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Tuesday, November 17, 2020

News of the World by Paulette Jiles

Books--there are never enough; I'm continually adding to my list.  I always find time to read them, but taking the time to review them is another story.  

News of the World by Paulette Jiles.  (Thanks, Sam!)  I read it on my Kindle, but I ordered a physical copy for my husband.  

From a NY Times review:  "  [Paulette Jiles's] story in “News of the World” is painfully simple. An old man, Capt. Jefferson Kyle Kidd, is content to make his living as an itinerant news reader in Texas until he is charged with a much more difficult mission. A white girl, about 10, has been “rescued” from the Kiowa Indians who kidnapped her and killed her immediate family four years earlier. Would he please take her down to the San Antonio region and return her to her closest living relatives, an aunt and uncle?"  (Source)

The characters enter your world with a surprising intensity.  Captain Kidd and Johanna make the dangerous trek through a largely untamed Texas, not long after the Civil War.  Initially, Johanna wants nothing more to return to the Kiowas, but gradually, she and Kidd form a bond.

It is my favorite book of fiction this year.

As I read, I thought of many things, including the problems experienced by children who were kidnapped by various Indian tribes and were unable to re-assimilate into their families after being rescued.  I also thought about boarding schools run by the Bureau of Indian Affairs that forced the children to cut their hair  and wear uniforms of the white culture, that forbade the use of their own language, and more.  Families were coerced into sending their children from 1860-1978.  

Articles in medical and psychiatric science journals have repeatedly discussed how childhood trauma "influences both mental and physical health in adulthood and across generations" (Source), and I thought about the children put in cages at the border and wondered about the ramifications of those actions, not only on the children themselves, but on their children.

I finished this last week, and it is still on my mind.  I've finished several other books since, and although several were good--they aren't in the same category.

 

12 comments:

  1. This is one I would like to read, but haven't managed to get to. This sounds like a very thought provoking book. I often wonder about those kids being held in detention on the border and how they are faring. I cannot imagine this isn't going to impact them for the rest of their lives and their children and grandchildren--being so mistreated and basically caged. So horrible.

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    1. I really loved the characters and yes, very thought provoking!

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  2. Oh wow, your favorite fiction read of the year! You have me very intrigued by this one. It sounds so thought-provoking.

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    1. Funny how that happens. I read a lot of books and like them, then one book kind of bursts out of the frame. :)

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  3. I really enjoyed this, as did my husband, mom and my book club. I'm looking forward to seeing the movie, too! Has your husband read it yet? I'll bet he likes it, too.

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    1. Seems like so many people have read it! My husband has started it and is liking it. I knew he would. He isn't much for fiction, but every once in a while, a novel manages to get him interested. ;)

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  4. I so loved this book when I read it! In fact, I think it's one I'd like to own so I can read it again and again. :)

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    1. Interesting the way News of the World caught so many different readers. I'm glad I actually ordered it after reading Sam's comments about it! And yes, having a physical copy of this one is a good thing.

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  5. Hi Jenclair, I have heard about Paulette Jiles. Never got around to reading her. This story similar to the real life story of Cynthia Ann Parker and childhood trauma goes on of course to this day, all over world.

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    1. I really liked it, and Jiles seems to have done good research. I looked at some stories of Indian captives and saw the story of Cynthia Ann Parker. Yes, it is so sad to see the examples of situations of childhood trauma that continue to have consequences. Thanks for visiting!

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  6. Sounds like both a good and thought-provoking read, Jenclair. A new-to-me author to check out. :)

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  7. I remember when this one was the read of the moment. Didn't get to it but thank you for bringing this one up. It sounds like such a great story.

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