the next good book

News Of The World

By Paulette Jiles


209 pages

What’s it about? This story takes place in Texas, after the close of the Civil War.  71 year-old Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd is drifting through North Texas reading the news of the world to groups of locals for money.   One day he is offered a 50 dollar gold piece to return a 10 year-old white girl, who has been rescued from the Kiowa Indians, back to her aunt and uncle near San Antonio.  Against his better judgment, but worried for the young girl’s safety, he decides to take the girl back to her relatives. What did I think? Captain Kidd is such a great character!  Two novels in a row that have strong male characters whose integrity is challenged by their circumstances.  Captain Kidd is living in a hard time, and this novel is filled with hard characters.  Ms. Jiles does a wonderful job of conveying the hard-scrabble life in Texas after the war.  I enjoyed “Enemy Women” years ago, so I had high hope for “News of the World”.   I was not disappointed. Should you read it? This book is perfect for anyone with an interest in historical fiction.  The long term impact on settlers of being captured by Indians is again explored by Ms. Jiles.  It was a really interesting time in history, and it made for a very interesting book. Quote- “At the age he had attained with his life span short before him he had begun to look upon the human world with the indifference of a condemned man.Who cares for your fashions and your wars and your causes?   I will shortly be gone and I have seen many fashions come and go and many causes so passionately defended only to be forgotten.But now it was different and he was drawn back into the stream of being because their was once again life in his hands.  Things mattered.”

Related books: