Book: Not Her Daughter
Author: Rea Frey
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?-Goodreads
Review: I don't even know where to start with this book. I had high hopes, believe me, I did, but this was a huge disappointment with a lot of eye rolling and constant disbelief. Let's dig in:
Sarah is a beautiful, successful entrepreneur who decides to kidnap a 5-year old after she see the child's mother treating her poorly on a few occasions. Now, was the child being mistreated? Yes. Was she abused? Based on Amy (the mother's) POV, seems like it. But from what Sarah witnessed she would not have known this. A rational person who have called CPS but if she did that, we wouldn't have a book. So Sarah kidnaps this child:
*they make some changes to their appearances
*they don't change their names
*they tell people Emma is her niece but Emma doesn't even call her 'Aunt Sarah'
*they get along perfect (some stranger kidnaps a 5-year old ....I"m sorry. I don't care how poorly a 5-year was mistreated. She's taken away from everything she knows, there would have been some resistance)
*Sarah is supposedly living off the grid but I think she booked an AirBnB or something along those lines which can only happen online
*Sarah is reported to the police by name, car, etc and not caught. Very implausible.
*Sarah is written as an absolute angel (crazy kidnapping angel I guess) while Amy is very one-dimensional 'bad.' I would have liked more layers to both of them.
I think we, as readers, were supposed to be cheering for a happy ending with Sarah and Emma while I kept waiting for her to be arrested. I did keep reading because I couldn't wait to see how it would unfold. One word: Implausibility. There is no way any parent would take the action Amy did.
I am definitely in the minority with this book. I think setting this book in the mid-80s before cell phones would have made the entire 'Sarah on the run with Emma and not getting caught' much more believable.