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Not Her Daughter

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  3,491 ratings  ·  793 reviews
Gripping, emotional, 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.

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 en
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published August 21st 2018 by St. Martin's Griffin
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T Chandler Wow. That is unfortunate for both authors. Since the publication dates are within a month or so of each other I can see how it could happen since it s…moreWow. That is unfortunate for both authors. Since the publication dates are within a month or so of each other I can see how it could happen since it seems the publishers are just using a stock photo. If you are doing a cover for a book about a five-year-old girl this seems a good stock photo to use. The thing that disturbs me is publishers using stock photos. (less)
Tami Kind of thought that's what I heard (audiobook) but I can totally let plot errors go. It's grammatical errors that drive me insane!

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Average rating 3.80  · 
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 ·  3,491 ratings  ·  793 reviews

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Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

As soon as I read the description of this novel, I knew it was one I had to read. I was pretty sure that I was going to love it.

I was right.

Sarah Walker has just gone through a tough break-up. She’s trying to get on with her life. Sarah is on her way to the airport for a business trip when she sees HER .

A little girl, not more than five or six, stood in a red dress complete with sequins, a red bow, and even ruby-red slip
Christina - Recipe & a Read
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc-read
2, this book has more plot holes than swiss cheese stars!!!

I'll start this by saying I really, really wanted to like this book. When a novel with such high ratings falls totally and completely flat for me I get a bit nervous about leaving the lone bad review. However, it would be a disservice to rate this any more than the 2 stars it has warranted.

Sarah: she's beautiful, thin and fit. She's incredibly successful, she created her own company, maintains long-term healthy relationships, self-descr
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It's time to do my happy dance, because I've just found another author to love!

A kidnapping plot is nothing new; however, Rea Frey manages to excite and intrigue. Kid goes missing, search ensues, blah blah blah. Sound familiar? Well, rest assured because this book does not follow the typical road map that one might expect.

Sarah is a lady Boss (bawse)! She is a CEO of TACK, a learning initiative program for children. Traveling to a location for work, she sees a child, Emma, getting mistreated by
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Compellingly Complicated Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟💫

WOW! You’ve got to love a book that makes you question everything! A book that blurs the line between right and wrong... good and bad... lies and truth... what makes a “good“ mother? Blood? Love? It is the hardest job you’ll ever do and yet no one teaches you how to be a mother... there is no class, no certification, unless you consider those eggs you had to carry around in high school and pretend were a baby... anybody else do this? Being a mother is the
Mary Beth
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Emma decided to go into the woods and Amy, her mother, tells her I have told you so many times not to go into the woods. She tells her to get over here right now. It's time to go inside. Emma reaches for her- an apology, or a hug, and Amy lifts her right hand and strikes her daughter across the face, knocking her body into the dirt.

Sarah Walker wants to make an anonymous phone call to the school and hopes to get this family some help. But she knows how hard it is for mothers to change. She sees
Aug 21, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 "What Would You Do?" Stars for Rea Frey's Not Her Daughter.

The beginning of the book pulled me in immediately. I devoured the first 60-70% of the story. Emma Townsend is a beautiful, precocious 5 year old girl with a cruel, unhappy and abusive mother and detached father. Sarah Walker is a successful, self-made business woman. On one of her business trips she comes across the Townsend family. It is apparent they are a dysfunctional, unhappy family and Sarah immediately feels strong emotions
Mackenzie - PhDiva Books
An emotional, gripping, suspenseful, tug-on-your-heartstrings book that will have you questioning everything you thought you knew about morality and doing what is right! This is not a run-of-the-mill kidnapping book. Rea Frey debuts with a slam-dunk novel about crossing lines, rethinking your own ethical boundaries, and leading with your heart instead of your head! This book is riveting and filled with heart—it’s a book I won’t soon forget!

About the Book

Emma Townsend is 5-years old with grey eye
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
An absolutely intense and ethically ambiguous tale, you will be questioning what you believe is right and wrong. Such a thin line here, so much questionable morality.

When a 5 year old girl is kidnapped, is it actually what is best for her? Who is the judge of that? What is the line you will cross to protect a child?

I was constantly on edge while reading this book (in a great way) – it made me beautifully uncomfortable and stirred up so much emotion. These two main characters are so well develope
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
All five stars to this original and captivating story! 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

I read Not Her Daughter as a group with Berit, Holly, Kendall, Mackenzie, and Melisa, and what a fun and engaging read this was to share. There is much to relate to in this book and much to think about…More than the typical suspense read.

