The Second Mrs. Hockaday: A Novel (Paperback)

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The Second Mrs. Hockaday: A Novel By Susan Rivers Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

When you discover that a novel you’re reading is based on actual events, it’s icing on the cake. It’s especially compelling when set in a time and at a place that tugs at you.  I found this to be true of new release, The Second Mrs Hockaday, by Susan River.

Set during the Civil War in South Carolina, new 16 year old bride, Placidia Hockaday, is left to manage her husband’s farm and raise his infant son for two years while he’s away fighting for the Confederacy. She bears a child during his absence, the child dies suspiciously, and she refuses to explain the circumstances. Truth lies in her journal entry, discovered much later, and not before she’s arrested and tried. The brutal and unjust culture of the times gives the story its richness and sadness. Love and goodness gives it its power.   -- Susan, Redbery Books Cable, Wisconsin

— From Staff Picks

T.H.U.R.S. Book Club selection, July 2018, Redbery Books, Cable, WI.

— From T.H.U.R.S. Book Club


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?

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.

About the Author

Susan Rivers was awarded the Julie Harris Playwriting Award for Overnight Lows and the New York Drama League Award for Under Statements. She is also the recipient of two playwriting grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. She holds an MFA in fiction writing and lives in South Carolina. The Second Mrs. Hockaday is her first novel. Find her online at
Product Details
ISBN: 9781616207366
ISBN-10: 1616207361
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Publication Date: November 14th, 2017
Pages: 288
Language: English