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The Second Mrs. Hockaday


At once a love story, a history lesson and a beautifully written tale of...
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Discuss The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers:
What motivates Placidia and Major Hockaday to marry so soon after their first meeting?

Created: 10/23/17

Replies: 19

Posted Oct. 23, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1584

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What motivates Placidia and Major Hockaday to marry so soon after their first meeting?

What motivates Placidia and Major Hockaday to marry so soon after their first meeting?


Posted Nov. 13, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Maggie

Join Date: 01/01/16

Posts: 112

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RE: What motivates Placidia and Major Hockaday to marry so soon after their first meeting?

Major Hockaday wanted someone to come home to after the war. Also I believe he wanted a mother for his son. There also seemed to be an instant spark when he met Placidia between both of them. Placidia was young and beautiful and it was said that she could have had her pick of men. So all I can guess about her is she must have noticed how taken the Major was with her and thought he would treat her well. I am surprised her father agreed to the marriage.


Posted Nov. 13, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Lois Irene

Join Date: 01/20/16

Posts: 45

RE: What motivates Placidia and Major Hockaday to marry so soon after their first meeting?

While I could see that Major Hockaday needed someone to look after his son, and to come home to, I couldn't quite understand why Placidia went along with it. I was also rather surprised that her father was positive about it. She was evidently very beautiful and quite spirited. She could have enjoyed a lengthy romance before marriage.
The war seemed to have sent the characters into an alternate time frame - one filled with urgency.


Posted Nov. 13, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Gloria

Join Date: 03/11/15

Posts: 56

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RE: What motivates Placidia and Major Hockaday to marry so soon after their first meeting?

It was almost as if Placidia was bewitched by Hockaday, although I hate to use that term. Rather that she knew from the moment she met him that here was someone who brought out in her feelings she had never had before and one of those feelings might have been that here was the man she was meant to spend her life with. Obviously, Hockaday felt the same way and, knowing he was going to be leaving for war soon, he had to make his move.
Maybe her father saw Hockaday as an established older man who could take care of his daughter. Maybe not such an unusual attitude in those days.


Posted Nov. 13, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Anne C.

Join Date: 10/09/14

Posts: 13

RE: What motivates Placidia and Major Hockaday to marry so soon after their first meeting?

Placidia's father confides to her that he is seriously ill and may not be around much longer. I think he saw marriage to the Major as a way of protecting his daughter. Placidia was very much attracted to the Major but she was so young and had no idea what she was getting into.
(I would not have wanted either of my daughters to marry a man they had known only for one day!)


Posted Nov. 13, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ashleighs

Join Date: 11/13/17

Posts: 14

RE: What motivates Placidia and Major Hockaday to marry so soon after their first meeting?

Major Hockaday was on leave from the military due to his first wife's death. He had a young son and needed a mother for his child and someone to watch over his land and servants. Placidia was adventurous and always ready for the next leap to take. But there also seemed to be a connection between the two, right from their first conversation. Placidia was young, vibrant, and rode in as such on her horse. This got Hockaday's interest.


Posted Nov. 14, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 215

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RE: What motivates Placidia and Major Hockaday to marry so soon after their first meeting?

Major Hockaday's motivation seemed mostly practical - he wanted someone to care for his farm and his child -- but there was clearly a spark of attraction there. Placidia's motivation seemed to be all "electricity" -- that special park which is so hard to accept but does happen (my parents dated one month before they were engaged, and were married for 59 years). I too was surprised her father agreed, but perhaps in war time and given his health this seemed a way to provide stability for her. I think Hocaday's almost immediate return to the front was a bit unanticipated and the farm turned out to be less stable than described, so clearly Placidia and her father were operating on incomplete information.


Posted Nov. 15, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Carol Rainer

Join Date: 09/03/15

Posts: 64

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RE: What motivates Placidia and Major Hockaday to marry so soon after their first meeting?

Quite simply, he needed a woman to care for his son and home, upon the death of his first wife. Her father felt that it would be good for her to be taken care of, not knowing how short-lived the marriage was to be.


Posted Nov. 15, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
irisf

Join Date: 01/16/12

Posts: 100

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RE: What motivates Placidia and Major Hockaday to marry so soon after their first meeting?

First, the physical attraction between them was immediate and too strong to be ignored

Second, he was being sent off to war so there was no time to waste

Last, he had a child and a farm that needed to be cared for


Posted Nov. 16, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beverlyj

Join Date: 12/22/11

Posts: 58

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RE: What motivates Placidia and Major Hockaday to marry so soon after their first meeting?

While there is no doubt there is an immediate physical attraction between the two - I think they both had alternative reasons for marrying so quickly.

Major knew he was leaving again to resume his army position - so he would have someone to be a mother for his son and oversee his farm while he was away. He also probably knew he needed to have a "wife" to keep him going through the war.

Placidia was swept off her feet and her independent spirit at wanting to grab at all of life had to offer drove her to accept the marriage proposal.


