Tuesday, November 22, 2016

696 (2016 #51). The Second Mrs. Hockaday

by Susan Rivers

Set during the Civil War (as well as about 30 years later), and told through journal entries, letters, and legal documents, this is the intriguing story (based on a true one) of a woman accused of murdering a newborn illegitimate child during the Civil War.  The second Mrs. Hockaday is Placidia "Dia" Fincher, who marries Major Griffyth Hockaday shortly after her stepsister's wedding, shortly after meeting them.  Despite only having two days together before he is recalled to the war, there is a strong invisible "cord" (as Dia calls it) between them.  Nearly all of the story is told from Dia's viewpoint, as she struggles to keep the small Hockaday farm in South Carolina going in the midst of the war.  Dia's journal entries (lacking paper, in a copy of David Copperfield) and letters to a sympathetic cousin, that cousin's replies, and the correspondence between her son and stepson 30 years later form the novel.

Susan Rivers has constructed a story that was so compelling that it was a quick read.  Highly recommended as a great blend of historical fiction, mystery/suspense, and nonfiction - Rivers did extensive research on life in the era.

© Amanda Pape - 2016

[I received this book from the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.  It will be passed on to someone else to enjoy.]

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