Living in Chicago, Heidi and Chris have what seems to be a perfect marriage. They have a daughter named Zoe, who is 12, and live in a comfortable condo. Heidi works for a non-profit and Chris works in investment. One day, on the way to work, Heidi sees a young girl and a baby, standing in the rain, waiting for the train. The girl is carrying a suitcase and seems to be homeless. As Heidi gets on the train she can’t get the girl off her mind. During the next few days, she keeps thinking about the girl, who we soon find out is named Willow, and decides that it is in her responsibility to help the girl, and her little baby.
Told from three different perspectives: Heidi, Chris, and Willow, Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica is a thriller that can’t be overlooked. The plot in the novel is so twisty and juicy; I could not put it down. Pretty Baby kept getting better and better, up until the very last chapter. I love the way Mary Kubica reveals bits and pieces of Willow’s past. Each bit of information kept me at the edge of me seat, surprising me and shocking me. I could not wait to get to the next chapter to see what each character was thinking about one another and to learn more about their personal story and struggles. Sometimes, when books switch from perspective to perspective, I get hooked on one story and speed through the others. This was not the case in Pretty Baby. Each character was interesting in their own ways, which made me soak in every word in, yearning for more.
Pretty Baby is like a puzzle: a puzzle that kept me guessing throughout the entire story. I couldn’t figure out why Willow had a baby and was living on the streets. I couldn’t figure out why Heidi would bring a stranger into her life that could potentially endanger her family. I also couldn’t figure out why Zoe didn’t have her own chapters. Zoe, Chris and Heidi’s daughter, was a main character at the start of the book, but towards the end, she just drifted away. I feel that way about the entire ending of the novel. The ending just kind of…ended. There were still a few loose ends, a few major loose ends that were just ignored. The storylines that were tied up, were wrapped up quickly and without too much thought. It was as if the author got tired of writing this amazing story and decided to finish it up in a hurry.
Pretty Baby put me through a whirlwind of emotions. I felt so bad for the little baby, Ruby, whom Willow was caring for on the streets. I yearned to take care of the baby myself and make her pain and fear go away. Even though Willow was living on the streets, she was trying, at the very least, to take care of a baby, even when she had no place to go and no money. It made me think about how the world is full of women like Willow, trying to get by on so little. Willow was portrayed as a strong woman, a survivor. She is a survivor of the streets and also a survivor of so many other things that no child should ever have to go through. Even though Willow made a few questionable choices, one being major, she still survived more than any person should have to survive in an entire lifetime.
As you read Pretty Baby, you will discover that a vague review was the only way I could explain my love for this novel without giving anything away. There are so many moments that are what Shonda Rhimes (creator of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder) would call OMG moments. Every time a puzzle piece was revealed, I wanted to scream OMG. Trust me, you will too.
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.