Have in the Library? Yes!
Review by Margot Sullivan
The year is 1870. Captain Jefferson Kidd, once a printer but has since lost his printing press to the Civil War, now travels in a wagon through North Texas to bring news of the day. In small villages he assembles people in churches and halls and charges ten cents a head. Unhappy and alone he is. His life seemed to him thin and sour, a bit spoiled,…..”a slow dullness had seeped into him like coal gas”. He was always impatient to get the readings over now.
Are you already wanting to read this book? Sort of a western, a remarkable journey through unsettled wilderness territory, with a range of human emotions. The writing is amazing and one is caught up with what Captain Kidd will do and how he will change. And what Johanna will begin to do to make the Captain understand her. In Wichita Falls Kidd is approached to return a young girl (Johanna) to relatives in San Antonio. Four years ago the Kiowa Indians had killed her family but took her into their tribe and raised her as one of them: she only speaks Kiowa. The Kiowa now find her a liability.
Reluctantly Captain Kidd agrees to take her and the reader now begins to observe a remarkable relationship develop! As they wend their way north in his wagon thieves, Comanches, Kiowa, and unscrupulous characters force them to try to understand each other to defend themselves and survive. They must learn to trust each other and also to accept what is different about each other.
Reader beware as the end of the journey is as perilous as what as already been encountered. I loved this book! I thought this is so different than what I like to read. The writing is elegant, the characters so well-drawn, and the environment with great imagery. You will become absorbed into the lives of these two people.
2 thoughts on “Book Review 16: “News of the World””
Ah! This was my recommendation for book group last year. I am happy it is in our library, and am looking forward to reading it very much.
I found your blog while researching a trip to your beautiful island and thought I would share that Ms. Jiles’ book was Texas’ Great Read for 2017! I work at the State Library in Austin. We love her and her book: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/news/2017/tcfb_jiles