The Second Mrs. Hockaday

The Second Mrs. Hockaday

by Susan Rivers

Overview: When Major Gryffth Hockaday is called to the front lines of the Civil War, his new bride is left to care for her husband’s three-hundred-acre farm and infant son. Placidia, a mere teenager herself living far from her family and completely unprepared to run a farm or raise a child, must endure the darkest days of the war on her own. By the time Major Hockaday returns two years later, Placidia is bound for jail, accused of having borne a child in his absence and murdering it. What really transpired in the two years he was away?

A love story, a story of racial divide, and a story of the South as it fell in the war, The Second Mrs. Hockaday reveals how this generation—and the next—began to see their world anew.

Faith Bowers (03/23/19): This is an historical novel about the Civil War on a farm in S Carolina. It is written in its entirety in letter or diary format. I listened to this novel and loved both the writing and the actors who read. Ms Rivers is a playwright which would explain why her first novel aloud reads so well.

It is a story of tragedy that is overcome. The characters are from two generations born before and after the Civil War. I think the writing is exquisite, detailed and yet understandable even though it is meant to be written over a century ago. Life was hard in that era even for the more well to do farmers. Keeping your farm going in the middle of a war is most challenging especially for a 16 year old newlywed who’s husband went off to fight.
Rating: ***

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