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Search tags: just-what-kind-of-mother-are-you
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review 2018-05-11 04:05
Rumaan Alam's That Kind of Mother
That Kind of Mother - Rumaan Alam

~ All You Need Is Love, help, education, communication, money, humility & hair tips ~


When I like something, I often can't tell you why. Most of my favorite books are still waiting for the reviews I can't get right in my head; so here's what I noticed about this book:


I expected it to be more hard-hitting in the areas of cross-cultural or cross-racial adoption, but it is subtle throughout. Even when making hard-hitting points, the touch is light. I also expected more stupid white people, to be honest, but all of the characters come with their own unique strengths and weaknesses, blind spots and positive traits. Nobody is a hero, everyone is a real person. The characterizations are mostly believable and treated with dignity.


Rumaan Alam wisely steers around lots of potential pitfalls by setting this novel between 1985 and 1999, when the world really was a different place in many ways. At times the irony is so heavy it left drops on my table, but it's never sarcastic or mean-spirited. The characters are all learning and growing, and nobody gets off easily when dealing with race, family, class, gender, background or other issues... Almost more than race and class, what I read here was a uniquely American book. I can't remember being as optimistic as the people in this book, but it's impossible to regain ignorance in a post-everything world. These characters still have the Twin Towers (and even eat at Windows on the World,) haven't seen a full-on war in decades, and truly believe things are getting better. So beyond the obvious issues of race and class that get most of the ink in reviews, there is also a careful and poignant exploration of what it means to be American now that we know what these characters have yet to experience.

I couldn't help wondering what would happen in just a few years, when it all started to crumble for this family - I'd love to have followed them all through so many more points in history, and while it wasn't a cliff-hanger, I'd like to see the next decades covered by the adopted son if I got to make wishes into books.


Finally, Alam does another good job of writing from a woman's perspective including the way sometimes nobody "gets" a friendship from the outside, even other people who are close to one of the friends, even when it seems like the friendship can't possibly be "real." He must've done a lot of research since he covers everything from birth and breastfeeding to clothing styles from the era. After seeing some women respond angrily about a man writing "women's thoughts," my reaction was "well, I'm not a mom, never gave birth, never breastfed - would *I* be allowed to write this book?" This "who gets to write what" thing bothers me in many ways and is personal in many ways to me. Maybe I'm overly sensitive, but  Rumaan Alam is the son of Bangladeshi immigrants, married to a white man with whom he's raising two adopted black sons in Brooklyn.


When it comes down to it, families are more than blood or the way others perceive us. Love will not heal everything, but it also doesn't harm anything. Parenting is hard for everyone from time to time. It's probably very wise - whether you've adopted a baby or born your own - to allow others to offer wisdom and insight (on more than the basics.) Knowing what you don't know might save your family. And it will certainly save your kid's hair! 


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review 2016-06-29 02:30
Review: Just What Kind of Mother Are You? by Paula Daly
Just What Kind of Mother Are You? - Paula Daly

Quick review for a somewhat quick read. "Just What Kind of Mother Are You" pretty much falls under my library's recommended literature similar to Gillian Flynn ' s "Gone Girl" but I'd picked it up for the overarching mystery and inspiration behind it. It kept me reading avidly to see where the disappearance would go, though I honestly predicted what would happen early on and who the villain (s) turned out to be. I found most of the characters to be insufferable to follow (save for the detective, who was more than apt to call out people - I liked reading her POV the most though it wasn't featured as often.)

I'll admit it was a read that kept me guessing in places, though. Audiobook was very well narrated and that factored into me enjoying the overall read, but I felt a bit underwhelmed by the dashed off ending and that it really didn't dig as much into the overarching issues behind Kate ' s experience and the disappearance of her child.

Overall: 3/5 stars.

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review 2015-10-24 02:30
Just What Kind of Mother Are You? Review
Just What Kind of Mother Are You? - Paula Daly

4/5 stars
*Disclaimer: I received the book from Goodreads First Reads, all my opinions are my own.*

It's weird how easily I related to someone I have almost nothing in common with. Lisa is the kind of person who does her best but at the end of the day feels it isn't good enough. She drags through life tired, and run down and isn't like some characters in books where I envy their flawlessness. Lisa is human and in that respect I found an easy way to connect with the bok and enjoy the story, even not being a mother myself.

When your daughter's best friend disappears and it's all your fault how will you fix it? It was enjoyable and fast paced enough for me to get through even with the huge reading slump I've been in. I found the writing style engaging, the characters believable, and the storyline intruiging. It would have probably been more suspenseful for me if I was a parent myself.

