Author: Mary Kubica
Published: July 2015, MIRA
Format: ARC Paperback, 384 pages
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.
My thoughts: This was one of the books I was most excited to get at BEA this year and I was thrilled to not only get it, but to be able to chat with Mary a few times while there! I had met her at last year's BEA when she was there with her debut book, The Good Girl, which I absolutely loved, and knew that this book was going to be another hit - and boy was it ever!
This is a book that you will keep you on the edge of your seat, but is definitely not predictable in any way. It's filled with rich, interesting characters that you get caught up with, and having the chapters alternate from their points of view allows us to really get to know all that is going on and really get into their heads. Heidi and Chris's chapters are told in the story's present time while Willow's chapters, while they occur after the fact, delve into the past. We learn the backgrounds of each, filling in holes that we might not have gotten had the story not been told this way.
Pretty Baby is a chilling psychological thriller in it's purest form. These characters are all more complex than meets the eye. Heidi, the do-gooder extraordinaire, becomes obsessed with the teen girl on a train platform holding a baby. Once she brings them home, we find out little by little that there are other motivations behind her just wanting to help Willow and the baby. Willow is certainly a mystery and very slowly we start to see what really happened to her and who she really is. But, there is always that question lingering as to whether she's innocent or up to no good. Is she a reliable narrator or not?
This is the type of book that will hook you as it slowly reveals all the layers and secrets that hold everything together. Between the characters and the storyline, I have a feeling it's one that I won't be forgetting anytime soon. Mary Kubica has written two phenomenal books and is now one of my must-read authors...you don't want to miss her books!