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Publisher's Summary

Emotionally powerful and wire-taut, Not Her Daughter by Rea Frey 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 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 she’s 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?  

©2018 Rea Frey (P)2018 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

“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?” (Kimberly Belle, Internationally Bestselling Author of The Marriage Lie)

"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 best-selling author Kate Moretti)   

"Brings to mind Jodi Picoult...thought-provoking domestic drama." (Booklist)

What listeners say about Not Her Daughter

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So Freakin Good!

Wow! What a great surprise at how good this book was! I was hooked right from the start. This story moves fast and doesn't lag in the middle like some. This is not an action thriller but near the end I was close to an anxiety attack and could not stop listening. The narrator is new to me and as close to perfection as any I've listened to. Seriously a fantastic psychological read!! I would give it more than five stars if I could!

30 people found this helpful

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Road Trip Required

A refreshing tale, unpredictable story line and fabulous narrator! I had to go on a road trip just to have an excuse for listening nonstop! Worth every lost hour!

15 people found this helpful

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A Parent Must Read

Imagine someone only seeing you at your lowest parenting moments.
Then imagine what they could do to your family by acting on those moments...

Do you really see parent and child relationships when you are out and about...Are you just watching not really worried about what you see? Or do you act and hope to make life better?

This book was an eye opener...we shouldn't be silent but what should we be?

Is it beautiful or sad...I can't decide but this book really opened my eyes.

7 people found this helpful

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I was desperate to find out what was going to happen!

Loved the story! Made me question what was right and wrong. I finished it SO fast because it had me hooked from the first 10 mins. The narrator has an amazing voice as well!

7 people found this helpful

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Worth the credit

This book was one that will hold your attention all the way through - This coming from a mother.

5 people found this helpful

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I kinda liked it. 👍

I like this book, but I feel like the title should be "How NOT to Get Away With Kidnapping "

4 people found this helpful

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excellent read

Though it seems a little too easy, the story is good and moves at a good pace. I read it in one day! I liked it a lot.

4 people found this helpful

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Great read that ends in a suprise.....

Just when you THINK you know what will happen? Well you don't! I loved it. The ending was kinda rushed though.

4 people found this helpful

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Highly entertaining read

I enjoyed this story tremendously, except for the fact -- as another reviewer has mentioned -- that it kept bothering me how Sarah was able to evade the police given that her ex-boyfriend identified her to them (!!??) and someone else provided them with her license plate number. Huh? Other than that, a very good read!

3 people found this helpful

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This Story Just Limped Along … … … …

When Cleo Smith, an actual 4-year-old girl was abducted from her sleeping family’s tent in an obscure campground on October 16, 2021, virtually the whole of Australia feverishly set out to locate her. Police personnel amounted to 140 hardworking officers, detectives, inspectors on:- foot, horseback, jeep, cruiser, boat, plane, helicopter, canine units, etc. all of whom refused to give up … and 18 days later, the precious child was found completely alone in a locked home at 1a.m.— alive, well and playing with dolls! (see Google or YouTube for Cleo’s astonishing true story). // But with that event in mind, it is preposterous that so little overall fuss seemed to be made over little Emma (age 5) who was abducted in daytime near her own home (which is the unlikely subject of this rather far-fetched novel). I was in the mood for a book featuring a child, though, so against my better judgment I ignored several negative reviews —among positive ones though— and purchased the novel, “Not Her Daughter”. The protagonist (Sarah) who wanted to save Emma from a mean mother could have legally reported abuse to authorities but instead, it seems she wanted the compliant girl for herself….which begged the question, “Is it better for a child to be brought up by a mean and neglectful parent or a weirdo criminal?” You are welcome to decide for yourself but to my thinking … neither is a happy option for a kid, though, so maybe a more sensible upbringing might have been figured out for dear Emma? After all, even her Montessori teachers dropped the ball on noticing the student’s unhappiness, Bah! Not recommended and not sorry.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Lisa
  • 11-22-18

Disappointing End

I really enjoyed listening to this book but was really quite disappointed with the end. It was like the author ran out of time and hurried it. Could have done much better buy ending it properly / explaining what happened to the characters in the long run etc etc. Great narrator though - really tried to change her voice and get into character

1 person found this helpful

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  • Niomi 💜
  • 01-26-21

started slow but wow!

started slow took a bit to pick up but when it did wow! coming from a background very much like Emma I found myself wondering what if lol. loved the story and definitely hits on the truth that not everyone is cut out to be parents unfortunately.
definitely worth a read 💜