Review: The Second Mrs. Hockaday: A Novel

The Second Mrs. Hockaday: A Novel by Susan Rivers

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Actual Rating: 2.5

*I won a free copy of this through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer’s Program*

The Second Mrs. Hockaday follows a seventeen-year old Placidia as she is married to Major Gryffith Hockaday in the midst of the Civil War. When he returns, two years later, he finds that she seems to have given birth in his absence and murdered the child. But all is not what it seems – what really happened in his absence?

This book was definitely really hard to review, because I, for one, have never been a fan of books composed out of just letters/diary entries. This plot of this book, however, did not bore me like those typically do, and I found that I was quickly drawn into the story. However, the reveal of the story did not happen until the very end, and I found that I was kind of bored throughout a large part of the middle of the story.

Because of the style, I found that it was a little hard to connect the characters, and I would get a little lost in who was speaking to who until I got to the end of the letters. At the end of the book, I definitely felt the emotional weight of the main character, but I wish I had felt this earlier on.

The writing style definitely seemed to fit the time period, and it really added a tone of realism to the story, so I commend the author for that.

All in all, I do think that I kind of predicted the ending, but that is the one scene throughout the book that I really liked. I’m not sure if I would very strongly recommend this to anybody, but the writing at the end was very touching and powerful, so if anything I would go back and reread that part.

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