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Sunday, August 19, 2018

REVIEW: Not Her Daughter by Rea Frey @stmartinspress @ReaFrey_Author

Not Her Daughter
by Rea Frey

Thanks so much to St. Martin's Griffin for this domestic suspense novel.
This one got to me more than I thought it would - continue below to see why!

Publisher:  St. Martin's Griffin
Publish Date:  August 21, 2018
352 Pages
Genres:  Domestic Thriller, Suspense

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.

My Review:

The synopsis alone really just pops and draws you in.  A woman abandoned by her mother kidnaps a girl whose mother doesn't know if she wants her back.  WHAT?!  Look, I'm not a mother so I don't know how hard it is to balance children, a husband, work and a house.  I have no doubt that every mother at some point has probably reached a breaking point and this certainly sheds a light on this issue.  

There's so much I want to say - you think you basically have the whole story because you know the girl is kidnapped.  You know the mother has some issues (as clearly the kidnapper does too).   What you don't know is what transpires during this hunt and the emotional ups and downs Sarah and Amy go through in this process.  Is it ok to take a child from a mother that is abusive?  You can't save every child, but what if you could save this one?  As the mother at her wits end, knowing the best thing she can do for her daughter, if she's safe, is to let her go... could you?  UFF - SO MANY QUESTIONS!!

The ending got to me much more than I thought it would.  I have so many feelings about it.  I'm not surprised but I'm also ANGRY and HAPPY and WHY?!  If a book can illicit this much emotion from me then it has certainly done its job.  There are definite moments where some reality needs to be suspended but it never takes away from the book.  The pacing is solid throughout.. I think I was most surprised that it wasn't until the last few chapters that a lot of emotion came to the surface for me.

A new and unique take on domestic drama / child abduction that is emotional and has you thinking about how one drastic action can change the course of many peoples lives.


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