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News of the World
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October 2016: Historical Fiction > News of the World by Paulette Jiles - 4 stars

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Booknblues | 5526 comments What a pleasure it was to read Paulette Jiles' new novel News of the World. It was a lovely read which combine so many of my favorite genres; historical fiction, western, coming of age, a crotchety old man, and a quest.

Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd is 71 years old and has survived three wars and after the closing of his printing press he survives from traveling from town to town in post Civil War Texas and reading excerpts from various newspapers. He charges a dime to do this. He is a lonely man, longing for his family who has moved faraway.

"He had become impatient of trouble and other people’s emotions. His life seemed to him thin and sour, a bit spoiled, and it was something that had only come upon him lately."

While in Wichita Falls he is offered fifty dollars to return a 10 year old female captive of the Kiowa's to her aunt and uncle outside of San Antonio. He reluctantly agrees and Johanna and the Captain begin the long journey home.

It is heartwarming to see their relationship develop. The author notes:

"Joy and liveliness had come back to his readings now. His voice had its old vibrancy again and he smiled as he read the amusing things, the Hindi women who would not say their husband’s names, odd telegraph messages caught by a reporter, and recalled how dull his life had seemed before he had come upon her in Wichita Falls. He saw her bright, fierce little face break into laughter when the crowd laughed. It was good. Laughter is good for the soul and all your interior works.'

For those fond of of historical fiction and who are not adverse to a book which will tug on heartstrings , this is a wonderful offering.


Karin | 6930 comments Thanks; I've marked this want to read now. I hope it's one of Jiles' 4 star reads for me as well.


Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7717 comments You had me at crotchety old man...


Booknblues | 5526 comments Nicole R wrote: "You had me at crotchety old man..."

I just love a book with a crotchety old man, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd is not quite Ove, but he is pretty damn cool all the same.


Tracy (tstan) | 1182 comments I liked this one, too. The relationship between the Captain and Johanna reminded me of True Grit. It was a satisfying book, and I learned about Texas history.


Booknblues | 5526 comments Tracy wrote: "I liked this one, too. The relationship between the Captain and Johanna reminded me of True Grit. It was a satisfying book, and I learned about Texas history."

It was a pleasure to read. It made me wish I knew the landscape of Texas a little better so I could picture their journey in my minds eye. That is why I think it would be fun for Regina to read.


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 5645 comments I have to read this ....


Booknblues | 5526 comments Book Concierge wrote: "I have to read this ...."
I think you will like it.


Denizen (den13) | 1138 comments Your review put it on my TBR.


Booknblues | 5526 comments I think if you liked Doc, you would like this. It doesn't have the depth that Doc does, but it is such a charming story that I couldn't help but like it.


Regina Lindsey | 1005 comments I added it to my TBR after you sent me the recommendation. Thanks for thinking of me.


Booknblues | 5526 comments Regina wrote: "I added it to my TBR after you sent me the recommendation. Thanks for thinking of me."

I think the journey through Texas which they take will hold your attention, imagining it during those times.

Jiles lives in Texas and is a rider. She often takes extended trail rides. I read an interview with her and that decided for me that I needed to read it right away.


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