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The Second Mrs. Hockaday
by Susan Rivers

PBR Review Based on true events, an engaging and well researched story with amazing historical perspective. It gives life to the behind the scene events of the Civil War. Placidia is young, newly married and left to tend her husband’s farm while he is off fighting. She rises beautifully to the challenges of living in near isolation, on a small rural farm, with the constant threat of intruders. The struggles of war from the perspective of those left at home, is real. So is the danger for women on their own. When her husband finally returns after years away, he discovers she has given birth during his absence and that the child did not survive. He proceeds to have his wife taken into custody on charges of murder. As a reader, you are not yet aware of the circumstances of this pregnancy, but still vehemently feel the injustice of it. As the book moves along, you gradually learn the truth of Placidia’s pregnancy. The book is written in the form of letters, diary entries, and court documents which is very effective. Once you allow time to become attached to the characters, the story and mystery of it all will keep you reading. There are some very memorable and poignant moments in this book. Definitely recommend for historical fiction lovers. Not sure if the mystery aspect of this story is strong enough for mystery lovers, but an excellent choice for book clubs.Back.
Talking Points: This book is about perseverance and determination. Most Civil War books focus on the battle, this one shows the hardships endured by the women left behind and the courage and strength it took to survive. Slavery still existed so there is plenty to talk about on that front; the way they are treated, babies born to slaves fathered by elite white men and more importantly, did we really buy and sell human beings and afford these individuals no human rights? Placidia is a complex character. Her motivations for certain actions will definitely stir some conversation as well as the circumstances of her pregnancy and marriage. Readers will also have some strong feeling about Placidias husband, Major Hockaday and his actions; some not in a good way.
PBR Reader Comments:
Maybe a bit slow to start but very deep and engaging when it does grab you. Great for Historical Fiction lovers and perfect for book clubs.
by-linda 2017/02/14, 03:17 PM

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