In the summer of 2014, writer Susan Rivers was busy researching historical documents in her local library when she came across something interesting. It was an inquest from 1865 about a young woman who was accused of giving birth to a child and murdering the infant while her husband was away fighting for the Confederacy.
The story inspired Rivers to write her debut novel, “The Second Mrs. Hockaday” (Algonquin Books/2017). The book tells the story of Placidia Hockaday, a teenage bride who is accused of the same crime but maintains a courageous silence throughout the accusations.
Host Frank Stasio talks with Rivers about shaping historical narratives into fiction and how Rivers’ work as an award-winning playwright helped her with the novel. Rivers reads tonight at 7 p.m. at Scuppernong Books in Greensboro, Friday at 5 p.m. at the Country Bookshop in Southern Pines and Saturday at 11 a.m. at McIntyre’s Books in Pittsboro.