The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers

The Second Mrs. Hockaday

SHORTLISTED FOR THE CENTER FOR FICTION FIRST NOVEL PRIZE“All I had known for certain when I came around the hen house that first evening in July and saw my husband trudging into the yard after lifetimes spent away from us, a borrowed bag in his hand and the shadow of grief on his face, was that he had to be protected at all costs from knowing what had happened in his absence. I did not believe he could survive it.” When Major Gryffth Hockaday...

Details The Second Mrs. Hockaday

TitleThe Second Mrs. Hockaday
Release DateNov 14th, 2017
PublisherAlgonquin Books
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Military History, Civil War, Mystery

Reviews The Second Mrs. Hockaday

  • Diane S ☔
    Placidia is only seventeen when she agrees to marry Major Hockaday, a man much older than herself, a recent widower with a small child. After spending only two days together, he is recalled to service in our Civil War. Now she is expected to manage his large farm, take care of his little boy and all with little help. When he finally returns it is to find that she has given birth, and said to have murdered the child. What really happened in the tw...
  • Linda
    I received a copy of The Second Mrs. Hockaday through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to Algonquin Books and to Susan Rivers for the opportunity.Some stories are told straightforward with details sunnyside up. The Second Mrs. Hockaday weaves itself into quite a Joseph's Coat of Many Colors. The threads stitch in line and then fall back onto itself through loops of personal letters, inquest notices, and documentations. A here, a now, and...
  • Jaline
    “Our enemy is [. . .] and all people like him, who never question their motives or doubt their desires. They are put on this earth to cause misery, because what they take so freely for themselves comes always at great cost to others.” This novel is constructed in epistolary form; there are also diary entries and the records of interviews from an inquest. In a very short period of time, I felt like I was the intended recipient of those letters...
  • Liz
    In 1863, 17 year old Dia marries a man double her age, a major in the Confederate army. After two days, he returns to the front leaving her with a 300 acre farm, a baby stepson, an aging female slave and a few field hands to manage. When he returns at the end of the war, she has given birth to a baby who had quickly died. Given that he hasn’t been home at all in the intervening years, there’s already a mystery at hand. When he brings up charg...
  • Melissa Crytzer Fry
    4.5 rounded up to 5As a fan of Civil War-era historical fiction, I thoroughly enjoyed this slim debut. An epistolary novel told in its entirety through letters, legal court inquests and journal entries, it mirrors the real-life story of a husband and wife in 1864-66 (with flashbacks and flash forwards).While the narrative weaves back and forth in time between the 1860s and 1890s – and includes letters from at least a half-dozen characters in th...
  • Erin
    Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....I’m going to be entirely honest and admit that I picked up Susan Rivers’ The Second Mrs. Hockaday because it looked absolutely nothing like The Sun King Conspiracy. I’d just finished the latter and I didn’t want anything to ruin the high I’d gotten off reading it so I intentionally looked around for something different. I’d an ARC of Rivers’ debut on hand and th...
  • Erin
    The real tragedy in my review is that no one is going to be able to read this book for months. I have hope though that people will take note and place it on their TBR( if it appeals to your literary tastebuds). An epistolary novel( in a series of letters, diary entries, and court records) set during the time of the American Civil War, The Second Mrs. Hockaday took me by surprise. I had no expectations going into the story, but I truly became inve...
  • Marjorie
    This haunting novel takes place during the Civil War. Placidia is only 17 years old when the older Major Gryffith Hockaday speaks to her father about the possibility of marrying her. Major Hockaday’s wife has died and left him with a young son. He and Placidia are married within days of meeting and are only married two days when Major Hockaday has to return to the war. He leaves young Placidia to run their farm and to care for his young son. Wh...
  • Nicole
    Wow! This was a very compelling debut novel that takes place (primarily) in the south during the Civil War, and is told through correspondence. While it is considered historical fiction, several of the events are based on true events and give the story a very authentic feel. It was easy to get caught up in the narrative of the letters and, like the characters, anxiously await the news that each one brought. Parts of the story are told around 30 y...
  • Robin
    This novel about a young woman who is thrust into a hard life as the wife of an absent soldier and farmer during the American Civil War is told through letters, diaries, and other documents. At only 17 years old, and after only one week at her new home, she is left alone to care for her husband's farm and his son by his previous marriage as he returns to the battle front. When he finally returns two years later, he finds his young wife has given ...
  • Donna
    This was a charming little story. It is historical fiction and it is also an epistolary novel, set mostly in the Civil War days. (I love anything 1800's. ) It's the story of a teenage girl, who meets the love of her life and is married within days. Placidia is soon left alone to manage her husband's estate as he goes off to war. I'm not a fan of romance, but this was about so much more than just that. I liked the letters and the different POVs th...
  • Dorine
    Rated 4.5 - THE SECOND MRS. HOCKADAY by Susan Rivers is an excellent historical mystery portrayed through letters and journal entries, unraveling an engrossing tale. For those who love the Civil War era, this novel will surely suck you right in.More historical book reviews featuring letters located at The Zest Quest.The book starts out with a letter from Placidia to her cousin Millie where she describes the day she met her future husband. It then...
  • Michelle
