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News of the World


A brilliant work of historical fiction that explores the boundaries of family,...
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Discuss News of the World by Paulette Jiles:
What message does the novel have for its readers about family ties?

Created: 07/25/17

Replies: 21

Posted Jul. 25, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1626

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What message does the novel have for its readers about family ties?

What message does the novel have for its readers about family ties? Consider the Captain’s family and Johanna’s aunt and uncle.


Posted Jul. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Carol Rainer

Join Date: 09/03/15

Posts: 72

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RE: What message does the novel have for its readers about family ties?

That blood ties do not always mean a loving family. After her parents are killed, she is taken in and loved by the Kiowa tribe. Captain Kidd entered into her life and taught her how to be in this new world and in the process, paternal love grew between the unlikely couple.


Posted Jul. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 179

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RE: What message does the novel have for its readers about family ties?

Families are the result of love and caring, not necessarily blood. Kidd was protective of Johanna and built a bond with her that became a loving familial relationship. Johanna had also had her birth family and the Kiowa family, all of whom had loved her. It's the relationship that bonds a family.


Posted Jul. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 363

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RE: What message does the novel have for its readers about family ties?

There's a magnet and greeting card that many gift shows have that says "Friends are the family that you choose for yourself." I absolutely love and have more in common with some of my girlfriends more than some of the "blood" relatives. If blood were the only thing that mattered, then no foster or adoptive parents and children would ever have happiness or satisfaction.


Posted Jul. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Cynthia

Join Date: 06/07/17

Posts: 36

RE: What message does the novel have for its readers about family ties?

Johanna was loved by her family of origin, her adoptive families, the Kiowa and the Captain's, then rejected and abused by her aunt and uncle, blood relatives. The message is clear in that a sense of family can transcend blood and is built around love, caring, protection, bonding, sharing, and connection.


Posted Aug. 02, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
labbelee

Join Date: 04/29/11

Posts: 11

RE: What message does the novel have for its readers about family ties?

That "family" does not always mean blood relatives. How many people do we meet that seem to us like family, sometimes more family than our own? Johanna and the Captain are perfect examples, reinforced by her almost immediate trust in him, she recognized a kin spirit.


Posted Aug. 02, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ColoradoGirl

Join Date: 05/16/16

Posts: 34

RE: What message does the novel have for its readers about family ties?

It certainly was interesting that after the tough journey to return Johanna to her family, she was treated terribly by them. Certainly her Kiowa family and the Captain treated her more like what you would expect from a traditional family. Sometimes other ties and relationships are stronger than blood.


Posted Aug. 03, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Gloria

Join Date: 03/11/15

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Love stronger than blood

Love is stronger than blood. After all, the foundation of all families, husband and wife, is a love tie not a blood tie. I have a friend with a family all of "love" ties, no blood. And it is wonderful to see.
Johanna had three families -- her real family of blood and then her Kiowa family and her family with Captain.
Lovely.


Posted Aug. 03, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

Posts: 259

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RE: What message does the novel have for its readers about family ties?

I agree with the other replies. Blood ties in themselves are meaningless. Any ties built upon love will be treasured and have lasting impact. Even the seeds of love, a humanitarian impulse (like agreeing to escort Johanna) can lead to the kind of friendship and "chosen family " love that we see in this wonderful story. The many kinds of loving ties we see here, against the backdrop of different kinds of violence driven by greed, appetite for power and self-righteousness masking as faith, truly speak to our own time as much as they portray an era of Texas history. I feel this is the heart of the author's purpose in the novel. We are all one human family, and recognizing those ties is of greater value to individuals or to society than a narrow focus on race and bloodline.


Posted Aug. 03, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
M-E Thompson

Join Date: 08/03/17

Posts: 6

RE: What message does the novel have for its readers about family ties?

I agree with the other respondents to this question. I love the message that family can be who you choose and not necessarily to whom you are "supposed" to belong. Maybe I'm wrong about this but it also seems that given the time period of the novel and especially because of Johanna's experience with the Kiowa, it is all the more wonderful that this message is a part of the book. It seems that many people during this time would have been less likely to take Johanna on because of her past, even though it was no fault of her own.


Posted Aug. 04, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
forann

Join Date: 03/11/14

Posts: 10

RE: What message does the novel have for its readers about family ties?

