Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Just What Kind of Mother Are You?” as Want to Read:
Just What Kind of Mother Are You?
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Just What Kind of Mother Are You?

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  10,255 ratings  ·  1,245 reviews
A searing and sinister thriller for readers who liked Gone Girl.

What if your best friend's child disappears? And it was all your fault.

A searing and sinister thriller for readers who liked Gone Girl.What if your best friend's child disappears? And it was all your fault. This is exactly what happens to Lisa Kallisto, overwhelmed working mother of three, one freezing Decembe
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 28th 2013 by Doubleday Canada
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,255 ratings  ·  1,245 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Just What Kind of Mother Are You?
Imagine this scenario: Local girls are being abducted and assaulted. The most recent disappearance was your daughter's friend - a thirteen year old who was under your watch at the time - but you weren't paying attention. The million things you have to do in a day distracted you. A lost moment you can never redo, guilt-fed emotions that never leave, and a bunch of fingers (primarily your own) pointing straight at you.

Just What Kind of Mother Are You? is a psychological thriller/mystery novel wri
Catherine Howard
May 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
The best kinds of thrillers, in my humble opinion, are the ones where when you come to recommend them to others, you don't want to say much except 'You should read this' because the thrill is in the twist, and you don't want to give anything away.

This is my review: I sat down with this book at 5.30pm on a Friday evening intending to read a few pages before dinner and pick it back up again when I had some time. Instead I skipped dinner and everything else and stayed there, curled up on the sofa
Elyse  Walters
May 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Paula Daly has become a new favorite 'PURE ENJOYMENT' ....'go to' author!

Having recently read her book called "I Made A Mistake"...( her new release due out this
Sept....which is SOOOOOOOO GOOD), I was so excited to read more by this author.

Right from the start - with about 10 pages...comes a 'surprise'.. ( an OOPS)...'naughty-naughty'!
lol... I knew at that point... I was in for another fun roller coater ride.

The blurp is 'all' anyone needs to know-- so I'm not going to repeat the details - or
Ruth Turner
Jun 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
The only good thing I have to say about this book is that it's a quick, easy read.

I didn't like any of the characters. The story dragged at times. There were a lot of side issues that really had nothing to do with the story. And the whodunit was tossed in at the end like an after thought.

Apr 08, 2017 rated it liked it
The 2013 debut novel from Paula Daly was a page turner, but not because of the mysterious disappearance of a friend's teenage daughter. No, the true highlights of a Paula Daly story is how completely screwed up her characters are. Marital problems abound in this novel -affairs, divorce, suicide, bigamy. Not to mention a police detective obsessed by her breast size. Having read three books by the author, I am not sure what genre Paula Daly wants us to know her by. Mystery? Family drama? Whatever ...more
Sharon Bolton
Mar 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
‘Sorry, Lisa,’ he said, ‘but this thing you’re suffering from. It’s just life.’

Lisa and Joe are an entirely normal couple living in the Lake District: overly-busy, continually struggling for money, inevitably, and tragically, juggling. At least Lisa is. She has three children, a full time job and a home to run.

Joe is a self-employed taxi driver. Importantly, this couple are not posh. But their lives nudge up against those who are, the much wealthier, more successful Kate and Guy. Kate is every
Jul 08, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery, first-reads
Paula Daly's debut novel has much to recommend it. The writing style is engaging, the characters are well drawn, and she shifts well between the first and third person in her narrative. The problem, for me, was in the story itself. I did not find it at all suspenseful and the ending was woefully predictable, if not somewhat bizarre. In fact, the whole story was just not believable. Nor was the mystery solved by either the police or by the amateur sleuth. It just all came together through a singl ...more
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
I nearly gave this 4 stars but I found the ending a bit weak, like the author was tired so just had to wrap it up quickly. So it's 3.5 star book for me.

Aside from that it's a good, easy to read book, I read it in a few hours travelling in a coach across England.

Young girls are going missing, one of those girls is Lisa's best friends daughter. The plot weaves around a few characters as suspicions are aroused and everybody starts to look a bit guilty at one point.

I think more grit and crime thril
Jun 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-of-2015
Taut debut thriller that's hard to put down. Overwhelmed and distracted mom, Lisa, forgets that her daughter's 13-year-old friend, Lucinda, is supposed to be having a sleepover at their house. When Lisa and Lisa's mother realize Lucinda is missing, she has been gone for a day - and Lisa is at fault.

Suspenseful with an engaging cast of characters that will keep you turning the pages - I enjoyed it very much. I just wish the ending had been more believable; a bit of a let-down for me.

