I feel like I’ve been in a wee bit of a reading slump. Maybe it’s because I’ve been reading too many thriller/suspense novels in a row; maybe it’s because I’ve finally came up with a theme and have been dedicating more time to my bookstagram. Maybe it’s because the start of the semester is coming and work is starting to pick up (I work at a university). Whatever is happening, I’ve been taking for.ev.er. to get through books. I have completely lost the momentum I gained from the #24in48readathon, being able to read in advance and schedule posts out, and am now working on tighter deadlines. Oops. Have any of you ever been in a reading/blogging/scheduling slump? What have you done to combat it?
While it did take me awhile to finish Not Her Daughter by Rea Frey, it certainly wasn’t because of the writing or plot of this book! Sarah, the kidnapper and successful business woman, sees signs of abuse and an uncaring family, so she decides to take five-year-old Emma and give her a better life. Sarah and Emma are now on the run from the authorities, AMBER alerts, and the truth. On the other hand, Amy, Emma’s biological mother, struggles with her identity as a mother, the stability of her family, and wonders…does she even want her daughter back?
Due later this month, this novel is told in a split-narrative, between Sarah and Amy–two unlikely and different types of mothers–as well as in different times–both before and after the kidnapping. In a pleasant twist on the “kidnapped child” plot, readers actually end up routing for the kidnapper and caring very little for the biological mother. Frey’s writing was engaging and truly captured the tender, well-meaning Sarah, as well as her anxiety about being caught and what the future may hold for her…and for Emma. More family-drama than a crime novel, readers also get a peek into Amy’s mind: Does she even want her daughter back? Is she a good mother? Is she a good wife? For those not in a reading slump, Not Her Daughter would likely be a quick read, with a plot easy to follow and enjoyable characters that are easy to get invested in.
Frey’s Not Her Daughter is available for pre-order and will be released on August 21.
Best binged with: a chilled rosé, reminiscent of tender relationship between Sarah and Emma–even if the backdrop has a bit more suspense and drama.
[I received a digital, advanced reading copy from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.]