News of the World

Written by Paulette Jiles
Review by Sherry Jones

I loved this slim, profoundly moving book so much that, as soon as I finished it, I wanted to read it again. Paulette Jiles’s Wild West tale of an elderly veteran and a ten-year-old girl rescued from Indian captivity explores the restorative powers of love in spare, exquisite prose. Captain Jefferson Kidd, 72, has fought in three wars, loved and lost, and now leads a solitary, peripatetic life as a news reader, trumpeting tales of progress to mostly illiterate North Texas audiences. Asked to make the long trek to San Antonio to take the girl to a family she does not know, the Captain begs off, pleading old age and loathing the responsibility, but his compassion and sense of honor compel him to accept. The dangers they face together – and the girl’s fierce courage – bind them together inextricably, opening the Captain’s heart. Once he has left her, he finds himself a changed man – and makes a bold choice that will forever alter both their lives. Jiles, one of our most talented writers, gives us a beautifully told tale of love’s redemptive power that resonates long after the final page is turned. Highly recommended.