Title: Not Her Daughter
Author: Rea Frey
Publication Date: August 21, 2018
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Fiction
I’ll start this off with a summary from Goodreads:
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?
So, the gist of the story is this woman sees how Emma is mistreated by her mother and instead of calling the police, or child services…she kidnaps her. I’m not going to lie, the summary had me hooked and I was excited when NetGalley and St. Martin’s Griffin Press approved me to read and review the book.
I did also have a bit of a difficult time finishing it for a few reasons, but I will get to those.
Thoughts in the Beginning:
At first I was intrigued. The story is told in two points of view and takes place in two different time frames. Before and After – in Amy and Sarah’s POV. Sarah is the woman who kidnaps little Emma, and Amy is her mother. You learn a bit about Sarah and her life.
She had an absent minded father due to her mother just up and leaving one day.
She dated and lived with a man named Ethan for a long time and became obsessed with why he never asked her to marry her so they could become a family.
I understand Sarah’s want to be a family because she does want children, but the whole scene when she confronts Ethan about marriage had me a little baffled.
I did discuss this in a previous post a while back. The whole scene was odd because she says ‘you don’t want to get married’ and he actually responds with, ‘who says I don’t want to get married?’ Nowhere in there does she actually ask, ‘do you want to marry me?’ There were a lot of assumptions and statements, but that question NEVER came up, not even from Ethan.
So, Sarah ends the relationship and is heart-broken. I understand you’re sad…but why didn’t you just ask him out right if he wanted to get married? And to add, she found a ring in his drawer and you find out later WHY he never gave it to her…and it was an idiotic reason.
I won’t spoil it.
Sarah’s heart was in the right place, but kidnapping is a HUGE no no! I felt bad for Emma. You find out Amy’s side of the story and you want to feel for her, but it’s difficult because…well she never wanted to be married and never wanted to be a mother.
Although, she had a second child whom she likes better than Emma (yes she does say this in the story), but all I want to do is just yell at the book about why did she even get married. Naturally there’s more to the story…but I won’t spoil it, again. I’m trying hard here.
Not to mention she absolutely HATES her husband. She can’t stand him. They sleep in separate rooms, and from the way he’s portrayed, he’s a bit of whiner. He’s not a deadbeat father, however, but I can almost see why he would work someone like Amy’s nerves.
There are a lot of back and forth between time frames and sometimes it kind of got exhausting. Sometimes there were no obvious breaks in the chapter when Sarah talks of one thing, and then something entirely different that happened in a different time frame. Amy’s was the same way, so I almost got lost for a moment.
Thoughts in the End:
The story was pretty detailed. For this kind of plot, it would have to be. I will say four stars. The author did great with the story, you know who Sarah is and kind of want to root for her, because there is a positive change for Emma – cause she doesn’t want to go home to her mother.
It was difficult for me to give any kind of sympathy to Sarah at the time (during the whole engagement not engagement fiasco) and it was hard for me to feel that way with Amy. The ending…I won’t say it wasn’t a bad ending, and I won’t say it wasn’t good. For this kind of story, I honestly couldn’t imagine how you would end it at all.
I will agree with how it ended. The book will be available on the 21st of August, so I would definitely look into getting your copy. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Griffin Press for giving me this opportunity.