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Just What Kind of Mother Are you? by Paula Daly - Apply for free copy and join the discussion

(27 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 25-Apr-13 08:37:07

This week's book giveaway is Just What Kind of Mother Are you? By Paula Daly. Paula's debut novel plays to your very worst fears as a mother ? a friend?s child going missing on your watch. Paula takes the reader on a psychological journey through the relationship of the two affected mothers and their circle of friends.

If you're interested in reading and then coming back to let us know what you think and discuss the book with other mnetters then find out more about the book and apply for one of 50 free copies.

lasttothebar Wed 05-Jun-13 23:44:41

Really enjoyed this and would readmore by her

Cakecrumbsinmybra Wed 05-Jun-13 10:26:18

I read this quite quickly - it was a nice easy read that you could easily pick up where you'd left off. I enjoyed it for what it was. I did, however, feel like it was "Mumsnet - The Novel", right down to the mention of Greggs, almost as if the author had read lots and lots of threads on MN and then incorporated them into story, iyswim.

My favourite character was Joanne and I felt like there could have been more made of her character and background. Lisa was a good character, but just as much as a cliche as Kate, although for me, both of the mothers were a little too much of one extreme to the other to be realistic. I also found the fact that Kate was actually a nut job a bit of a typical ending - ie. even though she's the one with the "perfect" life and trying so hard to be a good mum, she's crazy and harming her children, whereas Lisa, who's not actually trying that hard at being a great mum (because lets face it, she's not) is the better mum after all. I'm not sure I'm explaining that very well. I felt Kate's story would actually have been far more interesting than Lisa's, but then that would have been a completely different novel and not such an easy read.

I found the thoughts of the abuser uncomfortable to read and not sure if they were really necessary to this particular book.

I agree that it would make a good TV adaptation and as I said before, I did enjoy the book overall. Thanks for the free copy!

jinglejanglebangles Tue 04-Jun-13 12:24:48

I loved this book! Only just finished reading it and i was totally hooked. I really related to the frazzled, over-worked mother. I thought it was written really well and it was the type of book that you just cannot put down. There were lots of twists and turns and I agree with some of the other reviews - it would make a great TV drama.

itsonlysubterfuge Tue 28-May-13 15:32:52

I really enjoyed this book. I couldn't put it down. After I was finished I lent it to my mother in law who also enjoyed it really much. This isn't the kind of book I would normally read, but I'm glad I got the chance to win a free copy and read something that I wouldn't normally read.

In some ways it's very easy to relate to the characters in the book, which makes for a more realistic story. It also lead to talks with my husband about our own child's safety and what would you do. Not exactly classic literature, but very entertaining.

Raspberrygiggle Wed 22-May-13 09:14:05

I really enjoyed this book. It's probably not one I would have picked up to read but I'm glad I got the opportunity to read it as I couldn't put it down! I loved the twist at the end and could easily see this novel been made into a TV drama. Really easy to read, enjoyable, gripping story. Loved it!

maryburrows Tue 21-May-13 11:09:17

thank you for a great read- Ifelt it could be read as a thriller with plenty of plot twists to keep who-done-it fansguessing up to the end but it is also over the top darkly humourous. There are as many issues, failings and problems as there are characters in the book- depression, low self-esteem e.t.c.- exaggeration that makes a point. For mothers trying to do it all when there aren't enough hours in the day, always tired and feeling guilty when they compromise it is a marvellous antidote. Read it if you haven't already. It contains the powerful message that it is o.k. simply to do your best and be yourself. Maybe the person you see as so wonderful is really just as human as you are. The novel is written in the present tense which gives the action an immediacy, vividness which draws you in to actually living the emotions of Lisa as the events unfold, from guilt to relief and appreciation of all she holds dear.Every mother can share both the joy and problems of family life. Ultimately it is a life affirming book and maybe Lisa is not such a bad mother after all.

Liska Mon 20-May-13 22:59:41

I also read this really quickly - couldn't put it down at all. I chuckled over the whole Kate 'perfect mother' thing - I've met a few of those - but I did also struggle with her relationship with Lisa because I couldn't quite work out how they'd become friends. I also loved the bit where her sister gets her comeuppance in the butcher's! But my favourite character was definitely Joanne, and I really liked the breast reduction bit. I kept thinking that a male author would never have that kind of insight. I hope that Joanne is going to be back in another book soon.

There were a couple of bits that just didn't ring true - mostly to do with the children. I don't think many mothers would have sent their daughters to school when they were so distressed about their part in their friend's disappearance. And I was really surprised when she stopped Fergus from coming down by locking him in his room - that was such a terrible thing to do!

But it was quite good fun, and I agree that it would make a great TV Screenplay.

juneau Sun 19-May-13 11:25:58

I just finished this in less than 24 hours, which is pretty good going for me on a weekend.

This is a well-written, fast-paced thriller with a compulsive plot line. I liked the two central characters - Lisa and Joanne - and felt I could identify with them. It's very visual - I could easily imagine it being made into a TV drama - and easy to read.

The other characters weren't so well drawn, IMO. The husbands were a bit one-dimensional and Kate was very strange - not likeable at all - and I found it hard to see why Lisa wanted to be her friend in the first place. But then, when your kids are friends you can get thrown together with people you wouldn't otherwise choose to be friends with and the whole school-gate competitiveness thing is familiar to any parent with a school-age child.