A 3.5 - roun
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

Lisa is an average mother. Working full-time at the local animal shelter to barely pay the bills while trying to raise three children and remain a decent wife. A miscommunication has one of her best friends thinking her daughter is spending the night at Lisa’s house when in reality she has gone missing. Lisa is now privately (and publicly) racked with guilt over being so caught up in her own life that she may have caused the end of som
Nov 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
I was given this book to read to read by Random House via Net Galley.
This is the authors debut novel. You would not have known this as its expertly written, just like a pro.
I read the epilogue of how this story came about, I found it fascinating how an author can see or hear something, or in this case, watch something and the impact be so great that it tunes into a thought, then an idea then a book which came from fact but written as fiction. Truly fascinating.

Loved the entire book. It had me fo
Crystal Craig
Just What Kind of Mother Are You? for me was just an average book. It's the sort of novel where there's nothing special about the characters. The writing is mediocre at best, and the plot is so-so. I was curious enough to want to know the outcome, but I won't remember much about this book a month from now.
Nov 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was such an accomplished and confidently written novel that it was difficult to believe it was a debut.

What makes this novel so compelling is the knowledge that this scenario could happen to anybody – and just that one time you make a mistake could have such drastic consequences – as Lisa Kallisto discovered. Lisa is a busy mum of three, managing a struggling animal rescue home and overwhelmed with the stresses of daily life. As her 13 year old daughter Sally had been off school sick, Lisa
Jun 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With a title like "Just What Kind of Mother Are You?" I wondered what the mother did. So, of course, there's more than one mother in the cast of characters.

Lisa and Joe have a harried life with three kids, dogs, jobs, and the usual commitments. Lisa works in a pet rescue center, and that makes her more likeable, but I felt she had too much involvement in her best friend's life. She was also a little envious of the life her friend had. Then the daughter of Lisa's best friend disappears, Lisa is b
Quick review for a somewhat quick read. "Just What Kind of Mother Are You" pretty much falls under my library's recommended literature similar to Gillian Flynn ' s "Gone Girl" but I'd picked it up for the overarching mystery and inspiration behind it. It kept me reading avidly to see where the disappearance would go, though I honestly predicted what would happen early on and who the villain (s) turned out to be. I found most of the characters to be insufferable to follow (save for the detective, ...more
Oct 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing

Just What Kind Of Mother Are You is Paula Daly's first novel. Believe me this novel just takes hold of you from the very first page, right up until the very last page. Paula Daly got the idea for her first novel after watching an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show and being heartbroken by a woman's story. I recommend the novel Just What Kind Of Mother Are You to every reader.

Just What Kind Of Mother Are You I am certain that everyone will be talking about it with every reader wanting to read this
Diane S ☔
Aug 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 So many of us are over loaded, trying to get to our jobs, taking care of the house, husband, children and pets, just trying to make it through the day. It is so easy to identify with the character of Lisa, a woman trying to do it all and who occasionally slips up. In her case it causes a terrible incident, that she is blamed for not only by herself but by others in the town. I could really see this happening and so this novel seemed very realistic.

There are a few twists and turns that I didn
Judy D Collins
A top shelf, riveting and powerful debut novel, JUST WHAT KIND OF MOTHER ARE YOU? by British author Paula Daly is a compelling novel—a read for every woman, living a harried lifestyle, trying to balance work, home, and family.

Filled with humor and emotion, this book will keep you turning into the night, for a mix of suspense, mystery, thriller, family drama, crime, and women’s fiction. Set in the Lake District, with economic hardship, and busy families, centered on two mothers of teenage gi
Aug 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: debut
Your daughter's best friend disappears - she was supposed to be staying overnight at your house - everyone is blaming you including yourself. Lisa, the mother in question, harbors enough guilt for us all and you can certainly understand why.

It’s easy to identify with Lisa, a down to earth, just getting it done, no frills kind of gal. Her husband Joe is a hardworking taxicab driver and as a couple they’re making ends meet. Lisa, more than Joe feels the effects of their less than glamour life whe
David Staniforth
Aug 31, 2014 rated it liked it
This should have been a four star read, it’s a good story and the writing style is great for the most part, so why the three?

For one I didn’t really engage with the characters, finding them somewhat boring. Was that enough to downgrade to three? No!

I found it too easy to put down, and only picked it up if I had nothing better to do. In fact, I read and completed a different book halfway through reading this one. A book that just wouldn’t let go. Was that enough to downgrade to three? No!

