Please join us for a special visit with Susan Rivers, author of the Civil War - era novel The Second Mrs. Hockaday.
Rivers' debut novel, The Second Mrs. Hockaday, published by Algonquin Books, was a People Magazine "Best New Books Pick," a Woman's Day "Editor's Desk Pick" in 2017, an IndieNext, Library Reads and SIBA Winter OKRA Pick and was selected by the online publication, BookBrowse, as one of The Best Books for Book Clubs in 2018. The novel was a finalist for The Center for Fiction First Novel Prize 2017.
People Magazine called it "suspenseful and satisfying," Woman's Day described it as a "page-turner…meticulously researched and beautifully written," Kirkus characterized it as "a compulsively readable work" and the Charlotte Observer called it "spellbinding." Booklist, which gave the novel a starred review, wrote that "this galvanizing historical portrait of courage , determination and abiding love mesmerizes and shocks."
Inspired by a true incident, this novel takes place at the conclusion of the American Civil War, when a young soldier's wife in South Carolina goes on trial for murdering an infant she bore while her husband was far away, fighting with Lee's army. Placidia Hockaday, the protagonist, struggles with the unraveling of the social order in her Southern homeland even as her views on race and family are transformed. 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 that generation -- and the next -- began to see their world anew.
Rivers began her writing career as a playwright, receiving the Julie Harris Playwriting Award and the New York Drama League Award, working as an NEA Writer-in-Residence in San Francisco, and being named as a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award for British and American Women Playwrights.
Fiction became her focus after moving to the Carolinas in 1995. She holds an MFA in Fiction-writing from Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina and was awarded a Regional Artist Grant from the Arts and Sciences Council there.
The author lives with her husband in a former cotton-mill town in upstate South Carolina, where stories and stray animals are thick on the ground. None are turned away.
Ms. Rivers will be speaking to the High Country Writers at the Watauga County Public Library at 10 am on April 12, followed by a presentation for a general audience at 2 pm. All are welcome to attend both events.