News of the World, Week 4

Welcome to the final discussion of News of the World!

I really couldn’t believe how much I enjoyed this whole book. It is one of my favorite books that I have read recently. I liked all of it—the action, the relationships between the characters, the history. It was all good. Did you enjoy the book? Are you glad you followed along this month? 

What did you think of John Calley in this last section? I have to admit that when he first showed up and returned that money to the Captain, he didn’t stick out to me. I read that section, but the name didn’t stick. So, when he showed up at the end looking for Johanna, I had no idea who he was. I had to flip back through the chapters trying to find him. Were you surprised when he showed back up at the end of the book? Would you have ever guessed that Johanna would settle down with someone she had met earlier in the book? 

Did you laugh when Johanna killed those chickens as they were leaving town? I liked how she was being so sincere and kind to provide for the Captain, but he was so worried about being polite and proper. I couldn’t believe that he actually sent money back to the man who lost the chickens. He really went above and beyond in that situation. 

I felt sick throughout this last section because it was so sad to imagine Johanna and the Captain separating. There was one scene where Johanna attempts, in her own way, to convince Captain Kidd to keep her, and she keeps telling him to laugh, like all of the things he’s saying are just a joke. That scene was heartbreaking. He was trying to do the right thing to return her to family, but they bonded so much on the journey. Johanna definitely showed she was bonded to Kidd when they stumbled on that band of Kiowa and she didn’t betray Kidd. She could have attempted to go back to the Kiowa, but she didn’t. That was a telling incident. 

The aunt and uncle were horrible from the get go. Didn’t you just feel like they were not going to be good to Johanna? The aunt was so cold and dismissive. I could tell that she wasn’t going to be patient and loving to Johanna. You knew she was going to attempt to get Johanna to be “normal” as soon as possible. Were you shocked when the messenger told Captain Kidd that he couldn’t leave Johanna with the family? I was shocked that Captain Kidd actually left Johanna at that point. I thought the messenger saying that would have caused the Captain to steal her away right then and there. 

I wasn’t surprised when Captain Kidd came back to get Johanna in the end. I just knew he couldn’t leave her with those people. His instincts were definitely proved right when he found Johanna alone in the field dealing with the horses. I can’t imagine how happy Johanna was when she realized the Captain had come back for her. 

What did you think of the ending? I was surprised that we got to see how the characters ended up. I didn’t expect the story to give that much information about the future. I was a little surprised that Johanna got married. I guess I just envisioned her as a strong, independent woman, but that’s probably not very realistic for the time period. I was glad that the Captain was eventually back with his children. They all seemed like they had a very pleasant life. 

Is there anything you would have changed in the story? Were you satisfied with the story arc of each character? What was your favorite part? 

If you liked this story and are interested in reading similar books, check out this list I created. Make sure to let me know if you check out anything on the list!

Before you go, check out this article about a Kiowa elder who was on the set of the movie version to help the actress who played Johanna to learn the language and customs. It’s a really interesting article!

I hope you enjoyed following along this month! I can’t wait to hear from you in the comments section. And, I hope you’ll join us again next month as we read The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells.