Paulette Jiles

Paulette Jiles’s lovely, lyrical News of the World is easily the most moving novel I’ve read this year. It’s the story of 70-plus-year-old Captain Jefferson Kidd, a Civil War veteran who drifts across Texas reading the news of far-off places to audiences hungry for the exotic. He’s offered a handsome sum to transport a 10-year-old orphan, who’s been kidnapped by Kiowa Indians who killed her parents, back to relatives in San Antonio.

Jiles_news2The tenderness and humor with which Jiles writes about the relationship that develops between the unlikely couple is magical. And the tension she creates about the young girl’s fate is palpable.

Jiles has done impressive research on post-Civil War Texas and what happened to children kidnapped by the Indians. And the way she writes about the landscape they cover en route to San Antonio is masterful. But the truly exquisite aspect of this book is how, in a short time, she makes us love and care about her characters. Read this book!

On another note, I’m binging on Goliath, Amazon Prime’s series starring one of my favorite bad boys, Billy Bob Thorton, with a top notch cast especially the incredible Nina Arinada, who was brilliant off-Broadway in Venus in Fur. Check it out.