The Second Mrs. Hockaday

The Second Mrs. Hockaday

Book - 2017
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"The Civil War South comes to vivid life in this electrifying story of a woman's plight and a legacy of deceit that echoes for generations. 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? To what extremes can war and violence push a woman who is left to fend for herself? Told through letters, court inquests, and journal entries, this saga, inspired by a true incident, unfolds with gripping intensity, conjuring the era with uncanny immediacy. Amid the desperation of wartime, Placidia sees the social order of her Southern homeland unravel. As she comes to understand how her own history is linked to one runaway slave, her perspective on race and family are upended. 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"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Chapel Hill, North Carolina : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2017
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781616205812
Characteristics: 264 pages ; 22 cm


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Discussing on September 18, 2018

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The paper version is a better reading experience over the audiobook (in my opinion).

Jun 14, 2019

This is fiction but I think very true to the times. A compelling book about civil war era and how it shaped the second Mrs. Hockaday's life.

CRRL_MegRaymond Mar 01, 2018

Placidia falls hard and fast for Major Gryffth Hockaday, and they marry after a days-long courtship. She is soon alone on his vast farm, caring for his infant son, and waiting for the stranger she married to return from the Civil War.

Feb 12, 2018

Highly recommended. This novel blends a compelling story of romance with historical
background of what life was like for those still at home in SC during the Civil War and
how difficult it was for the women, especially.
Set in a remote area of the Upstate of SC, it is well-researched, well-written novel, using
letters as the technique, so several points of view are revealed.
The mystery of what really happened to the baby is a well-kept secret.
Complex plot but a rewarding read. 5 stars

Nov 25, 2017

Excellent writing for a first novel. I look forward to reading more of her. I loved how she helped the reader really understand the day to day struggle for the war torn south and I felt like I was right there in the story with Placidia. The second half of the book will answer all your questions. I was very moved emotionally by this book.

May 18, 2017

The language was lovely. The format of letters & diary entries worked well. I highly recommend this book.

Mar 30, 2017

This was an incredibly compelling and fascinating story, made even more so because it was based on true events. The novel is told through letters, diary entries and the occasional court document, a format that I really enjoyed. Somewhat unexpectedly, the story jumps 30 years halfway through when Placidia’s children find her diary. In a way, it became an epilogue within the main story because you find out what happened to the original characters and how the events of the past affected the more current generation. My only gripe was the ending felt a little rushed and I would have enjoyed a few more details about Placidia and Gryffth’s reconciliation. Would highly recommend!

Mar 30, 2017

Interesting format using letters and diary notes to tell the story but this format also made the reading a bit tedious at times as the dates jumped around a lot. Overall, the book was entertaining.

Mar 06, 2017

This is a very compelling story told (mostly) through letters and journal entries. It is hard to read at times as the times were difficult and complicated. I had trouble putting the book down as I wanted to learn what happened to this young bride and her family.

Jan 31, 2017

Historical fiction told through letters, journals and court documents which I enjoy even though the flipping back and forth between characters and time periods was confusing at times. Sometimes brutal in its telling, the story revolves around a young civil war bride and the mystery surrounding a dead baby. Beautifully written.


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