News of the World by Paulette Jiles

News of the WorldNews of the World by Paulette Jiles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This delightful book is captivating, original, and beautifully written. After the Civil War an elderly man who lost his print shop during the conflict makes his living traveling from town to town in Texas reading the news in public gatherings. At one stop he is tasked with returning a young girl whose parents had been slain by Indians to her aunt and uncle hundreds of miles away. The girl had spent several years as a captive of the Indians and by this time spoke only Kiowa and considered herself an Indian. She is hostile to the man and oblivious to the social customs and niceties of the white man. Eventually they begin to bond. The story is at times thrilling, at other times, cleverly amusing, and often heart-warming. The author has done excellent research into the period and the entire narrative has the ring of authenticity. Its educational value alone is worth the price of the book. The fine writing is sophisticated, but hidden well under a patina of folksiness. It still somehow manages to be a quick and easy read. I listened to the audiobook, and the reader is outstanding.

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