Apologies in advance, as now that the kids are back at school I’m catching up with reviewing all the books I’ve read over the summer! The first of these catch ups is Just What Kind of Mother Are You? by Paula Daly and this is not, as I explained to my friend, some kind of self-help book, but a thriller revolving around Lisa Kallisto, a hard-working mum living in the Lake District, who goes through every mother’s SECOND worst nightmare, not that your child has disappeared, but that your friend’s child has disappeared and it may be all your fault.
As I said, Lisa is a hard-working, but sometimes absent-minded mum – like so many mothers I’m sure we all know (I am one to a certain extent) – and when Lucinda, her friend Kate’s daughter goes missing she’s horrified to realise that Lucinda was supposed to be having a sleepover with her own daughter, who actually stayed home sick from school.
The situation is made even more sinister as Lucinda is not the first girl to go missing in the area and when Kate and her family point the blame firmly at Lisa, she becomes determined to find Lucinda herself.
The whole plot of this novel is a nightmare situation – it would be bad enough for a child to go missing, but to think it was because of something you had done would be heartbreaking. Having said that though, I never really was convinced throughout the novel that Lisa was to blame, and felt she perhaps blamed herself too much for what was going on.
What I liked most about the book was that it is one of those books where you’re merrily thinking one thing is going on, when actually there are a lot of things all going on at once, and teasing out which is important and which isn’t is a very tricky affair! I really liked Lisa, although at times she did seem to wring her hands a bit too much, but she is just as she appears, a normal woman working hard, raising her family and sometimes pleasing no-one in the process – the curse of so many mums, too many plates to spin and not enough hands!
This book is definitely worth reading if you like a good mystery and perhaps I should recommend it to other mums, at the very least so you know that even in fiction there are normal women!
Note: I was sent a copy of this book for review, but all opinions are, as ever, my own.