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Publisher's Summary

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 300-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?

Inspired by a true incident, this saga unfolds with gripping intensity, conjuring the era with uncanny immediacy. Amid the desperation of wartime, Placidia sees the social order of her Southern homeland unravel. As she comes to understand how her own history is linked to one runaway slave, her perspective on race and family are upended. 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.

©2017 Susan Rivers (P)2017 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful Civil War era book!

I listened to this book as part of a book club, and I found it to be a wonderful read. When discussing with my club, several women mentioned they had a hard time figuring out who was writing each letter. I found that with the audio version, I didn't have that problem as the different narrators did an excellent job. I highly recommend!
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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Family Survives the Civil War

This novel shows why I love the epistolary form so much. Through diary entries and letters written by the titular Mrs. Hockaday, her cousin, and two of her sons, readers learn about the series of events that led to her being accused of murdering her own baby. The organization of the novel is complex and moves between the 1860s and the 1890s, making the story more suspenseful. The two narrators are wonderful, especially Julie McKay as Mrs. Hockaday. How does a family survive a war? Through love.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Barbara
  • Pennsylvania,USA
  • 05-11-17

Civil War Love Story

This story about a young wife named Placidia, left behind on her husbands farm after being married only 3 days while he goes back to fight in the Civil War is very believable. Seventeen year old Placidia is left to care for baby Charles ,son of her new husbands first wife who died ...she encounters so many difficult situations with resourcefulness and courage.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

so, so story.

well read, but nothing compelling about the story. very thin plot and never connected to the characters.

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Book review

I can`t wait for my Book Club discussion. I loved it. It was a great read.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Leslie
  • Smyrna, SC, United States
  • 02-12-18

Unforgettable

from the beginning to the end the author has captured the reader in an unbelievable story of Survival love hope in faith. sent in the Civil War it portrays the story said most people would never even dream of phenomenal book

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kelli
  • Birmingham, AL, United States
  • 01-01-18

Well-Researched Historical Novel

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.

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exceptional story telling

absolutely brilliant story telling... heartbreaking and soul lifting! buy this book immediately if not sooner!

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Lyrical writing and pitch- perfect performances

This story of the south , particularly South Carolina, during the Civil War stands out from other novels of this period in that it rings more true to the historical record. The book presents the horror of war and slavery against the backdrop of the natural beauty of SC. This is not a story of Southern Belles and their Beau with the horrors of slavery quietly in the background but one of hard working people trying to "find a way to live" during the most shameful and horrific periods of my native state's history .
The book is beautifully written & performed to perfection. It is already one of my favorite novels about SC along with Sue Monk Kidd's "The Invention of Wings'.

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Compelling story with one complaint.

I read a review of this book & was happy to find it on Audible. I am sometimes wary of books in diary or letter form, but this one was very well done & kept up the suspense & mystery to the very end. My husband & I listened to it on a long car trip & it kept our interest all the way. We were disappointed & distracted toward the end as the narrator, who read in a pretty believable southern accent, repeatedly read "calvary" instead of "cavalry" for soldiers on horses. I don't know whether it was the author's mistake or the reader's, but was surprised that somebody didn't correct it. I was also curious about other accounts of the story, after reading that it was based on fact. The story was definitely worth a listen, in spite of the "calvary" problem!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ms. Laura Mercier
  • 05-04-17

Engrossing

Beautiful narration and a gripping story! Had me enthralled from the beginning and loved that we got to hear from the sons at the end

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  • Rebecca
  • 07-13-17

Couldn't stop listening!!!

This book broke my heart and opened my mind, a civil war story to rival Cold Mountain. The writing was superb and the telling in deep Southern accents took me back in time. An amazing story and hopeful despite its tragic themes. I loved it!!