(as of Jul 12,2018 15:21:27 UTC – Details)
Finalist Fiction of the National Book Award
After the civil war, an aging wandering reader, a young prisoner of the Kiowa, in this exquisitely executed, morally complex, multi-layered novel of historical fiction, agrees with the author of Hostile women this explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor and trust.
In the wake of the civil war, Captain Jefferson travels Kyle Kidd through the north of Texas, delivering readings from newspapers to paying audiences hungry for news about the world. An elderly widower who has lived through three wars and fought in two of them enjoys the captain's rootless, lonely existence.
In Wichita Falls, he is being offered a $ 50 gold coin to bring a young orphan to his relatives in San Antonio. Four years earlier, a gang of Kiowa Raiders killed Johanna's parents and sister; sparing the little one, they raised her as one of her own. Recently rescued by the US Army, the ten-year-old was ripped out of the only house she knows.
Their 400-mile journey south through changeable territory and merciless terrain proves difficult and sometimes dangerous. Johanna has forgotten the English language, trying to escape at every opportunity, throwing away her shoes and refusing to act "civilized". But as the miles pass, the two lonely survivors begin to trust each other tentatively, forming a connection that marks the difference between life and death in this treacherous land.
Arriving in San Antonio, the reunion is neither happy nor welcome. The captain has to hand Johanna over to an aunt and an uncle she does not remember – strangers who consider her an unwanted burden. A respectable man, Captain Kidd faces a dreadful decision: to leave the girl to her fate or – in the eyes of the law – to become a kidnapper himself.