Emma is five-years old living with her mother, Amy, who is uncaring and hateful towards her, as well as her unobservant father who has no idea what happens in his own home, and her younger brother
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Happy Pub Day to this beauty!!!!! Put this one on your radar! You won't be disappointed!!! <3.

Not Her Daughter is an emotionally gripping tale that explores parenting, child abduction, love, and loss.

I really enjoyed Rea Frey's writing style... she easily grips her readers with an emotional story that leaves you hanging on until the end!

Sarah is still heartbroken from her break up with former boyfriend Ethan. Sarah throws herself into her job to help ease the pain of the breakup. She travels
NOT HER DAUGHTER by REA FREY is a compelling, heartbreaking, and conflicting domestic suspense novel that is not your typical child kidnapping story but rather focuses on the moral ramifications around motherhood. This story definitely had me conflicted and questioning almost everything that happened throughout this book.

I was immediately drawn into this story and it had me feeling quite uneasy multiple times when the suspense was high. However, some parts didn’t pull me in as much as others th
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
4.5 stars

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
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
How far would you go to protect an abused child?

What an incredible book.
Five ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ gigantical stars
(yes, that's a word 😉)

Was she kidnapped or was she rescued?

Not my Daughter is the debut novel by Rea Frey and is told in first person in alternating chapters between the mother and the kidnapper, moving between the past and the present seamlessly. Both characters are so relatable...yes, even the abusive mother. An emotionally charged story that had me turning the pages at a frantic rate. Easily o
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Could there be something such as a good kidnapping? That’s the question you will be asking yourself while reading Not Her Daughter by Rea Frey. This story is more of a suspense read than a thriller as you know from the beginning what is going on and it’s a matter of waiting it out to see just how it will all turn out.

At the beginning of the book Sarah Walker seems to have abducted a little girl named Emma and as the story unfolds in the current timeline it will also go back and show what led to
Aug 20, 2018 rated it liked it
When ethics, morality and the law converge, there is sometimes a clash, a loud trumpeting of values, of doing what's right, of defeating the obvious and embracing the integrity of feelings, wishes and desires. Can one reconcile doing what is right and yet break the laws of man and morals?

We have all been taught that children belong with their parents, especially the mother. Legalities aside, we are told, a child's needs are best fulfilled by the mother. It is the mother who nurtures, who coddles
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
I am a serious outlier on this one. Not Her Daughter had me riveted and reading at breakneck speed, but not because I enjoyed it but because I couldn’t quite believe what I was reading. This is yet another child abduction psychological thriller. The twist in this case is that Sarah abducts 5 year old Emma because she is concerned that Emma is being abused by her mother Amy. The story opens with the abduction, and is told from the points of view of both Sarah and Amy at different points in time. ...more
Holly  B
Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018

I was desperate to finish this motherhood mystery which explores good mom vs. bad mom...

This is not a typical missing child story, it delivers a moral dilemma concerning motherhood and had me questioning what was right or wrong throughout the entire book. It was at times unsettling and the suspense had me holding my breath more than once! And yes! I needed to discuss this with someone.

I've read several domestic suspense books this year with a "motherhood" theme and this one stands o
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
2.5 stars. Too much implausibility for me.

A five-year-old girl goes missing. A broken family with many hidden secrets. A highly successful young business woman with a weight on her conscience. This book had so much potential, however, the storyline just didn’t add up.

The novel started off strong and I enjoyed the writing and narrative flow. I really liked the way the dual narratives were broken down into ‘Before’, ‘During’ and ‘After’ – it kept the story fresh and intriguing. However, once I sta
Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
Traveling Sisters Group read reviews

Not Her Daughter started off inquiring and we really thought the premise of this story was interesting.  Who hasn’t been there witnessing a scene like this one between a Mother and child and want to recuse the child from the mother.  It opens up some moral questions and provokes some thought. This is where things went sideways for some us including me as the story takes off in a chain of events and direction way too implausible for belief and the characters a
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jonetta by: Deanna
Sarah Walker is a successful business owner, still recovering from a failed relationship, but seemingly healthy in all respects. While on a business trip, she witnesses a disturbing scene between a mother and her young daughter at an airport. It’s clear the mother is frazzled but not enough to excuse her treatment of the little girl in the red dress, hair bow and shoes. Not long after, Sarah discovers the little girl again during a trip to a Montessori school to pitch business and follows her ho ...more
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: "Where's my mommy?" She whispers, so that I have to lean in to hear.

