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News of the World

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Paulette Jiles

Narrated By: Grover Gardner

Publisher: Brilliance Audio

Date: October 2016

Duration: 5 hours 58 minutes


In the aftermath of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd drifts through northern Texas, performing live readings from newspapers to paying audiences hungry for news of the world-of the Irish pouring into New York City, of the railroad driving into the new state of Nebraska, of an eruption of Popocatépetl near Mexico City. An elderly widower who has lived through three wars and fought in two of them, the captain once made his living as a printer, until the War Between the States took his press and everything with it. Now, at seventy-one, he enjoys the freedom of the road, even if his body aches and money is scarce.

At a stop in Wichita Falls, Captain Kidd is offered a fifty-dollar gold piece to deliver a young orphan to her relatives near San Antonio. Four years earlier, a band of Kiowa raiders viciously killed Johanna Leonberger's parents and sister; sparing the little girl, they raised her as their own. Recently recovered by the U.S. Army, the ten-year-old with blue eyes and hair the color of maple sugar has once again been torn away from the only home and family she knows. The captain's sense of duty and of compassion propels him to accept, though he knows the journey will be long and difficult.

Winding through unsettled territory and unforgiving terrain, the four-hundred-mile odyssey south proves dangerous as well. A corrupt Reconstruction administration runs the state government, and anarchy and lawlessness have taken hold. The captain must watch for thieves, Comanches and Kiowas, and the federal army-and corral the wild Johanna. Small and thin, the despondent child has forgotten the English language, tries to escape at every opportunity, throws away her shoes, and refuses to act "civilized." Yet as the miles pass, the wary Johanna slowly draws closer to the man she calls "Kep-dun," and the two lonely survivors forge a bond that marks the difference between life and death in this treacherous land.

But in San Antonio another hurdle awaits, one that will force this respectable man to make a terrible choice that will determine Johanna's fate-and his own.

Unfolding in gorgeous prose, News of the World is a vivid portrait that captures a beautiful and hostile land, and a masterful exploration of the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.


  • Ranelle M.

    I liked this book so much that I “read” it twice, and the second time I picked up a lot of details and nuances I had missed before. I loved the author’s style, the historical and geographical accuracy, the compelling story of the returned captive, and the suspense and adventure. I am interested in other books written by Paulette Jules. But above all, I loved the narration. I will also be looking for other books read by Grover Gardner!

  • Robert R

    I had no previous familiarity with either this book or author, nor with narrator Grover Gardner. However, I was totally infatuated with all three. Paulette Jiles has written such a beautiful (and beautifully written) book that I rushed out to buy one of her previous works! And Grover Gardner is a revelation! He was the perfect narrator for this lovely tale. So far, my favorite book of the year.

  • Melinda G

    This was a lovely book! It has fully fleshed and interesting characters, it is well grounded in place and time, and it is skillfully and warmly written. The narration is excellent.

News of the World

by Paulette Jiles

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News of the World, Paulette Jiles