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The Second Mrs. Hockaday: A Novel de Susan…
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The Second Mrs. Hockaday: A Novel (original: 2017; edição: 2017)

de Susan Rivers (Autor)

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2896168,909 (3.82)15
"The Civil War South comes to vivid life in this electrifying story of a woman's plight and a legacy of deceit that echoes for generations. 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 three-hundred-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? To what extremes can war and violence push a woman who is left to fend for herself? 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"--… (mais)
Membro:AliciaClark23
Título:The Second Mrs. Hockaday: A Novel
Autores:Susan Rivers (Autor)
Informação:Algonquin Books (2017), 272 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Avaliação:****
Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

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The Second Mrs Hockaday de Susan Rivers (2017)

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The time period of this book is a difficult one to write in, and I just think this book glosses over so much. Placidia is presented as a good person who treats her slaves fairly....but she also owns slaves and thinks not much about the disconnect between wanting her own freedom to build a life with her husband and the fact that she literally owns people. There is no way to treat a slave fairly - it is a complete contradiction in words. Clearly, this isn't something the author wants to focus on, instead primarily leaning on the slowly (too slowly, frankly) unraveled mystery of Placidia's dead child, but you can't set a book in this time period without dealing with the actual horrors of the time. The big reveal of how the child died is another slap in the face, mostly because it is so unnecessary. The death could have been left ambiguous. It could have been clearly natural from the events that were going on. It could even have been clarified as murder by Placidia herself, or death from neglect, or any number of other things. Instead, it is murder by the enslaved woman working in Placidia's home. Really? I finished this book but wish I hadn't. There's much better stuff our there. ( )
  duchessjlh | Feb 24, 2021 |
Decently researched as far as battles, clothes, foods, chores and interesting if unnecessarily complicated.
The main character is an extremely romanticized view of a southern white woman who participated in the chattel slave trade. In fact was born and raised and married in it but seems to hold no prejudiced views towards her 'servants'.
When a white author is too fragile to accurately label chattel slaves they should take that as a clue and choose a new subject.
Benevolent chattel slave owners only exist in the imagination of racist white folks. Every single person who participated in any aspect of the chattel slave trade was a bad person who's character is irredeemably scarred. The main character is not realistic to her time and class but is sanitized so modern audiences can sympathize with her.
I don't.
I don't care about her or her husband's pain. It is just that they suffered and I sincerely hope their existence was forever haunted.
None of the black characters are developed or have story lines outside of their usefulness to the main white characters.
I've read a fair bit of non fiction about southern women before and during the Civil War; black free, enslaved and white chattel slave oppressing, none of the views expressed or behaviors match the diaries or letters written at that time. Mrs Hockaday does not feel like her contemporaries and her differences are never explained.
White women left on plantations and farms with enslaved peoples had very negative and fearful views of those enslaved peoples the longer the war carried out. They were very angry with them for leaving, fearful of their desire for freedom and many white women took it very personally. Also they were terrified of armed black union troops. As white slave 'owners' felt entitled enough to black folks labor to steal it for centuries, why would the Civil War and it's trials change that?
We all know it did not.
Miscegenation is invented as a word and becomes illegal in 1864. Post Civil War the KKK is created. If southern whites suddenly realized their 'slaves' were people, why did we have and continue to have racial segregation and lynching? Both attest to southern white anxiety resulting in terrorist behaviors carried out on fellow citizens.
This narrative is just grossly apologist in nature. ( )
  LoisSusan | Dec 10, 2020 |
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 three-hundred-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?

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.
  Gmomaj | Jul 19, 2020 |
Not even quite an adult when she weds, Placidia is now stepmother to an infant and wife to a major returning to war. During his absence of two years, she gives birth and is charged with killing the newborn. There are some startling occurrences in this tale, but it takes them so very long to make their appearance in this slow-moving story, the reader is almost caught off-guard when they happen. The characters are interesting, as is the plot, but the plodding nature of the story does not add to its enjoyment. And yet, the end seems rushed, with some story threads left dangling. This is a good read, just not a great one. ( )
  Maydacat | May 11, 2019 |
Susan Rivers has a beautiful writing style. Placidia the main character of the story is intelligent and dignified in her young age. As a mere teenager, she is expected to run a farm, manage slaves and take care of her husbands child from his first marriage. This is during the civil war in the US southern states where times were difficult to say the least. Interesting story. ( )
  janismack | Mar 30, 2019 |
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"The Civil War South comes to vivid life in this electrifying story of a woman's plight and a legacy of deceit that echoes for generations. 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 three-hundred-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? To what extremes can war and violence push a woman who is left to fend for herself? 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"--

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