanene_KP | Apr 6, 2020 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Paulette Jilesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gardner, GroverNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For friends on the long trails:
Susan, June, April, Nancy, Caroline, Wanda,
Evelyn, and Rita Wightman Whippet
First words
Captain Kidd laid out the Boston Morning Journal on the lectern and began to read from the article on the Fifteenth Amendment.
Quotations
Britt's own wife and two children had been taken captive six years ago, in 1864, and he had gone out and got them back. Nobody knew quite how he had done it. He seemed to have some celestial protection about him when he rode out alone on the Red Rolling Plains, a place which seemed to invite both death and dangers. Britt had taken on the task of rescuing others, a dark man, cunning and strong and fast like a nightjar in the midnight air.
Long bright crawls of water slid across the livery stable floor and took up the light of the lantern like a luminous stain and the roof shook with the percussion of drops as big as nickels.
A light drizzle drifted through the landscape of cranky post oak trees whose limbs did not have six inches of straight any of in them.
Then she seemed to struggle with a tangled thing inside her head, something knotted that would not unknot.
Above and behind them the Dipper turned on its great handle as if to pour night itself out onto the dreaming continent and each of its seven stars gleamed from between the fitful passing clouds.
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