Title: Not Her Daughter
Author: Rea Frey
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publish Date: August 21, 2018
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "Sarah Walker. Successful entrepreneur. Broken-hearted. Abandoned by her mother. Kidnapper.
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.
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
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."
My Two Cents:
In "Not Her Daughter," when Sarah first sees Emma, she is enchanted by the sweet little girl and frightened by how her mother seems to treat her. When Sarah has a second chance meeting with Emma, she knows she has to do something. She could go to the authorities and try to fight an uphill battle that Sarah thinks will end with Emma having to remain in an abusive home or she could take matters into her own hands. It's crazy but Sarah doesn't seem to have much foresight when it comes to Emma - she just wants to save her.
I love books that can turn your feelings and everything you think you know on your head. Kidnappers are bad, right? This book will make you think a little bit harder. What if the parents are bad and the kidnapper is kind and gentle? Does it make it right? What if the mother is not redeemable? What if the kidnapper could give a child a much better home? How do your reconcile this? I went back and forth through all of these questions throughout the book and I loved the mental gymnastics. As this book shows, there is nothing that is black and white.
This was an interesting book to read as a mother. I would do anything for my kids and I had such a hard time understanding Amy, Emma's mother, in this book. How could she favor one kid so much over the other? Why did she become a parent in the first place? Was she ever happy with Emma? What was her relationship like with Richard, her husband, before kids? I like when you get so into a book that you wonder so much about the characters.
The book had nice pacing. There were a couple parts of the narrative that I wish would have been explored a little more like the relationship between Sarah and Ethan and Sarah and Ryan. I also found myself wanting more from the ending. While I like the ending, it felt a little rushed and perhaps not realistic. It felt abrupt compared to the rest of the book. That being said, this book was a good read that really pushed me to think about some difficult topics.