TITLE: Not Her Daughter
AUTHOR: Rea Frey
GENRES: Adult, Fiction
PAGES: 368
PUBLISHER: St. Martin’s Griffin

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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.


This was definitely heartbreaking read. Maybe even more so since I have a five year old myself. It made me angry and sad at the same time. How could someone possibly treat their little child like that?! I have three kids and the oldest, the five year old, really does get under my skin nearly every day. But I have never thought to hurt him because of that!

But as much as I liked this story and the fact that everyone kind of had their happy ending, I still had some issues with this. More on the moral side maybe. I mean, is it really okay to kidnap someone’s child because she’s being abused? Ain’t there some better ways to handle things?
I understand this is a fiction book but I still can’t help myself to wonder, is this okay?

I enjoyed the writing. Liked the fact that there’s both of the ladies’ point of views here. We get to see their reasons and thoughts and all that. It also jumps back and forth between before the kidnapping and after it. Though I noticed that if my attention wasn’t fully placed on reading, I got a little confused on when, where and who. Same happened if I stopped reading in the middle of a chapter and continued later. Though that’s completely on me.

As for the characters. I liked and hated them all. The dad in this was completely useless. Like how is it possible that he didn’t see what was happening?! Why wasn’t he paying attention to what happens around him? Has the smartphones taken our interests that much that we don’t pay any attention to our surroundings anymore?
I understand Sarah’s feelings, the need to get that little child away from her family and somewhere safe. But at the same time I can’t stop thinking that there would have been better ways to handle things than just kidnap the child and leave.

All in all this was a book that really made me think about things a lot. What would I have done if I were on Sarah’s shoes? And then of course there is the fact that how is these things handled in other countries? We have our own system here and I have no idea how child services work elsewhere. And I still need to recover from the Mother! Gosh she made me see red! I hope she enjoys her life now.



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