Not Her Daughter is a chilling thriller that is being made into a “major motion picture.” Perhaps this is why there are so many four and five star reviews for this book. However, sadly, I am not going to be one of those rave reviews. This is me swimming upstream once more…
Not Her Daughter is, at its core, a deeply troubling tale of two very disturbed women and one littler girl who desperately needs help.
Sarah sees Amy “abusing” Emma in a very public way. Not sure that she should get involved in this domestic situation, Sarah says nothing. However, after seeing another incident of abuse, she decides that she must act to protect Emma – namely by removing her from Amy’s home. Yep. It’s a kidnapping story.
Throughout the book we are told repeatedly how awful Amy is, what a bad mother she is, she shouldn’t ever have had children. I mean, hello, she even has a “hairy vagina.” Yep, we absolutely needed to know that, right? Since the book is told in revolving points of view, we are able to get inside both women’s heads which are places I never really wanted to go. We learn that Amy even questions whether or not she wants Emma to come home – she really is a bad mother. However, is kidnapping a child any better? This is just one of the “moral dilemmas” that the book provides you with. We are supposed to question how well we understand “right” and “wrong.” I’ll give you a clue: I understand right and wrong, black and white and all of the shades of grey in between and this book does not change my mind. There are a dozen scenarios that Sarah could have taken other than kidnapping a child. From the point that she did that, the book was over for me. It isn’t plausible, it wasn’t even interesting to me and the “gotcha” ending was ridiculous.
From a different perspective, despite the book having no toe-hold in reality, it is a quick paced “thriller” with a lot of switchbacks and “surprises.” So there is that – oh, and did I mention that it was going to be “A Major Motion Picture?” Meh.
I received an advance copy of this book from Netgalley. Obviously the opinions are my own.