the next good book

The Second Mrs. Hockaday

By Susan Rivers


254 pages

What’s it about? Major Gryffth Hockaday is on a short leave from the Civil War when he meets 17-year-old Placidia.  In a whirlwind romance they are quickly married and immediately return to his farm.  48 hours after returning home he is called back to duty.  Placidia is left to care for his young son, a few slaves,  and the farm while the war rages on.  Two years later, when the war ends, Major Hockaday returns to find Placicia accused of not only having had a baby while he was gone, but also murdering the baby.  What really happened? What did it make me think about? What a pleasant surprise this little book was!  It is the best page-turner I have read in a while.  I could not put it down.  The book is written as a series of letters and you just want to know more.   Based on a true story, this novel illuminates what many women may have faced in the South during the Civil War. Should I read it? This novel combines history, great characters, and a compelling mystery to make for one good story!  Any fan of historical fiction should pick this book up. Quote- “In marveling at how transformed he is, I strive to keep in mind that I am changed quite as totally as the major.  It is challenging to remember the child who stood up before Rev. Poteat two years ago with a handful of spring flowers and a joyous heart, who trusted her fate to the good luck she had been born with and to a man blown into her path by the prevailing winds.”

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