EXCLUSIVE: Film production and financing company Argent Pictures has obtained the film and television rights to Rea Frey’s forthcoming novel, Not Her Daughter,  the story of a child kidnapped away from a mother who isn’t sure she wants her back. The book will be released in August via its publisher St Martin’s Griffin.

It follows two women’s lives, that of an unhappy and unfit mother and the other a successful but heartbroken female entrepreneur turned kidnapper who are forced to question what they really want in life as the future of a young girl hangs in the balance.

Argent, which is run by Jill Ahrens, Ryan Ahrens, and Ben Renzo, will develop, finance, and produce the project.

“Not Her Daughter is as emotionally gripping a story as we’ve come across recently,” said Ahrens. “The truth is, this story addresses many of the real life issues women face when balancing the expectations of what it means to be a mother; motherhood is exhilarating, it’s messy, it’s unpredictable. Not Her Daughter can be developed and produced for any format and it would work, We love Rea and her work and are very excited to get this project off the ground.”

“I wanted to write a story about real women: women with flaws, women who are unsure, women who are damaged. I like dismantling the messiness of motherhood—how you can love your child so much but still disappoint them. How mother-daughter relationships can turn toxic. How the people closest to us can bring out the worst in us. And I wanted to tie it up in a bow around a subject we all fear: kidnapping. And then raise the question: is kidnapping still wrong if you’re doing it to save a child?” said Frey. “I am very excited to have the team at Argent, with their exceptional slate and history of producing great projects, guiding this story from the book to the screen.”

Lisa Nitti, as counsel to Argent, negotiated the agreement with Frey’s reps, Nikki Terpilowski of Holloway Literary and Mitchell Tuchman from Morningstar Law Group.