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 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.”

Kirkus Reviews

“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

ISBN: 978-1-61620-581-2

www.algonquin.com

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Cherokee County Public Library Announces Opening of Learning Resource Center for Students

Gaffney, SC (March 7, 2014) – Thanks to a grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) administered by the South Carolina State Library, the Cherokee County Public Library (CCPL) will be opening a Learning Resource Center at the Gaffney Library on Monday, March 24th, 2014. This new area will offer two iMacs and five iPads for use by students ages eighteen and under while at the library. The devices will be available exclusively for student use, and will be loaded with educational apps and research software, as well as Microsoft Office and other software to complete papers, homework, and projects. Students do not need a library card to log on to the new devices, and will be allowed to print up to ten pages for free.

Tara Smith, Youth Services Manager, said, “By receiving this prestigious grant, we have been able to supplement and enhance our services to Cherokee County students, which will help them thrive in school, transition to higher education, and become successful adults in the job market. In this digital age, it is important for us to provide students with a chance to engage with new technologies they may not have at home.”

This grant will provide excellent opportunities for the county’s youth by allowing them access to new technologies, providing a dedicated space for homework completion in the library, and offering updated homework help materials to supplement their education in school. Throughout the year, the library will also use these new resources to engage with the community through outreach to local schools, special technology-enhanced programming, and additional services.

CCPL will hold a ribbon-cutting reception to celebrate the Learning Resource Center’s opening and share information with community stakeholders on Friday, March 21st, and the services will be open to the public beginning on Monday, March 24th. Learning Resource Center devices will be available for use from 30 minutes after library opening until 15 minutes before library closing. To use the iMacs and iPads, students need only bring a parent or legal guardian to sign a release form on their first visit, at which point they can begin to take advantage of these exciting new resources.

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The Cherokee County Public Library strives to connect the community with quality resources that encourage literacy, expand learning, and enrich lives. For more information about CCPL, visit www.cherokeecountylibrary.org.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the institute, please visit www.imls.gov.

The South Carolina State Library is the primary administrator of federal and state support for the state’s libraries. The State Library is a national model for innovation, collaboration, leadership and effectiveness. The State Library’s mission is to optimize South Carolina’s investment in library and information services. In 1969, as the result of action by the General Assembly, the State Library Board was redesignated as the South Carolina State Library and assumed responsibility for public library development, library service for state institutions, service for the blind and physically handicapped, and library service to state government agencies. Headquartered in Columbia, SC, the Library is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and other sources. For more information, please visit www.statelibrary.sc.gov or call (803) 734-8666.