About a year ago, I read The Good Girl, a debut novel by Mary Kubica.
I recently finished Kubica’s sophomore effort: Pretty Baby.
Told in the alternating viewpoint style that has become Kubica’s signature, Pretty Baby tells the story of Heidi, Chris and “Willow.”
Heidi and Chris are married and live with their daughter, Zoe, in Chicago. Everything seems fine until the day Heidi spots a young girl and a baby at the subway station. Then, she sees them again.
Eventually, Heidi invites Willow and her young daughter, Ruby, into her home. As a one-night stay morphs into more, Chris becomes more and more skeptical, all while trying to ward off the advances of the young, new associate at work — of whom Heidi is not a fan.
Willow’s portion of the story alternates between the present and telling the past that led to her journey to Chicago.
As a reader, I couldn’t help but try and piece together Willow’s backstory. I got some of it right (there is a death–and the motive becomes relatively clear) but I missed who is responsible for the death.
I also was able to predict who the baby belonged to.
I wasn’t super impressed with Pretty Baby, until I hit the last quarter of the book. Kubica throws this curveball in from left field and just knocks you for a loop. While I didn’t totally agree with the timing or the abruptness of Kubica’s ending, it was definitely a surprise.
Overall, I would recommend Pretty Baby to fans of mysteries and thrillers. Kubica’s most recent novel, Don’t You Cry, was released about three weeks ago.