2015 Book #262: PRETTY BABY by Mary Kubica

Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica
ISBN: 9780778317708 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9781460382288 (ebook)
ASIN: B00S4ZH70Y (Kindle edition)
Publication date: July 28, 2015 
Publisher: MIRA

A chance encounter sparks an unrelenting web of lies in this stunning new psychological thriller from national bestselling author Mary Kubica

She sees the teenage girl on the train platform, standing in the pouring rain, clutching an infant in her arms. She boards a train and is whisked away. But she can’t get the girl out of her head…

Heidi Wood has always been a charitable woman: she works for a nonprofit, takes in stray cats. Still, her husband and daughter are horrified when Heidi returns home one day with a young woman named Willow and her four-month-old baby in tow. Disheveled and apparently homeless, this girl could be a criminal—or worse. But despite her family’s objections, Heidi invites Willow and the baby to take refuge in their home.

Heidi spends the next few days helping Willow get back on her feet, but as clues into Willow’s past begin to surface, Heidi is forced to decide how far she’s willing to go to help a stranger. What starts as an act of kindness quickly spirals into a story far more twisted than anyone could have anticipated.

What do you do when you see an obviously homeless teenage mother out in harsh weather? If you’re most people, you ignore the mother and the crying infant. If you’re socially conscious and a charitable soul like Heidi Wood, you talk to the girl and offer help by bringing the girl back to your home. 

Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica is a fast-paced psychological thriller told in alternating voices of Heidi Wood, her husband Chris, and the teenage mother Willow. The reader gradually learns that Willow has suffered tragedy after tragedy. Her parents die in a car accident when she is eight years old. Her two-year-old sister is adopted and taken out of state. She is initially in a foster home before being sent to live with distant relatives in an ultraconservative and abusive household. Chris is obviously concerned when his wife brings home another “stray,” and his primary concern is for the well-being of his family, especially his twelve-year-old daughter Zoe. Chris is quite sure that Willow is lying about her name and wonders what else she is lying about. Heidi simply wants to help in the only way she knows how and that means bringing Willow home with her after learning she refuses to go to a shelter. She’s concerned about Willow’s welfare, as well as that of Willow’s baby and takes everything she learns from Willow at face value. We also learn that Heidi wanted to have a large family, but a cancer diagnosis forces her to terminate her second pregnancy and suffer through a hysterectomy.

Ms. Kubica is quite adept at creating a story that twists and turns and leaves the reader wondering where the story will end. We know very early in the book that there is an obvious tragic conclusion to Heidi’s action of bringing Willow home, but only learn bit by bit what tragedy has occurred (no, I won’t tell you what happens, you need to read the book). Pretty Baby is filled with drama and tension on plenty of levels: Heidi’s relationship with Chris, Heidi’s relationship with her daughter Zoe, Chris’s reaction to Willow and Ruby (Willow’s baby), Zoe’s reaction to her mom bringing Willow and Ruby into their home, Heidi has baby envy and it becomes quite evident with her behavior toward Ruby, and more. I enjoyed reading Pretty Baby as much as I enjoyed reading The Good Girl. For those of you that enjoy reading thrillers with a surprise ending or are looking for something a little different to read, grab yourself a copy of Pretty Baby.

Watch the book trailer:

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book for review purposes from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Author: thebookdivasreads

I'm a reader, an avid reader, or perhaps a rabid reader (at least according to my family). I enjoy reading from a variety of different genres but particularly enjoy fiction, mystery, suspense, thrillers, ChickLit, romance and classics. I also enjoy reading about numerous non-fiction subjects including aromatherapy, comparative religions, herbalism, naturopathic medicine, and tea.

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