Just What Kind of Mother Are You?

Just What Kind of Mother Are You? by Paula DalyTitle: Just What Kind of Mother Are You?

Author: Paula Daly. This is her first novel.

Genre: Thriller, Women’s Fiction

Readers: Author Piper, foodie Kathy, project manager Andrea and at-home parent A Military Mommy.

Summary: Lisa Kallisto—overwhelmed working mother—is the not-so-perfect model of the modern woman. She holds down a busy job running an animal shelter, she cares for three demanding children, and she worries that her marriage isn’t getting enough attention. During an impossibly hectic week, Lisa takes her eye off the ball for a moment and her world descends into a living nightmare. Not only is her best friend’s thirteen-year-old daughter missing, but it’s Lisa’s fault. To make matters worse, Lucinda is the second teenage girl to disappear within the past two weeks. The first one turned up stripped bare and abandoned on the main street after a horrible ordeal. Wracked with guilt over her mistake, and after having been publicly blamed by Lucinda’s family, Lisa sets out to right the wrong. As she begins digging under the surface, Lisa learns that everything is not quite what it first appears to be.

Our Take: A solid thriller that will leave mothers shaking in their boots. May keep you up reading for hours, great for beaches or plane rides.


Just What Kind of Mother Are You? by Paula Daly is a suspenseful page-turner of a different kind. Daly takes an ordinary event and twists it into a morbid tale of guilt, deceit, and betrayal. A suspenseful thriller, Just What Kind of Mother Are You? examines what happens when life gets overwhelming and how a seemingly inconsequential mistake can turn into a tragic event. It’s hard to completely express all of my thoughts regarding this debut novel because I hate to be the one that leaves a spoiler. But, what I can say is that any book that keeps me up into the wee hours of the morning should be put on your must-read list. A lot of people are comparing this book to Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. It is certainly in the same genre, but this novel stands on its own – comparable to nothing, in my opinion, but itself.

Grade: B+



I like to read thrillers – I think they’re catchy and fun, quick reads that go down easily. Just What Kind of Mother Are You? was exactly like that. This was an easy thought provoking read that I found believable and actually written by a frazzled mother with many mouths to feed and a budget that was stretched a bit thin with too many things to do. I found the characters all likable and relatable. The book’s fast pace meant that I was able to read it easily in one day – a cozy rainy Saturday read. I loved the twists and turns of this book.

Grade: B

Read Also: Help For the Haunted by John Searles



Busy working mom Lisa has a minor parenting oversight and all hell breaks loose.  It’s the stuff of my nightmares and it is played out rather well in this novel by Paula Daly.  The tangled web of lies and deceit that gradually infects all the characters is intriguing and suspenseful.  It’s a satisfying “more than meets the eye” kind of book with lots of juicy details that come out little by little – some are more surprising than others – but overall I found it a good solid read.

I started this book midway through vacation and wasn’t surprised when I finished it before the trip home.  And considering that I read most of the book on the beach, I would definitely classify it as a quality beach read.  Not as much shock factor as Gone Girl of last year, but still a worthwhile read that most mothers can relate to in one way or another.
I don’t want to ruin it for anyone so I won’t share a lot of details that might give away the ending, but I would recommend it.
Grade:  B+


A Military Mommy

Loved. This. Book. Although it wasn’t what I typically think of when I hear the word thriller in relation to a book, it was suspenseful. The characters were relatable (every busy mother everywhere can relate on some level), the story believable, and it had a plot twist that I didn’t see coming at all. I couldn’t put it down. The book was well written and I look forward to reading other novels by Paula Daly.

Grade: A


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One thought on “Just What Kind of Mother Are You?

  1. I loved this novel! It had the perfect level of intrigue and suspense. I was hooked from the very first paragraph and devoured the book in a couple days. I enjoyed reading your reviews! You’ve got a nice blog here. I’ve posted my own review of Just What Kind of Mother Are You? on my blog “Kidnapped by Fiction” if you’re interested.

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