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This batch contains some writer’s bucket-list moments for me. Read on, and let me know if you can guess what they are!

Proving Stephen King isn't the only author who can make a scenic small town in Maine feel menacing, Jenny Milchman's The Second Mother is a haunting thriller about a teacher who relocates to an isolated island to teach in a one-room schoolhouse. The job sounds like a perfect way to start over, but the town holds secrets that could prove to be deadly.


Jenny Milchman commands the page the way the best actors command the stage. Milchman brings the suspense from a simmer to a slow boil, as “The Second Mother” becomes an agonizing exercise in escape and survival. This is the kind of book Alfred Hitchcock would have loved to adapt into a film, and for good reason.

The Providence Journal

What follows is another gripping and satisfying story of suspense from Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning author Jenny Milchman. The author's talent for authentic description will carry readers right along with Julie on the choppy ride in the ferry to Mercy Island, they'll smell the salty air, feel the spray and mist of the ocean on their faces, walk beside her and Depot on the path to an unknown destination. They'll learn along with Julie that this lovely, close knit community is not as welcoming and tranquil as first believed. The Second Mother is a beautifully written page turner.

New York Review of Books

Examines grief, isolation, addiction, social inequality and legacy set against the background of an insular society desperate to prevent change and growth. Yet, this is truly a story about motherhood — the connection between mother and child, and the ferocity of a mother to protect her child at all costs. On every page, Milchman raises the stakes. While grappling with dark questions, The Second Mother will thrill and entertain readers who desire a summer adventure.


The Second Mother has it all. There is enough psychological suspense to keep any thriller reader glued to their seat. Additionally, Milchman has devised another novel that reads like literary fiction with a story that touches on loss, motherhood, the past, and the true definition of family. Along the way, there are plenty of plot twists and surprises that include an action-filled ending that will result in some shocking revelations. Another winner from Jenny Milchman and one of the more intelligent novels in the summer of 2020.

Criminal Element

A tension-filled, provocative, nail-biting thriller that will have your heart pounding and your hands shaking as you frantically turn page after page, thirsting for more.

Suspense Magazine