In the end it was a solid read and an author I wouldn't mind reading again. The reveal worked for me and wasn't too bizarre or obvious, I've heard arguments for both. It fit well with the story Daly set out to tell. If you like psychological thrillers, flawed characters, and a bit of ill-timed drama then I'd say you should read it!

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review 2014-09-30 05:03
Just What Kind of Mother Are You?
Just What Kind of Mother Are You? - Paula Daly

By: Paula Daly
ISBN: 0802122817
Publisher: Grove Press
Publication Date: 09/09/2014
Format: Other (audio)
My Rating: 5 Stars


A top shelf, riveting and powerful debut novel, Just What Kind of Mother Are You, by British author Paula Daly is a compelling novel—a read for every woman, living a harried lifestyle, trying to balance work, home, and family.


Filled with humor and emotion, this book will keep you turning into the night, for a mix of suspense, mystery, thriller, family drama, crime, and women’s fiction. Set in the Lake District, with economic hardship, and busy families, centered on two mothers of teenage girls.


Lisa and taxi driver husband, Joe live a hectic life, struggling financially, where Lisa tries to balance her stressing job managing the local dog shelter, a non-profit, even checking out the homes of animals to be placed, running her home, and juggling the kids.


When her daughter's friend Lucinda turns up missing after she was supposed to spend the night at Lisa's home, Lisa is wrecked with guilt and blame. Lucianda, the daughter of her friend Kate Riverty, is abducted and everyone thinks she should have paid more attention, pointing the finger at her. Now, it looks like the kidnapper, who has already abducted one other girl, is back at work, so Lisa begins her own investigation. She feels to blame so she begins working overtime trying to figure out the pieces of puzzle.


In addition, Joanne Aspinall, the investigator with the local police seems suspicious of the events. There is drama and suspense coming from every direction, not knowing who can be trusted. The lengths one mother will go in order to keep her family. As tragedy strikes, what comes next is shocking as nothing is as it appears—when ugly truths are uncovered.


I enjoyed the inspiration for the novel regarding an Oprah show of the busy mother forgetting her daughter in a hot car, which killed her. Lisa was a flawed and likable character, as she never feels like she is good enough and feels inferior next to her other friends—as most mother’s always striving for perfection. An exploration of friendship, motherhood, and the mystery of human relationships turned wrong, when the perfect house is not so perfect behind the façade.


Thriller and mystery lovers alike will devour, as well as fans of highly charged subjects, mixed with humor: JoJo Moyes, Liane Moriarty, Carla Buckley, Diane Chamberlain, Sarah Pekkanen, Amy Hatvany, and Jennifer Weiner will appreciate the humor and complexity!


The audiobook was outstanding, as the narrator, Laura Brattan offered an excellent performance, and found myself laughing out loud, at some of the one-liners. I wish more authors would use her, as could listen to her all day.


Looking forward to reading Daly’s latest novel, “Keep Your Friends Close”, Shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger for Best Crime Novel of the Year. Daly has made it to my favorite author list and one readers will want to follow!


Well- developed characters, excellent plot planning, and fast-paced action, making for a winning debut of motherhood, friendship, and complex family relationships.

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/1065182542
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review 2013-11-03 00:00
Just What Kind of Mother Are You?
Just What Kind of Mother Are You? - Paula Daly Lisa Kallisto has three children, a husband, several dogs, a household to take care of and a full-time job running an animal shelter. One can forgive a slip of memory every once in a while, right? But when that slip results in her best friend’s daughter being kidnapped no one seems able to forgive Lisa, least of all herself. She does everything she can to help the police, to try and console the girl’s mother and to keep her own life running. She constantly feels that she is nothing but the worst kind of wife and mother. But as the kidnapping investigation continues she begins to discover that maybe she has the best hold on reality of all of those involved.

I liked this book almost from the first page. Lisa is such a typical “modern mom” playing beat-the-clock everyday trying to get everything done and take care of everyone. What woman cannot relate to that scenario? Throw in the stay-at-home-mom best friend with the perfect house, kids and husband and the pressure is really on. As the story progressed, not only was I drawn in to solving the kidnapping but was alternately feeling sorry for and then cheering on Lisa. Ms. Daly populated her book with interesting and somewhat quirky characters, each one complete with a unique personality and enough background to satisfy even me. This is a debut novel for Ms. Daly and I hope to read more from her. Well done.
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