Publication Date: Available Now from Mira
Source: Review Copy
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.
Mary Kubica is a great storyteller as proven by her first novel “The Good Girl” – with Pretty Baby she has taken a slightly different approach whilst still writing a dark, intriguing psychological drama with great depth of character and a strong emotive edge.
Heidi is heavily into charitable acts so when she constantly spots a young mother and her baby on the streets, she becomes slightly obsessed -to the point of eventually inviting Willow into her home much to the consternation of her husband and daughter. There is more going on than meets the eye however and things soon start to spiral out of control…
Told from 3 points of view – Heidi, Willow and Heidi’s husband Chris the story unfolds slowly, Willow’s story is gradually revealed and Heidi must decide just how far she is willing to go to protect this stranger and her Pretty Baby…
It is cleverly constructed to allow the characters to develop and the story to unfold in a highly intriguing and often very emotional manner – the psychological depth to all of our three main protagonists is such that you really get a feel for them and as a reader will react accordingly.
For me, I found Heidi rather dislikeable – seemingly wearing her charitable personality as a badge of honour, doing things with no thought to those close to her – I had a huge sympathy for Chris and their 12 year old daughter who have pretty much spent their lives working around Heidi’s propensity to give most of herself away to other people. Willow is fascinating and her character voice is probably the one that resonated most for me – as she slowly reveals where she came from it is gripping and addictive.
Pretty Baby is a slow burner…no rush to judgement just an intense and well imagined cautionary tale with some engaging themes and thought provoking events. Overall a beautifully written story which, whilst I did not engage with it QUITE as much as I had done with The Good Girl, I would have no hesitation in recommending. The twists and turns are surprising and unpredictable and overall it was an excellent read. If you love family drama focused psychological thrillers you will adore this.
Find out more here: http://www.marykubica.com/
Follow Mary on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/MaryKubica
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“I’ve been following her for the past few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she works. I don’t know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she’s scared. But I will.”
One night, Mia Dennett enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn’t show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. At first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia’s life.
When Colin decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota instead of delivering her to his employers, Mia’s mother, Eve, and detective Gabe Hoffman will stop at nothing to find them. But no one could have predicted the emotional entanglements that eventually cause this family’s world to shatter.
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