Instaread Summary, Analysis & Review of Paulette Jiles's News of the World
Five out of five stars
The unusual background of the novel is explained very well in the summary. At first thought, the premise seems a bit forced, yet after some reflection it is clear that situations like this did happen in Texas in the 1870’s. It was a time of Indian raids and lawlessness in that vast land and when white children were captured in a deadly raid, they were often raised by the tribe.
Johanna Leonberger is a 10-year-old girl that was recently freed from the Kiowas and Captain Jefferson Kyle (Captain) Kidd has been tasked with transporting her to some remaining family members. Captain Kidd is 71 and the veteran of several wars, he now makes his living by traveling from town to town and publicly reading the news.
Their journey is a dangerous one, with people of all races posing deadly dangers to them. Yet the Captain is able to succeed and delivers Johanna. However, before he departs he realizes that she is being mistreated, so he takes her and they form a grandfather/grandchild bond. The story continues into Johanna’s adulthood where she gets married.
Unlike many other summaries, the description of the book is slow, steady and understandable. Some of the others describe the plot so fast that the reader has the impression of being exposed to a fast talking auctioneer. The dangers of the world of Texas are explained very well, setting the proper context for what is essentially a human interest/adventure story. All readers of the summary will have enough information to be able to make the read/don’t read decision.