Not Her Daughter

Not Her DaughterNot Her Daughter by Rea Frey
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on August 21st 2018
Pages: 352
ISBN: 125016642X
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I could not put this book down! I seriously sat and read this in one sitting.

“Emma Grace Townsend. Five years old. Gray eyes. Brown hair. Missing since June.”

Sarah is still reeling after a painful breakup with her longtime boyfriend, Ethan. She has thrown herself into her work and while traveling for business observes a family in an airport. Immediately she feels for young Emma who is being pushed and pulled through the airport by her Mother. Seeing this young girl, takes Sarah back to her childhood. Sarah’s Mother wanted to be an actress. She wasn’t the most involved or caring mothers and then one day she was gone with no goodbye or reason for leaving.

Amy is an unhappily married mother of two who does not have any patience for her daughter. She loses her temper frequently and well, I let you read the book to learn the rest.

I enjoyed reading the POV chapters of both Sarah and Amy. We learn their thoughts and emotions during the “before”, “during” and “after” sections of the book. I wished there had been a POV chapter of Emma as well. This is a book that deals with some BIG issues such as Child Abuse and kidnapping.

4.5 stars because it sucked me in and I was instantly attached to the characters and their plight. Would the world ever learn just how crappy a Mother Amy was? Would Sarah ever get caught? Why had no one in their community or at Emma’s school noticed anything was wrong? Who was Emma safer with? Who was a better “Mother” to her? Who did Emma want to be with?

This was a fast read for me. Everything in this book flowed nicely – nothing felt drawn out or rushed. It was well written and stirs the emotions of the reader. Some parts of the book may be difficult for some to read. It is not easy to read about a child being mistreated. Plus, most readers are going to want to shake both women at different times for their poor judgement. Sarah is obviously much more likable than Amy, but she does make some poor decision along the way. Then there is Amy who was no likable at all.

This is a book which is both heavy and light at the same time. Heavy when dealing with abuse and kidnapping but light when Emma is having fun and being cared for.  This was the one rare time where I rooted for the kidnapper to get away with her crime. But will she?

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.