Just What Kind of Mother Are You? by Paula Daly
|Just What Kind of Mother Are You? by Paula Daly|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A superb psychological thriller. It's Daly's debut and she's got everything right - she is going to be one to watch. Honestly.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 320||Date: April 2013|
|Publisher: Bantam Press|
|External links: Author's website|
I see a lot of books and choosing which ones to read is often difficult but sometimes you'll see something which jumps out and makes you take a closer look. So what was it with Just What Kind of Mother Are You? I'm not a particularly maternal person, so it wasn't the title. I didn't recognise the name of the author. It was a recommendation from Elizabeth Haynes - one of my favourite authors. That was good enough for me and I was happy to leave her prediction that it would probably be my book of the year until I'd finished reading.
Lisa Kallisto is almost the typical Mum. She's got a husband and three children and she's permanently tired. Her full-time job at the local animal rescue centre frequently spills over into her home life and she's constantly chasing around trying to catch up with what she ought to have done. Husband Joe is a taxi driver and they can only just manage to afford the rent on their cottage in the picturesque lake district. It's normally pretty crime free but then a young girl - really only a child - is abducted and brutally raped. Then another girl of about the same age goes missing and Lisa was responsible for her safety. What do you say, what do you do in that situation? Lisa is about to find out.
I'd have read this book in one sitting if I hadn't been cruelly interrupted and even then I scampered back to it as soon as I decently could. It has everything. Let me explain.
I knew Lisa Kallisto. She was as real to me as my neighbour. They're not the upper crust in the Lakeland village where they live - they're the people who work and keep things going. They struggle financially but their marriage is good. Neither is perfect and you'll know exactly where they fit in the village when they're invited to what sounds like a posh dinner party and they go in their best clothes. Delicious. Everyone else comes off the page in the same way - even relatively minor characters are fully fleshed and the dynamics of family life are perfectly captured. The setting is just as good. It's Lakeland and you'll know a lot of the place names but this is where people live rather than where the tourists go.
It's the plot which is the best part though. Imagine that feeling of losing someone else's child. Do you go round to see the parents? Do you hide? Do you defend yourself? Lisa goes through it all and Paula Daly twangs your nerves as you read. You don't know that you'd do what Lisa is doing - but you don't know what else you'd do either. Then a third child goes missing...
It's Daly's debut novel and even from an established author the writing would be top notch and if it's not going to be my book of the year then what beats it will have to be very good indeed. I want to read LOTS more from Daly and I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
If this book appeals then we think you might also enjoy Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.
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You can read more book reviews or buy Just What Kind of Mother Are You? by Paula Daly at Amazon.com.
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Well crafted, a brilliant read, so surprising to find that this is the author's first novel. Can't wait for the next one.