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Just What Kind of Mother Are You?
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Book Club Selection > May 2014 Group Read - Just What Kind of Mother Are You? by Paula Daly

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message 1: by David (last edited May 01, 2014 12:38AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

David Gooch | 3977 comments Mod
May 2014 Group Read - Discussion Leader Diana Febry
Just What Kind of Mother Are You? by Paula Daly

Just What Kind of Mother Are You? by Paula Daly

"This is exactly what happens to Lisa Kallisto, overwhelmed working mother of three, one freezing December in the Lake District. She takes her eye off the ball for just a moment and her whole world descends into a nightmare. Her best friend's thirteen-year-old daughter Lucinda has gone missing and now, devastated by this and publicly blamed, Lisa sets out to right the wrong.

But as she begins peeling away the layers surrounding Lucinda's disappearance, Lisa learns that the quiet town she lives in isn't what she thought it was, and her friends may not be who they appear to be, either"

This book is available through both our Amazon stores at
Group Amazon UK Store
Group Amazon US Store


David Gooch | 3977 comments Mod
I have downloaded my copy of this and will definitely be joining in the discussion as it looks an intriguing read.


Bill Kupersmith | 554 comments Mod
Downloaded it.


message 4: by Diana (last edited May 01, 2014 12:35PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Diana Febry (dianaj) | 42 comments Hi everyone. I'm really nervous now you'll all hate the book and me!
I nominated the book for several reasons (some selfish), but I felt there was a lot to say about this book. So, while you're reading it I'll whack out a few of my general thoughts.
1. This was so typical of an English mystery. Americans amongst us, may say more of a cosy than a thriller. I thought characterisation and setting were excellent and it caught the snobbery and duplicity of semi-rural British society perfectly. The "mystery" was well thought out and executed. But, the police work was a little sketchy.
2. I love reading debut novels as I feel as well as getting to know the characters I get to learn a lot about how the writer thinks and feels. In later work, writers become more adapt at hiding their own personality. Technically that might be wrong, but still I enjoy debut works.
3. I was the first generation of girls brought up to believe we could have it all - demanding careers, families, hobbies, friends and our sanity. I gave up full time employment two years after my second child was born and have always felt a sense of failure and wasted degree education. Like the characters to have it all, meant a fine balancing act with every second of the day accounted for and one minor hiccup could unravel the whole thing. That's a very stressful way to live a life.
4. I enjoyed the ending of the story but not the conclusion of the police investigation. (You'll understand when you finish).
5. The very selfish reason I chose this one is because it is the type of book I aspire to write with my own scribbling. So any comments on this book, what you liked and hated, will be of interest to me.
I have other thoughts as well - but that's probably enough from me for now.


Mary (broomemarygmailcom) Well Diana, if you finish the way you just started as moderator then we will be well served! Looking forward to this book. It seems quite a while since the main character was female and I am looking forward to that.


David Gooch | 3977 comments Mod
I am underway on this one and just about a third through.

My first comment would be the style which that the book is mainly written from the view of the lady who was supposed to be watching the girl.
Now this is ok to a degree but here we are racking on towards half way of the book and it's all about her and her life, friends etc. with a little and I mean little from the police investigation and what I take to be the possible culprit/abductor. Maybe it's me, maybe I expect too much but it so far seems like a book about Lisa Kallisto's life and what about the crime.
I expect a bit of background on charaacters I do but after a third of the book I'm expecting more, I really am.

Is it just me or are the rest of you quite taken with the book?


message 7: by Diana (last edited May 02, 2014 05:26AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Diana Febry (dianaj) | 42 comments David wrote: "I am underway on this one and just about a third through.

My first comment would be the style which that the book is mainly written from the view of the lady who was supposed to be watching the gi..."


I am starting with a massive generalisation, to which there are lots of exceptions and I do enjoy both genres. If I want a crime mystery with corpses in every chapter, car chases, life in danger, action all the way and edge of the seat "stuff" I veer towards American authors. If I want more of the, "well actually this could happen in my street," social commentary and what is going on in this community? I turn to British writers. If I had rated the "mystery" element of the actual story and how real I felt the characters were I would have given it a 5. Because of the police procedure element I felt I could only give it a 4.
I know there are brief guidelines in the group about what constitutes a British mystery. In my humble opinion this book is a good example of what makes a book British? Be interested to know, how other people distinguish or have different expectations with American and British mysteries?


Mary (broomemarygmailcom) David wrote: "I am underway on this one and just about a third through.

My first comment would be the style which that the book is mainly written from the view of the lady who was supposed to be watching the gi..."



Mary (broomemarygmailcom) David, I may be wrong but I am thinking that Lisa will be an important piece in finding the missing girl. I am also ,I think, close to 1/3rd through and Lisa is starting out on foot to find the girl as promised to her mother. I don't know how much of Lisa's background is necessary at this
stage of the story but I do know that the book has grabbed my attention so that I read last night way past when I should have been sleeping! I also think that maybe what you are calling Lisa's story is also a way to tell about others in the village-these characters may or may not be important to the kidnapping.


message 10: by Bill (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bill Kupersmith | 554 comments Mod
On only p. 87 & so far liking it a lot. Let's remember that some of us read for different things & as I've said before the characters & relationships & spiritual & moral qualities in a story mean more to me than the who-killed-Sir-Roger stuff or the cop-shop & pub banter. As I get further into Just What Kind of Mother Are You? I'll let you know how well Lisa lives up to expectations, but her backstory looks fascinating. 'Crime fiction' may be a better label than 'mystery or detective story' (even tho' two of my favourites - Cassie Maddox & Lacy Flint are police detectives) because who did it & how is less important than how the crime affects the souls & minds of the characters.


David Gooch | 3977 comments Mod
Like you say Bill we all read for different reasons.

With this book I have no issue with the writing style at all. The writing is good in that it does flow along.

My issue is that I am now nearly two thirds through and to me it is too much Lisa and if she is going to look for this girl exactly when is she starting. Now while some of what has happened and I wont say here as it isn't the spoiler thread does point to the mystery/culprit etc there isn't a lot. For me there has been a lot of build up and to little action so far. Very much like Rowling's book was all the detective interviewing people this is all, so far, Lisa's rambling's, thought's and life mainly.


Diana Febry (dianaj) | 42 comments Bill wrote: "On only p. 87 & so far liking it a lot. Let's remember that some of us read for different things & as I've said before the characters & relationships & spiritual & moral qualities in a story mean m..."

That's what I meant only you said it much better!


message 13: by Bill (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bill Kupersmith | 554 comments Mod
Finished @ shall have remarks in the spoiler dicussion soon.


message 14: by Judith (new)

Judith | 560 comments I recently read What Kind of a Mother are you and really enjoyed it, I passed it on to my cousin and she said she couldn't put it down, it was quite an unusual book too. I am very new to the Goodreads site and am feeling my way around it. I have just got back from a visit to my daughter in Canada and she showed me the basics, if I make any errors please tell me


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