THE SECOND MRS. HOCKADAY
A Novel by Susan Rivers
Award-winning playwright Susan Rivers makes a singularly impressive debut with her accomplished novel, THE SECOND MRS. HOCKADAY (Publication Date: January 10; $25.95), about a teenage bride who must do whatever it takes to survive during the Civil War. Through a narrative that unfolds in letters, diary entries, and inquest reports, THE SECOND MRS. HOCKADAY vividly brings to life the story of seventeen-year-old Placidia, who marries a Confederate soldier in haste and is, only days later, left alone to care for his two-year-old child, manage his slaves, and run and defend his isolated three-hundred-acre farm in rural South Carolina. In a starred review, Booklist calls the novel a “white-knuckle tale of survival” and raves, “With language evocative of the South and taut, almost unbearable suspense, dramatized by characters readers will swear they know, this galvanizing historical portrait of courage, determination, and abiding love mesmerizes and shocks.”
Placidia has just become the second Mrs. Hockaday when her husband, Major Gryffth Hockaday, is called back to the front lines of the Civil War. When he returns, two years later, Placidia is bound for jail, accused of bearing a child and murdering it in his absence. The secrets and scandals that transpired in the two years Placidia was left to fend for herself is what Rivers unravels over the course of this gripping story.
Inspired by actual events from 1865 that she discovered at her local library, Rivers became determined to explore the plight and the extraordinary courage of Southern women abandoned by their husbands who were called to the battlefield. She also wanted to explore certain questions: “What is real love and how much testing can it endure? How does war change people, for the better or the worse? How do a husband and wife cope with those changes and survive their experiences of war? What does the concept of “family” mean and how might it be affected by blood connections across racial and social demarcations?”
Rivers successfully tackles these questions and more while illustrating what many Southern women endured during the Civil War in this mesmerizing, suspenseful, and ambitious debut. Diane Chamberlain calls THE SECOND MRS. HOCKADAY “spellbinding” and “haunting” while Hillary Jordan says, “Rivers is an unflinching truth teller. Her characters are deeply human, drawn with compassion and exquisite detail.”
About the Author:
Susan Rivers was awarded the Julie Harris Playwriting Award for Overnight Lows and the New York Drama League Award for Understatements. She is also the recipient of two playwriting grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. She earned her MFA from Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina, where she was also awarded a Regional Artist Grant from the Arts and Sciences Council. She currently lives and writes in a small town in upstate South Carolina.
A January Indie Next Pick
“This galvanizing historical portrait of courage, determination, and abiding love mesmerizes and shocks.”
—Booklist, starred review
“If this book is any indicator, Rivers is a promising talent and an adroit storyteller. Hopefully, this won’t be her only foray into fiction. A compulsively readable work that takes on the legacy of slavery in the United States, the struggles specific to women, and the possibilities for empathy and forgiveness.”
“With the Second Mrs. Hockaday, Susan Rivers viscerally evokes a bygone era without sentimentality. Her deeply sympathetic characters cope with the hard truths of slavery and war, maintaining their humanity and capability for redemption throughout. A thoroughly engrossing and affecting read.”
THE SECOND MRS. HOCKADAY: A Novel
By Susan Rivers
Algonquin Books / Publication Date: January 10, 2017
Hardcover / 272 pages / Price $25.95
Follow Algonquin Books on Twitter at @algonquinbooks or on Facebook at
Michigan based author Bill Jamerson will present a music and storytelling program about the Civilian Conservation Corps at the Cherokee County History and Arts Museum, on Monday, March 28 at 2 pm. The program is co-sponsored by the Cherokee County Public Library and the Cherokee Historical and Preservation Society. The museum is located at 301 College Drive in Gaffney, SC. The program is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. For more information please call 864-487-2711 or 864-489-3988.
This program is sponsored by South Carolina Humanities and the South Carolina Arts Commission.
Benjamin D. Loftis was chosen by the Cherokee County Library Board of Trustees as the new Director of the Cherokee County Library. Loftis has most recently served as Director of the Union County Carnegie Library. He was previously employed by the Spartanburg County Library System.
