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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 listeners say about The Second Mrs. Hockaday

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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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  • Julie S.
  • 13-11-17

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 people found this helpful

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  • Carolyn Hettich
  • 17-10-17

exceptional story telling

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

2 people found this helpful

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  • M. Layton
  • 12-07-17

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 people found this helpful

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  • Barbara
  • 11-05-17

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 person found this helpful

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  • talyahernandez
  • 11-11-20

I still think about it

I read this book almost 4 years ago and I still think about it! It has remained at the top of the list of my favorite audiobooks

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  • Susan W. Trexler
  • 06-01-20

Pay Attention!

Definitely have to pay attention. The plot is complicated and the read is addictive! Eloquently written and the performance is authentic. Can’t say enough good things about the book!

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  • Marty Kelley
  • 14-07-19

tried to like - but.......

First, the female narrator's "southern" accent is literally so painful to hear. Character development poor - too many to keep up with and could not get invested in any. Very confusing to follow sequence of events, author skips around in haphazard sequence. Don't waste your time -

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  • Susan Jennings
  • 14-11-18

Civil War View from the Homefront

This was a book club selection or I might not have read it. But I'm glad I did. It gave a very compelling and interesting view of the war away from the battlefields and the long arch of its effects. Plus I love epistolary novels! #historicalfiction #tagsgiving

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  • Toni R.
  • 21-10-18

Good storyline but could have been developed better

I didn’t care for the narrators At all. The thought the wife would stay in a dump where she was in danger from both roving thieves from both North and South when she had relatives who would have welcomed her. Characters were brought into story but never developed. The Civil war was treated like a social inconvenience.waste of credit..

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  • Chandlmm
  • 22-08-18

so, so story.

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