Book Review – Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica

Title: Pretty BabySpring Book Review Button
Author: Mary Kubica
ISBN: 9780778317708
No. of Pages: 384
Genre: Thriller
Origins: Harlequin MIRA
Release Date: 28 July 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.”

Thoughts on the Novel: In Pretty Baby, Mary Kubica tackles the sensitive topic of homelessness and society’s responsibility towards any one person living on the streets. Willow and her haltingly-told story shines the spotlight on the problems of the foster system and the ease with which such kids can slip through the cracks. It is every bit as uncomfortable as it should be.

Pretty Baby is another one of those novels where to delve too deeply into specifics during a review is to set expectations. To set expectations, in turn, ruins the very nature of the story for it is the unknown elements which build suspense. The less one knows about the story and the characters in advance, the more powerful the final piece of the puzzle becomes.

Pretty Baby does more than highlight certain social justice issues. Through the seamless back-and forth between all three characters, past and present, readers get the full impact of the butterfly effect in action – how one seemingly random event can have shocking results down the road. Morever, Pretty Baby reminds readers how interconnected we are to our fellow human beings, for better or for worse.

Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica

BOTTOM LINE: Even better than her debut novel!

14 Responses to Book Review – Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica
  1. Ti
    July 15, 2015 | 10:49 AM

    This topic is a close one for me. My childhood was less than ideal and there were many times where housing and food came into question. Also, because I work at a university, I see a lot of students here during the winter, sleeping in hallways because they are homeless and still trying to get an education. It’s a sad reality. I don’t know if they do it by you but here in California, we have to answer a housing questionnaire as part of the school registration process because they want to know if your kid is living in a car or on the street.

    • Michelle
      July 21, 2015 | 1:33 PM

      Wow. I had no idea, Ti! I would be curious what you think of the story with your firsthand experience with this very topic. Will you be reading it any time soon, if at all?

  2. Brandie
    July 15, 2015 | 11:41 AM

    Better than her debut! I need to read this asap. I have had it awhile and other books keep jumping in front of the line.

    I’m glad to see you liked it, because now I know it’s worth reading!

    • Michelle
      July 21, 2015 | 1:33 PM

      I loved it. Mary is quickly becoming a favorite author!

  3. Diane
    July 15, 2015 | 7:44 PM

    This sounds like a pretty realistic thriller from reviews I’ve read so far. On my radar now….thanks for sharing.

    • Michelle
      July 21, 2015 | 1:34 PM

      Absolutely! There is nothing about it that is outlandish. I think that is what makes it so powerful. Enjoy!

  4. Carrie K.
    July 17, 2015 | 8:43 AM

    This sounds like one I need to add to my to-read list.

  5. Suzi Q, The Book Dame
    July 24, 2015 | 8:56 PM

    I really want to read this author. I have to double check and see if this is on my TBR. Great review.

    • Michelle
      July 25, 2015 | 6:39 PM

      Oh, you should. She is wonderful. Good Girl is SO good.

  6. Suzi Q, The Book Dame
    July 24, 2015 | 8:58 PM

    It’s on my TBR. I will let you know when I read it. Thanks again.

  7. Tori
    August 6, 2015 | 2:55 AM

    I loved The Good Girl, I love Mary Kubica’s writing style where it switches back and forth from one narrator to the next, in my opinion, it makes for a more well rounded story and the characters more likable and relatable-even the villans. As others I knew gushed about Girl on The Train and Gone Girl, I told them to read The Good Girl and that it was even better so I was worried about her second novel living up to the first. I didn’t think it would be possible.

    Pretty Baby didn’t disappoint. It was an excellent read and it seemed I couldn’t read it fast enough. I cried when it was over because I was so sad it was over not because of anything in particular happening in the book. My only issue now is that I won’t be able to find another book that I enjoy as much for some time.

    • Michelle
      August 6, 2015 | 2:08 PM

      Agreed. When the dual narrator storytelling method is done well, it makes for a great story. Ms. Kubica has mastered that technique!

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