Wow! I had this book for a while via Net Galley, but only got to it last week. Once I started it, I could not stop and read it in almost one sitting. It was a really intriguing Civil War story, told through various voices and documents – letters, diary entries, court reports – in various voices across years.
Highly recommended for those who enjoy a story of this era, along with some mystery and lots of details that are true to fact!
I have to say, that I never have read a lot from the point of view of a Southern woman trying to keep her farm going doing the War. Every day was a battle of survival, and while this is understandable, the way this novel is written, the facts are so bare and gritty that it shed a new light for me on women’s experience.
Thank you for my e-copy to review!
Told through letters, court inquests, and journal entries, this saga, inspired by a true incident, 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.
This is one of those books that progresses so seamlessly that you marvel at the authenticity of it. In fact, Susan Rivers has said that the novel was inspired by her discovery of a mysterious crime in South Carolina during the Civil War, and she wrote her novel to make sense of it; once she started writing, the story poured out through these myriad voices. But because Rivers is also a meticulous researcher, every part of the story has some basis in fact. As in Hillary Jordan’s Mudbound, you will feel that you’re in the hands of a natural storyteller who knows how to breathe life into this period of history, the young Placidia, and all of the people around her. This is a remarkable, moving, and unforgettable debut. (via Net Galley)