"She’s. . ." I hear the question and consider my answers. Her mother is at home. Her mother is searching. Her mother had her chance.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Gripping, emotional, 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.

Emma Townsend. Five years old. Gray eyes, brown hair. Missing since June.

Emma is lonely. Living with her cruel mother
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars!

If there was ever such a thing as a “good” kidnapping this would be it! While morals and ethics were definitely in play here, I truly enjoyed reading Not Her Daughter by Rea Frey.

We all know the kidnapping theme is WAY overdone. We’ve all read tons of books on the subject. Not this time. This kidnapping story is very different. Sarah is a CEO and a well respected woman to those that know her. Amy is a mom - an unfit, physically, verbally and mentally abusive mom who is overwhelmed by b
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars Rounded Down!

I must take a moment to admire the beautiful cover photography. Stunning!

Apologies in advance, because my thoughts are all over the place on this one. Upon finishing, I’m left with so many mixed emotions. I firmly believe that both women were in the wrong – I can neither condone kidnapping nor do I tolerate child abuse.

Amy (Emma’s mother) – She is a bitter, angry, bully, who is deeply unsatisfied with her lot in life, and blames others (especially her husband and daughter
Not Her Daughter is a chilling thriller that is being made into a "major motion picture." Perhaps this is why there are so many four and five star reviews for this book. However, sadly, I am not going to be one of those rave reviews. This is me swimming upstream once more...

Not Her Daughter is, at its core, a deeply troubling tale of two very disturbed women and one littler girl who desperately needs help. 

Sarah sees Amy "abusing" Emma in a very public way. Not sure that she should get involved
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a really good read, as long as you are okay suspending belief. Too many elements of the story were glossed over in order to 'make it work', but of course in real life it would never happen as it plays out in the book.

Sarah Walker is not your typical kidnapper...

While traveling for her successful business, Sarah sees Emma, the beautiful gray-eyed child who seems like a forgotten piece of luggage to her mother and father. When Sarah has a second encounter with Emma and sees the continued n
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
I've got a good mother
And her voice is what keeps me here."
Good Mother, Jann Arden

What makes a good mother? What physical and mental capabilities must a woman possess to mother? How do we tell the good from the not so good? Now I have absolutely no idea what or if there is even a "right" answer. Like Jann Arden, I see the qualities of motherhood from my own relationship between my own mother and myself and the relationship she had with her own mother

Not Her Daughter presents us with two di
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
FANTASTIC READ! I am giving this one the full five stars, I loved Not Her Daughter. This is not your run of the mill kidnapping story-line- you are going to be cheering Sarah Walker the “kidnapper” on! Take Emma Grace Townsend and keep her FOREVER, leave the state, leave the country and GOOOOOOO girl!

I think I may have enjoyed this book even more since I have worked hand in hand with social services for over 10 years and have found myself in a similar position as Sarah wanting to rescue a child.
Jul 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received a free e-copy of Not Her Daughter by Rea Frey from NetGalley for my honest review.

Emma is a five-year-old girl that lives a very sad life. Emma's parents don't have any interest in their daughter. A woman, Sarah meets Emma and connects with her right away because she herself, had a bad childhood. Sarah knows first hand what it feels like to be unwanted. Sarah takes Emma. There is a nationwide search for Emma. Meanwhile back home, Emma's mom, Amy, is being scrutinized. Amy, an unhappy
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not Her Daughter is an emotionally charged dilemma that will have you questioning right from wrong. It is a page turner from page one. Sarah is a successful business owner in a not quite perfect relationship with her boyfriend. Her mother left when she was eight and hasn’t heard from her since, but her and her father have scraped by in her absence. Amy is a working mother of two in an unfulfilling marriage. She can’t connect with her daughter and is rough with her. The lives of these two women a ...more
Kimberly Belle
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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.
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Rea Frey is the author of Not Her Daughter, Because You're Mine, and her upcoming release, Until I Find You.

She is also the founder of Writeway, where aspiring authors become published authors. To learn more, visit or

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Last year, Buzzfeed culture writer Anne Helen Petersen struck a chord with her viral article “How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation.”...
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“I made constant deals with myself, as though these deals would culminate in some life-changing event: If there are five babies on the plane, it won’t crash. If I just say yes to this client, I’ll get into Forbes. If the light turns green when I count to three, I won’t complain for the rest of the day. If I don’t eat dessert today, I can have Mexican tomorrow.” 1 likes
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