Not Her Daughter by Rea Frey and Why I Couldn't Put It Down
***Thank you to the author, St. Martin's Press, and NetGalley for the advanced reader's copy of this book. The following review is my own honest opinion of the material.***
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"Brings to mind Jodi Picoult...thought-provoking domestic drama." - Booklist “Will make you miss your bedtime, guaranteed.” – Bestselling author Kimberly Belle
Gripping, emotional, and wire-taut, Not Her Daughter raises the question of what it means to be a mother—and how far someone will go to keep a child safe.
Emma Townsend. Five years old. Gray eyes, brown hair. Missing since June.
Emma is lonely. Living with her cruel mother and clueless father, Emma retreats into her own world of quiet and solitude.
Sarah Walker. Successful entrepreneur. Broken-hearted. Kidnapper.
Sarah has never seen a girl so precious as the gray-eyed child in a crowded airport terminal. When a second-chance encounter with Emma presents itself, Sarah takes her—far away from home. But if it’s to rescue a little girl from her damaging mother, is kidnapping wrong?
Amy Townsend. Unhappy wife. Unfit mother. Unsure whether she wants her daughter back.
Amy’s life is a string of disappointments, but her biggest issue is her inability to connect with her daughter. And now Emma is gone without a trace.
As Sarah and Emma avoid the nationwide hunt, they form an unshakeable bond. But what about Emma’s real mother, back at home?
I will honestly say that I wasn't sure if I would like this book. The fact that the story centers around a little girl named Emma and how she came to be abducted was almost enough for me to not want to read it. I am so glad that I did. I was hooked in the second I started reading. I found that I could relate to the reasons that would drive Sarah to kidnap a little girl even if I would never be able to comprehend doing this in real life. I just dropped my daughter off to college for the first time and it was scary as Hell sitting there listening to the various active shooter drills planned, date rape prevention, stalker awareness, and how security is armed and not with tasers. I just kept thinking how easy it still would be for her to go missing and she is not a 5 year old like Emma is in this book. You wouldn't think in this age of modern technology and Amber alerts that not only could a child be so physically and verbally abused at home but to literally be taken and no one notice it for hours or longer. I never thought there would be any scenario where I would find myself sort of rooting for the kidnapper to get away with such a horrible act. This book tackled so many tough and sort of taboo type of scenarios. I honestly believe it would be impossible for anyone to read this story and not start to empathize with Sarah or be angry and disappointed with Emma's mother. I finished the book and still felt a little shook up by it. I hope the upcoming movie will do this fantastic 1st novel from Rea Frey justice. I look forward to the author's next book.