Kat's Review of Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica

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Synopsis: A chance encounter

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…

An act of kindness

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.

A tangled web of lies

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.

Kat’s Rating: 4/5

Kat’s Review: I read Mary’s other book The Good Girl and wasn't overwhelmed. I admit I had some trepidation about this one as I wasn't sure whether I would struggle to get into it like the last one I read. Thankfully I needn't have been nervous. This book had a completely different feel to it. I became immersed at the seemingly mundane and average life that both Heidi and her husband Chris lead along with their teenage daughter Zoe. As soon as I started reading I instantly felt mixed about Heidi. She works for a charity and seems to be the sort of woman that feels she can rescue everybody. I ended up feeling a little bit sorry for Chris as he seemed to always be on the back foot. However, as the story progressed I actually think what MK has done is really clever. I found myself questioning Heidi and wondering what sort of a person she really was.

The crux of the story revolves around Heidi’s decision to bring the young girl Willow back to her home with her very young baby. This decision is clearly one that involves conflict and before long as the reader I could feel the tension building and just knew this one event could well be the undoing of this family. It’s hard to say where in the genre I would place this, maybe a thriller although that feels wrong. It is certainly packed with drama and suspense as the scenes unfold, aside from that I’m not sure what category this would fall in to.

Heidi, Chris and Willow make this plot and story extremely engaging. On the surface it seems like something maybe many people would feel like doing, but in reality few ever do. In this situation you see that things are not taking a good turn and before long it spirals out of control. This story seemed also has a rather sad thread to it, but the situation is dealt with in such a way that you don’t realise it’s quite sad until you have finished! This was most definitely a page turner and one which I thoroughly enjoyed. Slightly different from other things I’ve been reading and that made it an altogether refreshing change. 

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