I liked the idea of The Second Mother. A woman wanting to start over ends up at a remote island to be the teacher after the last ones left. I don’t think the book needed the mystery element which might have been part of why it felt flat.
Nothing sat right about the ages to me. The grandmother was written as if she was quite spry but rather elderly and very old-fashioned. But her grandchild was only 9 and her children late 20s/early 30s. People can have children whenever they want but it seems unlikely that a woman who never left her rural island and apparently didn’t attend college or travel and who married a local man would wait until her 40s to have children. She could have been in her early to mid 50s during the book! The Captain had dementia, was he much older than her? They didn’t say it was early onset or anything like that.
I feel like sometimes people write about old people they remember from their own childhood without really thinking about what an older person in the current day would be like. Grandma could have easily been born in the mid-sixties.
I felt like the choice of title was poor, it only really made sense at the very end. Overall the book was interesting enough but I was hoping they were going for something more exciting and different rather than the usual cranky old lady hates change troupe.