The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers

Reviewed by Katy Zignego (Library Staff)

Book club members, listen up: I predict that The Second Mrs. Hockaday will be a top book club pick for 2018. It has all the elements of a great book for discussion: a mystery, a family drama, a moral dilemma. It’s the kind of book I can’t wait to discuss with others.

The setting is the years during and immediately after the Civil War. Seventeen-year-old Placidia Fincher marries Major Gryffth Hockaday after a two-day courtship in 1863. When he returns from the war in the summer of 1865, Major Hockaday files a criminal complaint against her for bearing and then killing a child in the intervening years. The many unanswered questions surrounding this bizarre event propel the story forward at such a pace I had a hard time putting the book down. Luckily for me, it is a relatively spare, short novel, and I was able to make a mad dash through the last 20 pages during the kids’ afternoon nap.

I haven’t read a book so compelling in months. Recommend it to your book club now, and get ahead of the long reserve list that is sure to come!

Available through the BRIDGES Library System

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