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Just What Kind of Mother Are You?
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Book Club Selection > Spoiler Discussion (May 2014) - Just What Kind of Mother Are You? by Paula Daly

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David Gooch | 3992 comments Mod

This is a spoiler thread for the May Value Book Group Read
Just What Kind of Mother Are You? by Paula Daly

Post in here if you wish to comment on the book and discuss details that may spoil or give away important or pertinent details for those who haven't read or finished the book yet.

AngryGreyCat (angrygreycatreads) | 556 comments I read this one previously. All the recommendations referred to Gone Girl, which basically was a spoiler, so there was nothing surprising in the resolution.

message 3: by Diana (last edited May 05, 2014 06:27AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Diana Febry (dianaj) | 42 comments Fanficfan44 wrote: "I read this one previously. All the recommendations referred to Gone Girl, which basically was a spoiler, so there was nothing surprising in the resolution."

Hi, I'm really interested in your comment. I picked up the book because the title appealed to me and I read it with no pre-conceived ideas. Often feeling a failure as a mother myself - that was the appeal & I did identify with the book and enjoyed it. I've since read the blurb etc which refers to the book as a "crime thriller." In all honesty if I had expected a crime thriller I would have been equally disappointed and I feel this book is wrongly going to get poor reviews because it is being marketed wrongly. It's more contemp. lit with the mystery being - why are women doing this to themselves and each other?

message 4: by David (last edited May 05, 2014 12:11PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

David Gooch | 3992 comments Mod
I have finished this book and it got 3 stars from me.

The three stars are because it is a nice and original idea and it is reasonably well written. The characters are also quite good.

That though is where it ends and the downside for me would normally have put this book at two stars but for it being a debut novel.
The first poor bit for me is that most of the book is the rambling, hectic, boring life that the main character leads. It basically is all about Lisa Kallisto. Now when you read the blurb you expect it a bit as it does say she is the one who loses her friends child so you expect her in it a good bit. What really disappointed me though is the blurb says "Wracked with guilt over her mistake and after being publicly blamed by Lucinda's family, Lisa sets out to right the wrong. Now at no point does Lisa set out to right her mistake. She says she will, granted but all the book does is describe her days at work and home and she happens across clues at work such as the man with the dog, or goes to pick up a dog at the end and spots Kate's car etc.
The missing girl Lucinda was fairly easy to work out. The other abductor was harder no impossible. The book leads you on with the pages in italics by him as he explains his feelings and what he is doing etc. You see him as a main part of the book and wonder who he can be with little or no clues to help. Then to really ruin it a woman turns up with a camera declaring it's her husband and it is. Just what was the point of the other girl abductions? It was just wasted padding in the end and to string out the missing Lucinda which didn't take much working out.
I personally felt this was a book that had it not been our group read I would have not read. Having read it I can't say I'm any better for it either. I will say though that I do feel that this book will probably suit ladies more than gents.

If Paula Daly is to continue writing thrillers and in her case it is a lose term as her first isn't then unless she changes style dramatically I wont be reading another of hers.

message 5: by AngryGreyCat (last edited May 05, 2014 03:14PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

AngryGreyCat (angrygreycatreads) | 556 comments I also gave it 3 stars when I read. It basically got three stars because I liked the way the author described the social dynamic in the community. I didn't like the fact that she really just stumbled on the resolution and there were unrelated threads that just seemed like filler, but not in a good red herring kind of way. The recommendations that I had read referred to Gone Girl and a Gone Girl Spoiler (view spoiler)

As Diana said I think this book is being poorly marketed. It is not a "crime thriller" more women's fiction. It is more about relationships, within the community members and within marriages.

message 6: by Bill (last edited May 09, 2014 06:07AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bill Kupersmith | 564 comments Mod
I had figured out that there had to be more than one person responsible for the abductions but felt that 'Merv the Perv' arrived out of nowhere. This is one of the differences between 'realistic' fiction & 'real' life - in life a total stranger often walks in off the street & commits the crime. In a story we don't mind authors pulling rabbits out of hats but like to be alerted previously to the presence of Mr Bunny & that somebody is wearing a chapeau. (Actually experienced readers of mysteries tend to watch for very minor characters to be introduced early to play a significant role later, as in here n the case of the woman from Georgia who turns out to be the other woman.)

It was disappointing that the relationship between Kate & Lisa was so hostile & icy. As the parallels between Lisa's father & Kate's sleaze-ball spouse Guy are so obvious, why didn't Paula Daly do more with the similarities? Betrayal is more poignant amongst friends. Maybe Kate hates Lisa because she is the offspring of an adulterous affair, but I don't think we're told that. All the characters seem very flat to me and emotionally stunted. Also the poulterer's refusal to deliver Alex's turkey small-minded, supercilious, and judgmental - Alex needs help not condemnation.

The ending perplexed me. Does hiding one's daughter constitute 'kidnapping'? Would Kate go to prison as no actual abuse happened? Lying to the police is doubtless an offence & interferes with police investigation of the real abductions, but I'd expect a competent barrister could get Kate off, considering all the stress she's had to deal with - at least if I'd been on the jury. And as for that el sleazeball Guy getting custody of the children . . . surely he goes to prison for bigamy instead! He deserves to be a real villain @ not just a very big & very smelly red herring.

At the end of the book Paula Daly thanks a huge team of assistants & editors but I think if they'd done their jobs better this book would have finished as well as it began. Started @ 4 stars, ends @ 2. I give it 3 total - good read that fell apart @ the end.

message 7: by Judith (new)

Judith | 560 comments A very good read. I recommended it to my cousin and she enjoyed it too, an unusual plot and quite a page turner

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