NEWS OF THE WORLD Written by Paulette Jiles
2016; 209 Pages (William Morrow)
Genre: historical fiction, civil war, western, literary fiction
(I received an ARC from the EDELWEISS)
RATING: 4.5 STARS
“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 shelf. I have heard such great things about her novels, and I love historical fiction. When I had a chance to review this book, I jumped on it, and am 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. This novel reminds me a lot of the movie, True Grit and book [book:Cold Mountain|10920] (one of my favourite novels). I cannot wait to read another book by Jiles.