Avid reader/reviewer and editor. I don't pull punches when I review, love it or hate it, you get what I think.
Not Her Daughter is well-written and the story has a building tension that keeps the pages turning. The story is written in dual points of view, alternating between our kidnapper, Sarah, and Emma's mother, Amy. We also get before, during, and after chapters to give some perspective into the characters and their frame of mind. All of this should've added up to a high-praise review. However, there were a few things throughout the story that niggled at me. Amy is unlikable from the start, which is kind of the point, and Sarah makes a rash decision to kidnap Emma, thus freeing her from a bad home life. Why Sarah chose kidnapping over calling authorities is explained, but suffice it to say that her emotions and mental state weren't exactly where they should be. Okay, I can get with that. My problems started from there. I don't want to give spoilers, so I'll just sum it up with either Sarah is extremely lucky or everyone involved is completely inept at their jobs because her name is never brought up. Not once. The ending, while unexpected, was unsatisfactory at best. I understand that this one is in the works for the big screen and maybe it will work better in that format, but for me, there were just too many things that required a suspension of disbelief. On the whole, the story had great potential, but fell a bit short of that wow factor.