Family is about who wants, cares, protects and shows you love. This story is timeless and for any generation. I have several friends who have adopted foreign children both babies and older children. They came from very different cultures and were brought into a family of caring people who worked hard to show them their dedication to providing a loving home. Ms. Jiles has written a wonderful story with such believable characters and adventures. I deeply miss these characters, even now, after days have passed since the cover was closed.


Posted Aug. 05, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianaps

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 277

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RE: What message does the novel have for its readers about family ties?

Sometimes fate creates its own family.


Posted Aug. 06, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sandra54

Join Date: 05/01/13

Posts: 53

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RE: What message does the novel have for its readers about family ties?

I agree that family are those we choose whether blood ties or not. Family is about unconditional love and those who accept us as we are. We do not work to change those we love.


Posted Aug. 06, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
caroler

Join Date: 01/12/16

Posts: 11

RE: What message does the novel have for its readers about family ties?

Sometimes it is easier to be patient with someone else's kids. At the beginning the captain went into this relationship as a paid caretaker. I don't think he went into it thinking he would come to see Johanna as a granddaughter.


Posted Aug. 07, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
annl

Join Date: 04/03/17

Posts: 25

RE: What message does the novel have for its readers about family ties?

I agree with the above commentary. Johanna learned at a very young age that "family" is not just blood, it is those who care for you.


Posted Aug. 07, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
debbielmc

Join Date: 01/19/16

Posts: 7

RE: What message does the novel have for its readers about family ties?

I believe this is a story about love and all its nuances. Family is not necessarily about the blood running through your veins, its about you takes care of you, who gives you the emotional bonds that you need with no strings attached. The people who were Johanna's kin only wanted a work hand, they didn't care about her emotional loss of her parents or the life she knew with the Kiowa...who did become her family in an ever greater sense than they ever were willing to.


Posted Aug. 08, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Lori

Join Date: 09/15/11

Posts: 13

RE: What message does the novel have for its readers about family ties?

Family does not necessarily mean just your biological relatives. Johanna's original family was killed by the Kiowa. But the Kiowa who took her in became her new family and loved and raised her as their own. Until it was time to trade her...hmmm, maybe not the best example. Captain Kidd certainly loved and cared for her and her well-being, and I cheered and teared up when he came back to rescue her from her abusive "blood relatives". All in all, family comes in many forms, and Johanna came to find her place in the world as part of Captain Kidd's extended family.


Posted Aug. 12, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
flute4u

Join Date: 08/14/13

Posts: 30

RE: What message does the novel have for its readers about family ties?

Several times throughout the book we have glimpses of Kidd's fatherly love for his daughters and I think this is carried over to his willingness to protect and guide Johanna. He is a man of commitment and when his promise to deliver her to her relatives looks misplaced he responds by searching her out and rescuing her from future abuse. The connection and love that slowly springs up between them is the core of "News of the World", that familial love can exist between unrelated people.


Posted Aug. 12, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
deeh

Join Date: 03/03/12

Posts: 186

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RE: What message does the novel have for its readers about family ties?

The message is that the ties of love are far stronger than the ties of blood.


Posted Aug. 13, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ScribblingScribe

Join Date: 02/29/16

Posts: 73

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RE: What message does the novel have for its readers about family ties?

Family is chosen. It's the people you choose to love and embrace. It is not decided by blood, but by the heart. Johanna had many families in her life: her biological family that was slain, her Kiowa family and Captain Kidd's family. The only family she did not have was with her aunt and uncle. Their brief, but cruel treatment of her stripped them of the right to call her family.


Posted Sep. 02, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
taking.mytime's Gravatar
taking.mytime

Join Date: 03/29/16

Posts: 97

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RE: What message does the novel have for its readers about family ties?

Family does not always mean relatives. Family is simply a bond of love.


Posted Sep. 02, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
KateB

Join Date: 02/11/16

Posts: 60

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RE: What message does the novel have for its readers about family ties?

I agree with other comments that the novel had a message that family ties were about more than blood. Your true family are the people who look out for you, who actively care for you both physically and emotionally. The tribe cared for Johanna as a child and were her family. Captain Kidd then took over that role but she also cared for him. The ties he had with his own blood family had been lessened by the loss of his wife and the physical distance between him and his children. When they moved closer and their lives were more intertwined they were closer again. So I felt there was also a bit of a message about distance and how that can affect family ties.


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