News of the World is an historical fiction set shortly after the Civil War, following Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd as he travels through Texas reading newspapers from the East Coast to audiences. He is asked to return Johanna to her family in San Antonio-her family was killed by Kiowa raiders four years before and she has recently been rescued by the U. S. Army. The two travel four hundred miles from Wichita Falls to San Antonio-the Captain trying to teach Johanna "civilized" behavior, and Johanna trying to adjust to yet another upheaval in her short life on her journey to her family: strangers who may not want her, but are obligated to take her in.
This was a very enjoyable book. It describes what life was like in Texas after the Civil War, as well as what life was like for the residents who were not on the winning side-Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd is still working at seventy years old because the reparations required to be paid after the Civil War took up most of his savings, and he does not wish to be a burden on his already burdened adult daughters. The book moves from the present to the Captain's past, and his experiences in the two wars he participated in (the War of 1812 and the Mexican-American War), as well as his life between and after those wars. It is historically vivid, with some humor to break up the more serious themes in the book. I highly recommend this book for historical fiction fans-it will be available in October.