He earned his Master of Library and Information Science degree at the University of South Carolina’s Davis College. He completed his Bachelor’s degree at Clemson University Calhoun Honors College with a major in history and a minor in Sport Management. At Clemson, he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Alpha Theta (National History Honor Society), Alpha Lambda Delta, Mortar Board and Golden Key. He has a professional certificate of Librarianship from the State Library of South Carolina.
While serving as the Director of the Union County Carnegie Library, Loftis was a member of the Rotary Club of Union, the Union County Historical Society, the Union County Clemson Club and Tabernacle Baptist Church. Loftis’ professional activities include the First Steps of Union county board of directors, SC Library Evergreen Delivery System Advisory board, SC Association of Public Library Administrators.
This campaign seeks to shift the mindset to “libraries are obsolete or nice to have” to “libraries are essential” and change the perception that “libraries are just quiet places to do research, find a book and read” to “libraries are centers of their communities: places to learn, create and share, with the help of library […]
Read an eBook Day is a celebration of modern storytelling. Be a part of the festivities by checking out your favorite eBook from your library and join the conversation below by sharing what you’re reading and stories about why you love eBooks.
Find your story at the public library this summer by signing up for the summer reading program.
The Cherokee County Library summer reading program begins on June 1st and the theme for 2015 is “Every Hero has a Story.” Children and teens are invited to sign up at the Gaffney or Blacksburg library branches and various bookmobile stops. The reading program encourages kids of all ages to read during the summer by awarding them prizes for reaching weekly reading goals. They also become eligible to be entered in weekly drawings for fun prize packs for attending summer programs.
The Gaffney library will celebrate the start of summer reading with a bang by hosting A Mini Comic Con Kick-Off Party for teens (ages 12-18) on Monday, June 1st from 3:00 – 5:00 pm at the Gaffney Library. There will be food, costume contests, photo ops, art creations, prizes and more.
Stop, drop & roll your way over to the library on Tuesday, June 2nd and meet the firemen from the Corinth Volunteer Fire Department. Learn about what these local heroes do for our community and how you can be heroic in your everyday lives. This storytime is for all ages at the Gaffney library.
In addition to its regular summer program, the library will host four special programs for families throughout the months of June and July. Ronald McDonald will be making his annual appearance on Thursday, June 11th. He makes reading fun for everyone by using humor and music to tell heroic tales. Ronald will be appearing at the Gaffney library at 10:30 am and at the Blacksburg library at 2:30 pm.
Thursday, June 23rd the library is showing a Family Movie Matinee! Bring your family to the library to enjoy a free PG rated movie. The show begins at 2:30 pm at both libraries.
Experience an out of this world storytelling event with Tim Sonefelt on Tuesday, June 30th. This interactive program features puppets, comedy, magic and explores all sorts of heroes. He will be appearing in Gaffney at 10:30 am and Blacksburg at 2:30 pm.
On Thursday, July 9th become part of this heroic story as Porkchop Productions Theater Company performs the famous folktale, Stone Soup. Sometimes, it takes a hero to make a village and the greedy residents of the village of “Mine” are in for a rude awakening.
Summer Reading participants will celebrate their reading accomplishments at to our Superhero Finale! This end of the summer celebration will be Friday, July 31st from 10:30 – 1:00 pm. So dress up in your hero gear and head to the library for a fantastic day of hero games, contests, and prize giveaways! The event is open to all our superhero readers.
Lana Gardner will retire from her position as library director as of June 30, 2015. Her last day at work was Friday, May 22nd. “It is with mixed feelings that I leave the library,” says Gardner, “but I know it is the right decision.”
As to her future plans, she hopes to enjoy the summer spending time with her husband and family at their camper in the North Carolina mountains. She will also be teaching an online course entitled “Strategic Planning for Smaller Libraries” through Infopeople, an organization that serves as a training arm of the California State Library.
Gardner has served as director since August, 2006, and working with the library staff and Board of Trustees, has initiated and enhanced library services through a number of grants and community partnerships.
300 East Rutledge Avenue
Gaffney, SC 29340
(864) 487-2752 (fax)
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201 S Rutherford Street
Blacksburg, SC 29702
(864) 839-2572 (fax)