Posted Nov. 17, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
elainew

Join Date: 08/28/15

Posts: 12

RE:t motivates Placidia and Major Hockaday to marry so soon after their first meeting?

I think Major and Placidia truly fell in love with each other. The spark was there and in war times, many people married very quickly. The marriage had many problems to overcome but in the end they did overcome them.


Posted Nov. 20, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Rosieglitter

Join Date: 10/16/16

Posts: 36

RE: What motivates Placidia and Major Hockaday to marry so soon after their first meeting?

Major Hockaday wanted someone to care for his son and run the farm and look after the servants. Placidia was told by her father that he was gravely ill and would not be around much longer. Her father thought the marriage was a way of making sure his daughter was cared for after his death. There was a spark between Placidia and the major so all parties agreed the marriage was a good idea. This part of the book shows how different times were during the civil war era versus today.


Posted Nov. 20, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
terriej

Join Date: 07/28/11

Posts: 148

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RE: What motivates Placidia and Major Hockaday to marry so soon after their first meeting?

I think it was all instrumental on her father's behalf. I'm not sure they were really in love - it was a marriage of convenience so the major could have someone to take over the 'wifely duties and Placidia would be taken care of.


Posted Nov. 20, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lynneb

Join Date: 08/23/11

Posts: 82

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RE: What motivates Placidia and Major Hockaday to marry so soon after their first meeting?

It seemed we were to believe in the true "love at first sight" phenomenon. They were both smitten and felt they wanted to be together, come what may.


Posted Nov. 20, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
irisf

Join Date: 01/16/12

Posts: 100

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RE: What motivates Placidia and Major Hockaday to marry so soon after their first meeting?

They also had time pressures. He needed to find help for his young son and someone to manage the farm


Posted Nov. 21, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 169

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RE: What motivates Placidia and Major Hockaday to marry so soon after their first meeting?

Placidia found herself infatuated with Major Hockaday. I think the feeling was mutual! He was soon to leave and a decision about the marriage and her accompanying him had to be acted on quickly, if it were to happen. He wanted a mother for his son and someone back home to return to. She wanted to be married to the Major and I think she thought she was going to a much grander life than what she actually encountered. I'm surprised her father so willingly agreed to the marriage.


Posted Nov. 21, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

Posts: 229

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RE: What motivates Placidia and Major Hockaday to marry so soon after their first meeting?

From the first moment we meet Dia, it's obvious she is a young woman of self-determination and character, not interested in being a decorative Southern lady; someone who judges both men and women by how well they treat others (and their animals), not by their wealth or the color of their skin. I think that had a lot to do with why she and Major Hockaday felt a strong attraction from the start. She saw him as courteous, self-possessed and kind, a man who would not be a domestic tyrant (at a time when men had so much power over their wives), but would be governed by decency, and who would not be offended by her own strong spirit (someone like her father, as she thought of him then). That was more important than good looks or material considerations to her, and of course, she didn't know what awaited her on his farm. But she was eager for the next part of her life to begin (and that meant marriage, the only option available to white women).

On the Major's part, I think he was attracted by her spirit as much as her beauty, so much that even though he wasn't actively searching for a mate in his time of need, when he realized she would be up to the task, he didn't hesitate. We know from later events that her father agreed because he knew he would not live much longer, had a good impression of the Major, and because he had left the decision to Dia and it was what she wanted-- he trusted her judgment.


Posted Nov. 21, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianaps

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 256

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RE: What motivates Placidia and Major Hockaday to marry so soon after their first meeting?

The war certainly played a part in the hurried marriage. There was also the fact that her step-mother was difficult to live with and Major Hockaday needed someone to care for his son. Her father probably agreed because he knew his health was failing.


Posted Nov. 22, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Navy Mom

Join Date: 04/12/12

Posts: 213

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RE: What motivates Placidia and Major Hockaday to marry so soon after their first meeting?

Major Hockaday had a son that needed a mother. Placidia was a woman that looked to be able to take care of herself. She had strength and he saw that in her. She was also a beautiful woman and she wasn't aware of her own beauty. She wasn't shallow because of it. For Placidia, she felt a "connection" a "pull" toward the Major. i think he was different then the men she knew, he was more independent, strong, and she was drawn to that. Their brief time together created a bond between them. I questioned how Placidia could continue to endure when she had no word of him and was in such dire need, but she did. I was disappointed that the Major thought so poorly of her when he heard about the baby instead of investigating further.


Posted Dec. 07, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
bettyt

Join Date: 05/12/11

Posts: 180

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RE: What motivates Placidia and Major Hockaday to marry so soon after their first meeting?

There was a spark between when they first saw each other. Dia said "...something in my heart called out to him, as his called to mine."

The Major also needed a mother for his young son. Like most soldiers in wars throughout history, he needed a reason to survive the war. That reason was having a wife waiting for him.

Dia also wrote "...I was waiting for my life to begin and all of a sudden it bolted forward..."


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