Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Julie's Review: Pretty Baby

Author: Mary Kubica
Series: None
Publication Date: July 28, 2015
Publisher: Mira
Pages: 384
Obtained: purchased
Genre:  Suspense
Rating: 4.75/5
Bottom Line: A novel that turns everything around on a dime
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab!
Summary: 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.  

Review: Pretty Baby was one of those books where I actually had no clue where it was going. I will say that where it ended up was completely shocking and mouth-dropping. Also, my opinion shifted about each character throughout the story, which is amazing because it's hard to change someone's mind when they've already formed an opinion, typically. Heidi is a do-gooder. She works for a non-profit, recycles religiously and is extremely socially conscious. It is one of the things that made her husband, Chris, fall in love with her. It is also the thing that is now a small wedge between them. Chris also travels a ton and leaves Heidi on her own with their daughter, Zoe. Who pretty much hates everything right now.

So when Heidi happens upon a girl and a baby, her maternal instincts kick in and she offers the teenager shelter for a night. We all know that one night isn't going to be the end of it and of course Willow ends up staying longer. Chris is none to pleased about the one night and furious when it turns into more. Zoe, while she isn't pleased, she isn't really in the novel except mentions by her parents and the occasional appearance.

It's no surprise that Willow is running away from something huge since we get a glimpse into it early but Ms. Kubica leaves us kernels to follow. Willow's past is sad and disturbing but unfortunately something that happens more often than we all would like to admit. The puzzle pieces begin to fall into place pretty quickly on her story with a satisfying ending. Where things really get crazy and wacky is with Heidi. She starts to act erratic and unlike herself. She starts to miss work, forgets to pick up Zoe and generally doesn't focus on anything but Willow and baby Ruby.

You really need to pick up Pretty Baby before I spill all the details. It's the twists and turns that makes suspense novels some of the hardest to review. Ms. Kubica does an excellent job of turning everything around in this novel. I can't wait for her next novel!



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