Rea Frey’s new book Until I Find You is her latest novel. The Nashville, Tennessee resident transitioned from the world of non-fiction writing to fiction with the publication of her first novel Not Her Daughter and her latest effort finds her talents expanding in an exponential way. Frey has a definite preference for domestic narratives – not the sort revolving around marital or romantic situations but, instead, focusing on family dynamics. She attributes her success as a writer to a paradigm shift in her thinking – success arrived for her when she began viewing her books as products and publishing as a business. Don’t let that deceive you however. Frey is far from a hack writer pandering to the lowest common denominator. There is real artistry present in this novel and a sure hand behind its prose, plotting, and characterizations.


The plot of the book tells the story of Rebecca Gray who, suffering from a degenerative eye disease since her twenties, moves to the suburbs with her newborn son Jackson searching for a fresh start to her life. She experiences a fainting spell during a park visit with her son but, upon waking, finds a different baby sleeping in her stroller. Her son Jackson is nowhere to be found. This nightmarish scenario sends Gray on a journey to find her son while her medical condition steadily worsens. This premise illustrates one of Frey’s abiding strengths as an author – she has a gift for concocting stories rife with dramatic potential and this is certainly no exception.

The varying points of view she provides readers could be jarring in the hands of an amateur, but Frey navigates moving between the novel’s primary characters with a great deal of skill. Her dialogue is convincing and she has an authoritative narrative voice whether she works in first or third person. She measures her prose, eschewing heavy-handed adjectives, and depicts action with brisk precision – readers are unlikely to feel like she is skimpy with details. There is a great deal of suspense threaded through this book, a sense of high stakes and genuine urgency, and the book’s length compliments these attributes well.

The conclusion will satisfy many. Rea Frey places her characters in thorny situations, but she doesn’t take shortcuts when bringing these situations to their end. Some may decry the credibility of certain events in her fiction, but the world is full of events beggaring belief. Few will find that Frey stretches believability to its snapping point. She presents ordinary people in extraordinary situations that often find them responding in extraordinary ways. Anyone who has seen conflict and drama in their lives will find such a slant resonates with their own experiences.


It isn’t difficult to see why her first novel, Not Her Daughter, is slated to soon premiere as a major motion picture. Frey crafts narratives that are ideal for film and Until I Find You is no exception. At her heart, however, she is a writer in the old fashioned sense of the word – yes, fame and notoriety are desirable, money is nice, but you can feel behind every word of this novel that Frey truly loves to write. Many readers will likewise love this fine novel.

Garth Thomas