    Unlike anything I've read. Loved it (especially the 1860s chapters...the 1890s less so though they were necessary to reveal the full story).
  • Betty
    I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Netgalley and Algonquin Books.17-year-old Placidia has barely met Major Gryffth Hockaday when she agrees to marry him. Leaving her childhood home behind, she travels with her new husband to the farm that is her new home, and meets her infant step-son for the first time. Placidia and Gryffth have two brief days together as husband and wife before he must return to fight in the Civil War. Y...
  • Catherine ♡
    *I won a free copy of this through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer's Program*Actual Rating: 2.5The Second Mrs. Hockaday follows a seventeen-year old Placidia as she is married to Major Gryffith Hockaday in the midst of the Civil War. When he returns, two years later, he finds that she seems to have given birth in his absence and murdered the child. But all is not what it seems - what really happened in his absence?This book was definitely really ha...
  • Ionia
    This book causes turmoil within the reader, but in a good way. It is the kind of confusion over why someone would do what they did, which you don't really understand until later in the book and then suddenly you do, and it is heart-wrenching. The story is told through letters exchanged back and forth during and after the Civil War, through various family members. I found myself enthralled with this book within the first few chapters, and read it ...
  • Cindy
    A LibraryThing win! An interesting historical fiction told through journal entries, letters and court documents. Normally I don't care for this type of writing but in this case it worked for me. Lack of punctuation at times was a bit confusing as was the flipping back and forth from past to present..Set during the Civil War young Placidia marries a much older man, spends only 2 days with him, and then is left to manage a large farm, oversee slave...
  • Leah
    This should have been a me book: it's set during the Civil War, it's an epistolary novel, and it deals with a woman sent to prison after she mysteriously had a child (while her husband, a Major, was off fighting), supposedly killed the baby, and refuses to say who had fathered it.Sadly, it took me nearly a week to get through this 250-page book. My mind kept wandering and it was just so easy to set the book down and not pick it up again for a few...
  • Kelli Robinson
    This is an epistolary novel and I loved the challenge of piecing the story together through letters, diary entries, and legal documents. I also appreciated the immense research and historical setting. But overall, the story and characters fell flat for me and I found that I just "liked" this novel, but did not "really like" it. Still - I would recommend this story for those interested in the Civil War and southern historical fiction.
  • Becky
    Thanks to Netgalley for giving me a free digital copy in exchange for a honest review.Wow, I loved this book! It had everything, historical fiction about a young wife left to manage a farm during the Civil War, a mystery concerning a dead baby, the story slowly unfolding in pieces through diary entries, letters, and court records .... I couldn't put it down and keep thinking about it after I'm done. I highly recommend this book!
  • Judy Collins
    A special thank you to Algonquin Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Review to follow.
  • Lesley
    Interesting style of storytelling through letters, diaries, and other documents of a young lady during civil war!
  • Katherine
    Uneven narration and a plodding storyline dominate this book that, while it answers the important questions, still leaves things unresolved.Review coming soon!
  • Pam Walter
    I didn't hate this book, and in fact loved the first half. The story takes place during the civil war when the 17 year old plantation daughter (Placidia Fincher ) marries confederate Major (Gryffth Hockaday), a widower who is on a brief leave of absence. The young couple has only two days together before Gryffth Hockaday must return to his troops. Young Placidia is left in charge of her husband's 300 acre floundering farm and his infant son. In h...
  • Suzanne
    Told through letters, court documents, and scraps of journal entries, this is a mystery wrapped up in historical fiction. The mystery has two parts: the first was clearly foreshadowed, but the second, while revealed, still left me with questions. Reading the book is almost like seeing an old painting being restored, with the scene becoming clearer as each part is worked on. The main character, the hopefully-yet-badly-misnamed Placida, is a young ...
  • Shermaine
    I struggled with this book because of the writing style. The dialogue of this book is mostly through letters, journals and court documents which are completely unquoted. I really hated that. Its set during the Civil War and it’s about Placidia, a teenager (17), left to fend for herself after two days of marriage to Major Hockaday, who is on the from lines of the war. The Major leaves for the army and this new wife is expected to run his farm an...
  • Barbara
    Really, really good book. This is a story of a young woman who is marries a man she barely knows, is taken to his farm and two days later he returns to fight (Confederate) in the Civil War. He is gone for 3 years. She is left to deal with all the difficulties of living by herself, with her young stepson, and "servants." (Slaves) The story is told through letters and diary entries and there is a tragedy, for which the young woman is held responsib...
  • Dana
    This could be a 4.5 read, but the end fell a little short for me. The first half of this book was amazing! Told through letters and journal entries, Placadia Hockady (formerly Fincher) reveals the events that took place in the two years that her new husband is quickly called back to the Civil War. When Major Hockaday returns to his young wife two years later, he finds she is in the middle of a scandal involving the death of her newborn child. Wha...
  • Jane
    I loved this book so much I whipped through it in a day. Written in diary and letter format, the author had me guessing from beginning to end. It combines two of my favorite genres: mystery and historical fiction.