News of the World by Paulette Jiles

news1Set in the post-Civil War era, former Army Captain Jefferson Kidd makes his living reading to residents of various towns from the newspapers. During one of his readings, he is asked to bring a 10 year-old girl named Johanna, captive for four years among the Kiowa, to her aunt and uncle. She's the only survivor in her family from an Indian raid and because she was so young at the time of the kidnapping, she sees herself as a Kiowa and is very reluctant to allow the Captain to take her away.

Nonetheless, when Kidd does accept the responsibility to take her back to her aunt and uncle, the novel takes us on a 400-mile journey across Texas to get her home. The story is both about the physical voyage as well as the internal journey as they bond with each other. I highly recommend the book. The writing is really superb and the author captures the Wild West era perfectly. Most importantly, it is the relationship between the two characters that was unforgettable. Heartbreaking, tender, inspirational-the novel will stay with you a long time.

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