News of the World: A Novel (Hardcover)

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Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd is a news reader. He's fought in two wars and lived through another. He travels from town to town in North Texas holding readings in local halls. He wants to bring the world to these people. While in Wichita Falls, he is asked by a black acquaintance to escort a 10 year old girl back to her people. She had been abducted by the Kiowa four years previous. She is not happy about going back to a place she doesn't remember. The captain and Johanna reluctantly form an unbreakable bond that carries them through all the trials. For fans of historical fiction and for a fictionalized look at EMPIRE OF THE SUMMER MOON. Recommended.

— Valerie


National Book Award Finalist—Fiction

It is 1870 and Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels through northern Texas, giving live readings 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, forging 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. Exquisitely rendered and morally complex, News of the World is a brilliant work of historical fiction that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.

Praise For…

“This Western is not to be missed by Jiles’s fans and lovers of Texan historical fiction.”

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062409201
ISBN-10: 0062409204
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: October 4th, 2016
Pages: 224
Language: English