Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica
Published in 2015
Book 3 in my January Kindle Challenge
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 has always been charitable but her family are horrified when she returns home with a young woman named Willow and her baby in tow. Dishevelled and homeless, this girl could be a criminal – or worse. But despite the family’s objections, Heidi offers them refuge.
As Willow begins to get back on her feet, disturbing clues into her past starts to emerge. Now Heidi must question if her motives for helping the stranger are unselfish or rooted in her own failures.
I downloaded this book just recently on my Kindle, and as part of my mission to read just ebooks this month I decided to give it a go. We have three first-person narrators, Heidi, her husband Chris and the mysterious Willow, and we flit between the three in short chapters.
There are a lot of things I liked about this book. First of all, I was sucked into the story straight away and really wanted to find out what had led Willow to being on the streets with a baby, and I also wanted to know how the story would pan out. I was gripped and found it difficult to put the book down, which I think is key to a good thriller!
I also really liked the way the three strands of the story worked to slowly reveal more and more about each character – they all had an interesting story to tell and had a distinctive voice and personality, which again worked well. I was surprised at first that Chris was one of the narrators, as he was almost secondary to the main story, but actually I really liked his sections, which slowly revealed the type of character he really is, and gave a different perspective to the story – and the other characters.
This novel doesn’t have major twists or turns – I was expecting a shock ending but this wasn’t the case at all – it was more of a build up of events that slowly reached its climax. I felt the novel had a good pace to it, although others may find it slow – especially if they’re expecting a shocking thriller.
On the downside, I felt the book would have benefited from a good editor – some small things in the book didn’t quite add up for me, and there were also a few annoying typos. Also some small sections of the book were very repetitive, and this sometimes slowed the pace up a bit. This is probably the pedant in me coming out, but I did find this sometimes marred my enjoyment of the book. Also I did expect a bit more from the ending, although most of my questions were answered and it was satisfying overall.
In the main I enjoyed this novel. It’s more of a psychological thriller than a shocking, twisty tale, but I really liked the character development and I found it to be a good page-turner. I’d definitely like to check out The Good Girl by the same author!