One group / Two very different coulees / Somewhere in the middle
Norma, Lindsay and I read Not Her Daughter with seven of our Traveling sisters and not only were we split into two different coulees with our thoughts with some TS in the middle, some of us were in a coulee on a different planet with our thoughts.
Norma and I don’t often end up in different coulees with our thoughts on stories, however, I tend to dig deeper into stories and we can see things differently then. With this story, we did see some things very differently but in the end, Norma ended up in the middle. Lindsay and I clearly were in a coulee in a different planet.
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 though. But I will say though that I was emotionally invested in the well-being of this adorable little girl, Emma and my heart went out to her.
REA FREY delivers an intriguing, suspenseful, entertaining, and enjoyable read here that was told from the perspectives of Amy and Sarah in a before, during, and after the kidnapping timeline. I really enjoyed how this story was delivered and gave me a good sense into each of these women’s personalities and their motivations. I didn’t know who I should be rooting for! Is there such a thing as a “good” kidnapping?
Brenda’s Traveling Sisters review
Not Her Daughter started off intriguing and we really thought the premise of this story was quite interesting. Who hasn’t been there witnessing a scene like this one between a Mother and child and want to rescue the child from their 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 and events became very stereotyped to provoke any moral dilemma for some of us to ponder.
Some of the TS found the story a page-turner and really enjoyed the moral dilemma of the story and the suspense was enough to move the story forward for them. The ending to this one was where some of the TS ended up in the middle of a coulee with mixed feelings.
Not Her Daughter did make for an interesting discussion amongst us and left us with lots to discuss but unfortunately just not enough to this story to make for a deep discussion. I am going to end with that and let you see what the TS thought from their reviews.
From Lindsay’s review
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 started to taste the sense of implausibility in the plotline, I just couldn’t snap out of it and my enjoyment faded. After the halfway point, it seemed to be a downward slope into eye-rolling territory.
Thank you so much from all of us to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and Rea Frey for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of the book in exchange for a review.
Traveling Sisters in the satisfied coulee
From Mary Beth’s review. Mary Beth joined the TS a few months after we started. She now reads regularly with us.
I did have some mixed feelings in the vetoing but after the beginning, it turned out to be an emotionally gripping read. It was a page turner and just loved some of the twists. I was so intrigued that I couldn’t put it down.
From our newest TS to join our group Jonetta
Incredibly, I found myself rooting for Sarah and Emma but also felt compassion for Amy, Emma’s mother, despite her horrible parenting. There are a host of issues presented in this story, none of them explored in any real depth but enough to stimulate thought-provoking inquiry. You see society passing harsher judgment on the mothers in this story while the enabling fathers seem to get a pass. The story provides quite a bit of background on both Sarah and Amy, providing some insights and contrasts into and between the two women. For Jonetta’s full review
Traveling Sisters lost in too many holes to be able to suspend plausibility in another planet coulee
From Christina’s review
The implausibility here compounded with the horrendous descriptors used for Amy’s physical appearance lost the first 2 stars for me. When we are introduced to Sarah she’s successfully running her own business, she’s a literal workaholic and incredibly passionate about the life she’s building for herself. However, she sees a beautiful child in an inarguably sub-par family and out of literally nowhere decides to commit a felony that could ruin everything she’s worked for? I don’t buy it. As every page turned my questions built one on top of the other until it felt like I was drowning in a sea of unrefined plot points that hadn’t been fleshed out.
Traveling Sisters lost the middle of a coulee with mixed feelings
From Bern’s review
My momma’s heart was happy that this little girl was finally getting some positivity, love and nurturing. Even if it was in this outlandish, crazy way.
Unfortunately, there were a few things in the last 30% of the book that just didn’t jive with me. Even in a work of fiction, I just can’t suspend ALL belief. Things just kept getting more and more unplausible and I had a problem with it.
Overall, I did enjoy a good bulk of the book. The ending though – I would have liked to see it play out differently. I think Frey tried to tie things up, hastily, into a happy ending and the result fell a little flat for me.
From Marialyce’s review
The ending of the story leaves more questions than ever as we see an ending that we might have hoped would occur and yet it is its abruptness that is unnerving. Would life really be like this or is it an illusion that safety and happiness can be achieved when one is hiding a very deep dark secret? But…this could never happen right? or could it? For Marialyce’s full review
Cover: Eye-catching and an extremely fitting representation to the storyline.
Title: Drew us all in instantly & perfectly ties into the plot.
Writing/Prose: readable, straightforward
Plot: Requires you to suspend disbelief, but that never bothers me though but did brother Brenda and some of the other TS’s.
Ending: Maybe unrealistic but I felt it fit the story well and ended just the way I wanted it to.
Overall: A very good read for me but there were some aspects to this story in the way that a character was portrayed that didn’t sit well with me and for some of us TS and therefore interfered a little bit with our overall enjoyment towards this novel. And I found some areas much more engrossing than others. Would recommend to thriller fans looking for a unique approach to your usual kidnapping story.
Published August 21, 2018
Have you read this one? Want to read it? Which TS do you agree with? Drop us a comment! We would love to hear from you.
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