I guesse
Avi B
Mar 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, fiction
This book had me totally engrossed from the beginning, I wanted to know what happened next so I was reading it whenever I had a spare moment. I really enjoy this authors style of writing. I can't wait for her to bring out another book! :)
Feb 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: three-star
A decent enough police crime thriller, somewhat lacking in direction and pace but overall entirely readable and not too demanding of its reader. Daly is known to write thrillers with a difference, often using unusual themes and/or storylines; her latest novel is no different.

When young girls start to go missing in mysterious circumstances in a very middle-class village in Cumbria, police are drafted in and search parties begin to form. Detective Joanne is leading the investigation to find the p
Aug 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
This was a surprise! Great story, spot on characters you could meet on the street - so real, plenty of twists and turns and background.

Lisa is struggling with balancing her life when her close friend's daughter goes missing - she was supposed to be at Lisa's for a sleepover -Lisa was told she wasnt coming by her own daughter but doesnt check with the other mother so she feels responsible. Lisa is publicly humiliated as she struggles to deal with this situation - until she starts to find little s
Loes Dissel
Nov 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Gripping thriller. I couldn't put this book down, so I read it in one sitting.
Mar 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inspired by the story of an American mother, who succumbing to the pressures of motherhood was responsible for the death of her child, Paula Daly has constructed a thought provoking and emotive debut that skilfully addresses the issues faced by women in juggling the demands of life, work and family. I found myself instantly engaged with the portrayal of Lisa, a married, working mother of three who appears to have been partly responsible for the sudden disappearance of a friend’s child, and the s ...more
Mary Kubica
Sep 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'll preface this by saying I love suspense novels more than all other genres. They are my absolute favorite. The kind of book that once you begin, you simply cannot put down. You HAVE to know what happens. JUST WHAT KIND OF MOTHER ARE YOU? was exactly that. The premise of an overwhelmed mother dropping the ball just once, and all the backlash that comes from that one oversight (albeit a large one), is something many of us mothers can relate to, or at least sympathize with. Paula Daly sweeps the ...more
Jan 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well. That was a book and a half. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this from beginning to end. It never stopped with pace, clear, believable characters and a brilliant story-line. This is the first book I've read by Paula Daly and I will certainly be reading more. It's been on my TBR pile for a while. The little gems that pile holds. Highly recommended.
Susan Maldrie
Oct 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book was recommended to me by a close friend--a true kindred spirit. Normally I'm not a mystery reader but looking for something different I was curious to what this read was about, I was not disappointed! My main complaint with this book is that it hooked me to read just one more page, then another to find out the answers-- really cuts into ones sleep time. It's great to find a book that lets you escape and Paula Daly delivered. The writing was not flawless but the storyline was so compell ...more
Christine Roberts
This book. I'm so frustrated with this book. It was quite good, actually, most likely a four star read, until the last 50 pages or so. Yes, fellow readers, I found the ending of this "mystery" so disappointing that it lost 2 whole stars. I'm not going to spoil it for anyone who hasn't read it yet, but I will say that for me it was anticlimactic. All that build up, all that back story, and then a limp noodle of an ending. Ugh, it's like the author couldn't figure out how to do the big dramatic co ...more
Deborah Swift
Mar 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was on Twitter last week and I got a message from Alison Barrow at Transworld publishers asking if I'd like to read a debut novel set in the Lake District. Like most writers I have several jobs and a work-in-progress waiting, and I find I have to carve out time to read books I want to read, let alone review ones I'd never heard of. But I mailed Alison back to ask what genre, and she said 'psychological thriller'. I ummed and aaahed, but then thought - but it's the Lake District, the place I ac ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Lies, Lies, Lies
  • I Made a Mistake
  • How to Disappear
  • Perfect Little Children
  • The Babysitter
  • The Woman Downstairs
  • The Catch
  • The Runaway
  • Keep Him Close
  • The Holiday
  • My Darling: The sexy, sinister new thriller from the #1 bestseller
  • The Dinner Party
  • The Guilty Heart
  • Just Like the Other Girls
  • Playing Nice
  • The Broken
  • Until You're Mine (DCI Lorraine Fisher #1)
See similar books…

Paula Daly is the acclaimed author of six novels. Her work has been sold in sixteen countries, shortlisted for CWA Gold Dagger award, and developed for the ITV drama, DEEP WATER, starring Anna Friel. She was born in Lancashire and lives in the Lake District with her family.

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
12 likes · 7 comments
“I used to think it bordered on tragedy the way families lose touch, the way people sever ties, putting a pretty place to live above being together. But now I realize that's just how people like it. They don't always want to be together.” 6 likes
“Joanne lo achacaba a que las mujeres de hoy tenían más dinero a su disposición. Las de la generación de su madre no salían a emborracharse de esa manera porque no había dinero con el que emborracharse.” 0 likes
More quotes…