Thursday, July 16, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica

This is a book review for Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica. I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. The scheduled publication date for this book is July 28, 2015.

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.

This was my first Mary Kubica book, but it will not be my last! This book did start out a bit slow. Heidi is married to Chris and they have a twelve year old daughter. Heidi is still haunted by the pregnancy she had to abort eleven years earlier. Heidi had gotten pregnant and then discovered she had cervical cancer. Because of the advanced stage of the cancer, Heidi was forced to have an abortion and then she had to have a hysterectomy. When she sees Willow and her baby on a train platform, she can't get her out of her mind. Before her family knows what has happened, Heidi has invited Willow and the baby to stay with them for an undetermined amount of time. There is a mystery with who Willow is and whether she is being honest or not. The book tells the story from Heidi and Chris's (her husband's) POV. It also has Willow's POV, but this section involves Willow answering questions from a police detective. It is obvious that both Heidi and Willow are in trouble with the law, but what isn't obvious is why.

At first, I was annoyed by the writing style. The author just told EVERYTHING about these people's lives. I don't need to know that Heidi put on lipstick or that Chris grabbed his briefcase by the door or that Heidi bought a cup of coffee and . . . well, you get the idea. But at some point, I got used to that style of writing and it just worked. Yes, all the details that went into this story became kind of necessary. It took a couple of chapters for the pacing to speed up a little, but then I was hooked. I loved Willow's chapters because she went into detail about why she was a runaway and how she became homeless. Heid's chapters struck me as a bit cold and strange. It did not help that the author painted her as a jealous, insecure, selfish wife. I mean, she invited this stranger to stay at her home and gave NO consideration to how her husband and daughter would react. She didn't seem to care that much about whether they were okay with it or not. And at first she was genuinely concerned about Willow and her baby. But then she becomes a bit obsessed with the baby. Man this mystery was ENTHRALLING. I mean, seriously . . . there were so many things going on. What did Heidi and Willow do to land themselves in trouble? Was Willow who she said she was? There were a few things I predicted as the story progressed, but some things I just didn't see coming. This story actually went in a completely different direction than I was expecting.

One thing I didn't necessarily understand was why Heidi was holding on to the pain of her hysterectomy for so long. I know it was traumatic, especially since she wanted a bigger family. But her job was kind of a social worker. It was never really explained it in detail, just that she spent all her time helping homeless people and children living in poverty. So I guess my question was why this woman? Why this baby? Why NOW after so long?? I guess that was never fully explained. 

Buy/Borrow/Skip: If you are a fan of mysteries, I say buy!

12 comments :

  1. I'm looking forward to reading this one and also Mary Kubica's earlier book. Got to get on that. LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know Kay. I still haven't read her earlier book either! Ha

      Delete
  2. Sounds pretty intriguing, and this author is new to me too. I don't know about the wealth of details you mention... Sometimes, that works, but more often it doesn't. Remarkable review, Cynthia :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ah this sounds really good (minus the overwhelming detail) and I love a mystery - Great review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Grace. It was a great mystery!

      Delete
  4. Oooo yeah, this sound good. The miniscule details annoy me too, but can be overlooked if everything else is strong. Interesting ... that's a good question as to why that baby 11 years later.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Christy! The mystery was enough to make me overlook the other issue of too much detail. :)

      Delete
  5. I enjoyed The Good Girl, I read it last year, and I am looking forward to the release of this book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kwizgiver. I actually haven't read The Good Girl yet, but it is on my TBR!

      Delete
  6. I recently read the good girl and loved it. Can't wait for this one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Emma, I actually haven't read The Good Girl but it has been on my TBR forever. After reading this one, I really need to read The Good Girl . . . and soon!

      Delete