The Second Mother publishes on August 18, 2020.
Julie Weathers lives in Wedeskyull, a small town in the Adirondacks where she has been her whole life. Since losing Hedley, her only child (an infant), Julie has become a shell of her former self, drinking scotch at all hours of the day and having embarrassing meltdowns of grief and guilt in public. Not surprising, early on in the story, her husband David asks for a divorce. Julie has a giant Newfoundland rescue dog named Depot who provides comfort and protection for her. Hoping to escape the painful memory of her daughter and the sense of failure of her marriage, Julie decides a change and a move away from Wedeskyull is just what she needs. She answers a wanted ad for a certified K-8 teacher in a one room schoolhouse on a remote island in Maine, and to her surprise and excitement, she is offered the position. A chance to start fresh in a new place.
Mercy Island, Maine is completely surrounded by water and there are no vehicles on the island. Cell phone reception and WiFi are spotty at best and can’t be relied upon. At first, exploring the island with Depot in tow seems therapeutic and enjoyable. Most of the men on the island are lobsterman, spending much of their time out to sea setting and checking traps. But as the summer comes to a close and visitors to Mercy Island leave, the island becomes quiet and mysterious pretty quickly. The more Julie uncovers about the island and the history of the prestigious family who owns most of the homes and land on Mercy, the closer she gets to the lurking danger. Julie was wary of the icy, dark waters surrounding Mercy, but what about the people who live there. Who can she really trust? The friendly gal who showed her around town and comes over to drink wine and chat on occasion? The handsome lobsterman who takes it upon himself to protect Julie and Depot? I guess you’ll have to read it and find out.
Fans of Lisa Jewell and Wendy Walker will enjoy this heart-pounding story of psychological suspense. The twists and turns don’t stop until the final pages, creating a unique thrill ride set in an atmospheric, secluded place.
Thank you to Books Forward PR for providing me with an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.