Monday, 13 May 2013

Just What Kind of Mother Are You? by Paula Daly - Review, Guest Post & Excerpt

Summary from Goodreads

She's gone and it's your fault. You were supposed to be watching your best friend's 13-year-old daughter, and now she's missing.

But you know she's not just missing - she's been taken. Because Lucinda is the second girl to be abducted within a fortnight. And the first was found on a busy high street, naked and severely traumatised. No one expects the next to be so lucky.

You're going to have to figure this out - who did it. Because if you don't, then Lucinda will be next. And you'll never forgive yourself.

Hardcover, 320 pages
Published April 25th 2013 by Bantam Press 
AmazonUK US Book Depository 
Kate doesn’t have a proper job. She and her husband get a steady stream of income from renting holiday cottages. So all Kate has to do when she gets home is put her washing machine on, and write thank-you notes to people she doesn’t really like.

I’m jealous of Kate’s life.

There, I’ve said it.

It’s taken me a while to get to this point. Before, and I couldn’t admit it. I used to complain to Joe. Blame him in a round about way for my having to work full-time, blame him for the fact I had to face every day exhausted, and—

My phone is ringing.

I pull it out my pocket and see that it’s Sally. Perhaps the minibus has not turned up. Maybe the driver’s not been able to start the engine in the cold weather.

“Hi, Sal, what’s up?”

Sally is crying. Big, choking sobs. She can’t get her words out.

“Mum?” I can hear noise in the background, more crying … the sounds of traffic. “Mum …. something really bad has happened.”
My Review
Wow - this is a brilliant debut! I opened it and was instantly intrigued, it only took a couple of pages and I was completely sucked in and loving every chilling second.

Paula Daly has woven this tale in such a brutally honest way that it makes for one seriously believable read. I was shocked, horrified, numb but I simply found it impossible to look away.

The characters are so good, I related to Lisa in more ways than one and I found myself comparing certain aspects of out lives. It's fair to say that I really got Lisa and I managed to click with her in a way I have never clicked with characters in the past.

I was annalysing all of the characters a lot and was always wondering and questioning the things going on in their lives. I really like a book that can keep you constantly on the edge and Just What Kind of Mother Are You definitely does that.

The storyline is every mothers worst nightmare and I was truly terrified throughout. A missing girl - the second in the area and if that wasn't bad enough it's your best-friends child that you were supposed to be minding at the time. This story follows the complex search for the girl and the skeletons that fall out of everyone's closets in the process.

The ending is whopping success and I honestly wasn't expecting it at all - I was so excited reading it. Everything wrapped up so wonderfully that I really couldn't believe how easy things worked out.

Paula Daly's physiological thriller is an epic page turner that will blow your mind in so many earth-shattering ways. I actually think it is the perfect book that is a definite must read that I can't recommend enough. Go on pick it up - you'll be hooked!

5/5 Stars!

*Special thanks to Bantam for the review copy*

Carly :)
About the Author
 Paula Daly was born in Lancashire. Before beginning her first novel JUST WHAT KIND OF MOTHER ARE YOU? she was a self-employed physiotherapist. She lives in the Lake District with her husband, three children and whippet Skippy, and is currently at work on her second book THE DAY BEFORE YOU CAME.
You can find Paula on Twitter 

Paula's Guest Post on Inspiration 
This book came about after watching an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show. One of Oprah’s recurring themes is getting the right balance in life, and after treating countless, exhausted, working-mothers in my physiotherapy practice, it was at the forefront of my mind as well.

The programme showed school administrator, Brenda Slaby. It’s 6 a.m. and Brenda’s driving her two young children to separate childminders, then continuing on to work. It’s the first day back after the long summer break and a particularly busy time lies ahead. Eight hours later and a co-worker rushes into Brenda’s office, to break the news that her baby is still inside the car. Brenda’s had so much on her mind that she has forgotten to drop her youngest child off, and little Cecilia dies of heatstroke in the hot August sun.

I was heartbroken by this woman’s story. At the time Brenda described herself as ‘the most hated mother in America’; she received death threats, and outraged mothers wanted her tried for murder.

As I watched all I could think was: that could have been me.

I, too, had once been so overwhelmed with balancing children and full-time work that I could have missed the one thing no person wants to miss.

This preyed on my mind and I was certain I wanted to write about it - I just didn’t know how. I write thrillers. I knew I couldn’t possibly do Brenda’s story justice. As time went on, though, I couldn’t stop thinking about how women push themselves nowadays. How they push themselves to be perfect mothers, perfect employees, often at the expense of their health, and their relationship with their spouse, frequently putting other women down for not operating at such a high level.

A few weeks later, I was in the supermarket car park and bumped into a woman I’d not seen for a while. As I walked away from her, I was left feeling slightly crappy about my life - she’s one of those women who’ll subtly put you down, put your children down, too, given half the chance. I sat in my car thinking, who is friends with that woman? She must have some friends. But for the life of me I couldn’t fathom why anyone would want to put up with her.

Suddenly it struck me: What if you were to lose her child? What if you were so overwhelmed with work and life that you took your eye off the ball, and it was her child who went missing?

This terrified me.

Possibly the only thing worse than your own child going missing would be to be responsible for the disappearance of a friend’s.

I began writing immediately, fuelled by this fear. Just What Kind of Mother Are You? is the result.


  1. Brenda's story is somewhat frightening actually. I agree with Paula. That could have very easily been me. Horrible thought. Thanks for the brilliant guest post and review! I haven't heard of this one before, but I'm definitely curious now. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Wow! What a scary and haunting storyline. It would be terrible to lose someone else's child. I would certainly love to read this even though it will likely scare me since I have to small kids :)

  3. I've seen this one on Twitter a LOT and I'd love to read it this summer - it sounds like something I'd enjoy :) I'm glad you enjoyed it Carly! And thank you for sharing the guest post and the excerpt with us. x


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