Book Talk & Signing with Award-Winning South Carolina Playwright & Author Susan Rivers at Fiction Addiction
Award-winning upstate South Carolina playwright Susan Rivers will discuss her debut historical novel, The Second Mrs. Hockaday (Algonquin, hardcover, $25.95), at a book talk followed by a Q&A session and book signing on Thursday, February 16th, at 6pm at Fiction Addiction. Through a narrative that unfolds in letters, diary entries, and inquest reports, Rivers vividly brings to life the story of 17-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 300-acre farm in rural South Carolina.
When Major Gryffith 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?
Inspired by a true incident, this saga 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.
Our store volunteer Jackie loves this debut novel: "This is an amazing book, I simply loved everything about it. Any fan of historical fiction, novels about human failings, and dialogue that is almost poetic should read this book. The depiction of the Civil War on a very personal level to one woman is stirring and hard to take in. The book is a series of letters to and from various family members and by the end of the first 30 pages you feel invested in every member involved. In some ways it is a revisit to the time when letters were the form of communication that existed and what a picture they could paint. It is hard to believe this is a debut novel, the writing is wonderful."
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 and has had short fiction published in the Santa Monica Review. In 2007 she earned an MFA in fiction writing 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. The Second Mrs. Hockaday is her first novel.
If you cannot make the event, you can reserve a personalized copy of the author's book by contacting Fiction Addiction in advance at 864-675-0540 or at email@example.com.
ABOUT FICTION ADDICTION
Fiction Addiction is a local, woman-owned, independent bookstore established in 2001. The store carries a mixture of new and used fiction and nonfiction, including children's books, as well as gift items. We are located at 1175 Woods Crossing Road (in the shopping center with Fried Green Tomatoes, Jimmy John's, and Boardwalk). For more information, visit our website at http://www.fiction-addiction.com or call us at 864-675-0540.
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