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Just What Kind of Mother Are You?

Title: The Color 
Author: Aimee Bender
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Publication Date: April 30, 2013
Pages: 320
How I Got It: NetGalley

What if your best friend's child disappears? And it was all your fault.

A searing and sinister thriller for readers who liked Gone Girl.What if your best friend's child disappears? And it was all your fault. This is exactly what happens to Lisa Kallisto, overwhelmed working mother of three, one freezing December in the English Lake District. She takes her eye off the ball for just a moment and her whole world descends into the stuff of nightmares. Because, not only is thirteen-year-old Lucinda missing, and not only is it all Lisa's fault, but she's the second teenage girl to disappear within this small tightknit community over two weeks. The first girl turned up stripped bare, dumped on a busy high street, after suffering from a terrifying ordeal. 

Wracked with guilt over her mistake and after being publicly blamed by Lucinda's family, Lisa sets out to right the wrong. But as she begins peeling away the layers surrounding Lucinda's disappearance, Lisa learns that the small, posh, quiet town she lives in isn't what she thought it was, and her friends may not be who they appear, either.

Just as the above summary states, this novel is a perfect fix for those of us who loved Gone Girl. I was initial drawn to this novel for the fact that the main character is an overwhelmed mother. Lisa Kallisto runs the local animal shelter, is mother to a teen girl and two young boys, and wife to the local taxi driver. She is relatable. She forgets ingredients her daughter needs for a class and feeds her family chicken nuggets, chips, and cereal.  She admits she is jealous of the other mothers who don't work outside the home. Being so busy, she misses one phone call and her world falls apart. What parent's mind hasn't gone to the worst scenarios? But Lisa finds herself in the middle of a worst scenario situation. Where is her daughter's friend? What is really going on behind the closed doors of this community?
Paula Daly draws you into a "this only happens to other people" scenario. The story doesn't contain any loose ends, outlandish twists or slow chapters. "Just What Kind of a Mother Are You?" is a pageturner that feeds on a mother's insecurities and peels away the polished exterior of the local perfect family. 

Paula Daly was inspired to write this story "after treating countless exhausted working mothers in my physiotherapy practice" and realizing that "possibly the only thing worse than your own child going missing would be to be responsible for the disappearance of a friend's."

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