Not Her Daughter by Rea Frey

Not Her Daughter by Rea Frey

Published August 2018 – St. Martin’s Griffin

Review copy courtesy of the publisher

Description:  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? (publisher)

My take:  Sarah is deeply affected when she witnesses a little girl (Emma) being mistreated by her mother on more than one occasion. It brings to the forefront her relationship with her own mother and motivates Sarah to do something quite out of character.

Amy, mother of Emma, is one of those people you just know doesn’t feel comfortable in her own skin, her life, her relationships. It’s almost a relief when her daughter can’t be found.

This novel made me feel anxious for all involved. It’s about mothers, daughters, disappointments, devastation, resiliency. It’s a study in how parental relationships with children, especially in the early years, are so important in forming who they become later on. Could the events in Not Her Daughter happen in “real life”? I don’t know. It seemed rather improbable as I read but could I stop turning the pages? NO. I had to see how author Rea Frey resolved things. An interesting debut novel that has me has me looking forward to Frey’s next book.


 

Spotlight on: Not Her Daughter by Rea Frey

 

Not Her Daughter by Rea Frey

St. Martin’s Griffin;  August 21, 2018

Description:  

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.


About the author:

Rea Frey is an award-winning author of four nonfiction books. She lives in Nashville with her husband and daughter. NOT HER DAUGHTER is her debut novel.

Read more at:

reafrey.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/reafrey_author?lang=en

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/reafrey/

photo credit:  Alex Holguin


 

Praise for NOT HER DAUGHTER:

Not Her Daughter is a cleverly constructed novel that will have you questioning everything you believe about right or wrong. Frey skillfully tangles you up in these two women’s lives and never lets up on the tension all the way until the dramatic conclusion. A remarkable portrayal of motherhood, in all its beautiful glory and heart-wrenching despair.” —New York Times bestselling author Chevy Stevens

“In Not Her Daughter, Frey pulls off a difficult task: balancing a nail-biting plot with a thought-provoking question — is a crime committed with the best intentions still a crime? A chilling, powerful tale of love and sacrifice, of truth and perception, Not Her Daughter will make you miss your bedtime, guaranteed. A stunning debut.” —Kimberly Belle, Internationally Bestselling Author of The Marriage Lie

“NOT HER DAUGHTER is a deft and beautifully written examination of taboo maternal fantasies: Can a kidnapping ever be justified? Can motherhood be undone?  Engrossing and suspenseful, Frey writes her characters with depth and compassion, challenging readers to question their own code of ethics.”  —Zoje Stage, author of Baby Teeth

I couldn’t put Rea Frey’s NOT HER DAUGHTER down, and once finished, couldn’t let it go.  So much more than an engrossingly suspenseful novel, it’s a thoughtful exploration on the extremes to which motherhood and love and loss can drive us.  An amazing debut.” —Christina Kovac, author of The Cutaway

“Women who do not embrace motherhood or “bad mothers” are a taboo subject — in both real life and fiction — but Frey tackles it with aplomb in her taut debut, NOT HER DAUGHTER. The story begs the question: who is more mother — the one who gives birth or the one who rescues? The plot twists here are brave, the themes are both poignant and unsettling, and the resolution is deeply resonant. A page-turner with heart!” – New York Times bestselling author Kate Moretti

Harrowing and heartfeltNot Her Daughter is a gripping novel about the amazing power of mother love.” —Rebecca Drake, author of Just Between Us

A compelling mix of high wire tension and superb writing. Not Her Daughter will linger in the memory long after the final page has been turned. “—Laura Elliot, author of Guilty, Sleep Sister, and The Betrayal

“Tightly paced and impossible to put downNot Her Daughter is a cleverly written story that challenges what it means to be a mother—or not to be one. A thought-provoking and poignant debut.” —Clarissa Goenawan, author of Rainbirds

Not Her Daughter is an interesting and emotional debut about women stuck in lives they never wanted and the desperate decisions they’ll make to get out. Certain to keep readers turning pages and guessing as to who the real villain is.”—Cate Holahan, USA Today Bestselling Author of The Widower’s Wife and Lies She Told