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The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers

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The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers

The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers

Placidia marries Major Hockaday after making his acquaintance only hours before. Both are smitten but after being married for less than forty-eight hours the major is called back to his division and goes to continue his fight in the War Between the States. Placidia, only a teenager, finds herself alone on a southern farm with a few slaves and a newly adopted three year old son. She does her best under the circumstances and continually pines for her major. Small disasters and large strike Placidia and the farm. Rumor has it that she carried a child and murdered it months before the major returns from a Union prison camp; and he hasn’t seen Placidia in two years. He brings her up on charges yet she refuses to speak to defend herself; she will only say the baby lived and she had no hand in the death of the innocent child. Who fathered the child? And is death by hanging a better end than living with the truth revealed?

This story is told entirely in letters, inquest documents and diary entries which worked really well because you didn’t know exactly what happened until about three-quarters of the way through the book when you were able to read certain diary entries. It made sense to keep the reader in suspense in this way, especially since one, or both, correspondents telling the story through their letters didn’t know what had happened all those years before either. It’s hard to imagine without reading the book but trust me that this is a bittersweet love story between two souls broken by the war that eventually find solace with each other.

By | 2017-05-03T19:47:47+00:00 February 17th, 2017|SCLSNJ Recommended Reads|
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