Simon Boudlin is an orphan from Kentucky who is forced to join the Confederate army just before their surrender. After the war, the fiddler and three other men form a band. They travel throughout Texas, playing in hotels, saloons at celebrations and any other venue they can find. While traveling, Simon meets a gang of colorful characters and falls in love.
I almost gave up on Simon the Fiddler. The writing is great, but Simon’s journey through a bleak, brown, hot Texas grew tedious for him as well as for me. However, about 2/3’s through the novel becomes exciting. If you were a fan of News of the World, Jiles’ latest work is worth your time, and a bonus – Captain Kidd makes a very brief appearance in Simon the Fiddler.