Not Her Daughter
by Rea Frey
My rating: 4 stars
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (August 21, 2018)
Publication Date: August 21, 2018
Genre: Suspense | Women's Fiction
Number of Pages: 352
Emma Grace Townsend. Five years old. Gray eyes. Brown hair. Missing since June.
Emma Townsend 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. Abandoned by her mother. Kidnapper.
Sarah has never seen a girl so precious as the gray-eyed child in a crowded airport terminal—and 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 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 she’s gone without a trace.
As Sarah and Emma avoid the nationwide hunt, they form an unshakeable bond. But her real mother is at home, waiting for her to return—and the longer the search for Emma continues, Amy is forced to question if she really wants her back.
Emotionally powerful 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.
Not Her Daughter by Rea Frey
She was there one minute, annoying and needy, the next she was gone. Emma was a child of abuse, living with loneliness, she had nowhere safe to land. Sarah Walker had a chance encounter with Emma and her abusive mother and she never forgot that day. Was it because of her own abandonment issues?
The successful business owner would cross paths with five-year-old Emma again, and Sarah would decide to become her savior. Now Sarah is a kidnapper and the country is looking for little Emma.
Emma’s mother, Amy, took all of her dissatisfaction with her life out on Emma, but now the world was giving Amy attention, they felt sorry for her, they thought they knew her pain, but did she really hurt?
As Sarah and Emma travel the country avoiding capture, Emma will finally learn what it is to be loved and wanted, and Sarah is determined to give Emma all of the motherly protection they both missed out on, but will Sarah’s guilt finally allow the little girl to go home? Will she ask her to choose between Amy and Sarah? How can small child choose between the reality of her life and the fantasy Sarah is creating for both of them?
Set aside the moral dilemmas, the unhealthy state of Sarah’s mind, her desperation to be loved, to live that love vicariously through Emma and get ready to be drawn into a story that is as sharp as tacks and just as painful. NOT HER DAUGHTER by Rea Frey is an excellent piece of writing and creativity on the part of the author, but it is chilling.
I struggled throughout the first part of the book, waiting for Sarah to devolve into something completely out of touch with reality. I wanted Amy arrested for the abuse she rained down on Emma, both physically and worse, emotionally. Additionally, all those who knew about it, were just as guilty. I was never comfortable with this read, yes, it is powerful, but I just couldn’t reconcile myself with the events, or the outcome.
I tend to think beyond the last page of a book to the future and I wonder if either of these women would ever know what it really means to be a mother?
I received an ARC edition from St. Martin's Press.