TBH, if I'd spent £20 on the hardback of this book I'd feel rather cheated as it was such a quick read, but I did enjoy it and I'd read other books by this author.

MyNameIsInigoMontoya Sat 18-May-13 23:51:45

I also thought this was not bad (which is reasonably high praise from me!), the story was quite interesting and kept me wanting to find out what happened, and there were a few bits I particularly liked. The tension generated at times was good, and for some reason I liked the bit where we met Joanne and found out about the breast reduction etc - maybe because it made her seem quite human? - although as others have said, it didn't really go anywhere after that.

However I didn't entirely "get into" most of the other characters, and I found some of them a bit stereotyped but not particularly realistic. I also agree that the children were very much skimmed over and hardly characterised at all, which felt surprising in a book apparently meant to be partly about motherhood.

I also found the blurb on the back to be ridiculously over the top, which did the book itself no favours! Yes, it was quite enjoyable as a way to pass the time, but "book of the year" and "characters so real they couldn't possibly be made up"? I think not! But as a page-turner to read once, it wasn't bad.

Rootle Thu 16-May-13 09:34:47

Due to chronic sleep deprivation & limited time (2 yr old & 6 month old) I have struggled to read more than a magazine recently. Yet I read this book in a couple of days. It had me gripped v quickly & was easy to pick up & put down when feeding DD.

There were elements of both Lisa & Kate's characters that I could relate to. Like others I wish the author had fleshed out Kate's character a bit more. The beginning & mid section built up the suspense well but I also felt the ending was quite rushed & lacked some of the detail seen earlier.

Overall it was an easy read & an enjoyable one but probably not a book for people who like long drawn out thrillers.

Oneforthemummy Tue 14-May-13 16:58:06

(just changed my name from ajsleight...wanted something a bit more 'MN') Eccles it did seem quite odd the way so much was skimmed over, like the author was suddenly told it had to go to press tomorrow! Let's see if she redeems herself in future novels!

ajsleight actually just read your post and you have put the finger on the reasons why I was not totally blown away by the book and did not realise why as it was a book i found hard to stop reading. Yes perhaps some of the unecessary detail was setting the scene for more books, and yes some details made it seem rushed as they were thrown in as short explanations towards the end that could have played a bigger part in the full story. Thanks smile

started it Sunday finished it last night. It gripped me for some reason as it wasn't really complicated but captured me from the beginning. one or two twists to it. overall I can say I really enjoyed reading it, if I had any criticism it would be that the end felt a bit rushed almost after the suspense, but would recommend it to anyone except those who revel in a long complicated who dunnit. Would certainly read more by the author.

ajsleight Mon 13-May-13 19:29:19

I was so excited to win a copy of this book - and promptly read it in three days, which, considering I have read about three books in the nine months since my DD was born, shows how much I enjoyed it!
I agree, the characterisation, especially of Lisa, was really good and I quickly felt I knew all the characters. The story was gripping and did keep me guessing.
My only criticism, and it is a very minor one, is that I felt a lot of things were glossed over, or seemed unnecessary. For example, I would have loved to read more about Kate's Munchausen's by proxy and what she had been doing to Fergus. Also, DC Aspinall's breast reduction seemed a superfluous plot, although if she is to feature in a series of novels I guess that would be part of making her a fully rounded (no pun intended) character.
I thought Paula Daly's writing style was accessible and enjoyable. An easy, captivating read. I hope there's more to come!

Cakecrumbsinmybra Mon 13-May-13 18:09:33

Going to start reading soon!

Tweet2tweet Mon 13-May-13 16:39:55

Easy to read and not very taxing. Thought the twist was quite obvious though. Found Lisa, central character difficult to feel sorry for, quite annoying actually. Also thought that parts of the book were quite patronising, as a woman, and this made characters predictable and rather 2 dimensional.
An easy book that is good to switch off with but is not particularly amazing and doesn't leave any lasting impression IMO.

2006greendragon Thu 09-May-13 19:18:00

Read the book from cover to cover in an afternoon. Very easy to read, similar style to Kathy Reichs, whose books I also like. Good characterisation, believable characters, gripping storyline and hard to spot twist at the end.
Will recommend to friends.

Queenbee245 Thu 09-May-13 08:17:30

Yes I was convinced I knew whodunit untill the twist,
I also found it easy to read.
I felt like there wasn't much talk of the main characters younger children apart from in the beginning

Sleepgrumpydopey Wed 08-May-13 23:10:10

Started reading yesterday and finished today!(I have 3 young children and can't remember the last time I finished a book).
Gripping read, you are desperate to see who's the baddie. A very easy read, easy to follow a great story with twist but not too complicated.

I'd definatly buy this authors next book.

I can't believe I was kept guessing until the very end, that's never happened before! I usually work out "whodunit" half way through a book.

Queenbee245 Tue 07-May-13 20:55:42

Started reading this morning and have just finished, couldn't put it down!

juneau Sat 04-May-13 16:37:01

Yay! I won a book. Will come and discuss when I've read it.

mirandabee Thu 02-May-13 11:30:42

Received my confirmation email yesterday. First win for me, too. Can't wait to receive it.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 02-May-13 11:02:25

If you're one of the lucky fifty, do come back and let us know what you think when you've had chance to read. Is it one you'd recommend to other mnetters?

Queenbee245 Wed 01-May-13 11:11:10

Just had my confirmation email, it's the first thing I've ever 'Won'. Excited to start reading it!

fingers crossed, would love to read it.

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