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Sunday, August 2, 2015

(62)Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica

Heidi Wood has always had a "save the world" mentality.  She works in a Literacy Center helping refugee students learn English.  She is vigilant about recycling and often lectures her husband, Chris, and their daughter, Zoe, on the social injustices in the world. But even Chris didn't think that Heidi would bring home a homeless teen and her new baby.  Heidi spotted Willow and Ruby while on her way home from work one day and when she spots them again Heidi approaches the young woman and invites her to dinner.  Heidi is instantly taken with the young baby, Ruby and finds herself inviting them to stay with them.  Chris is appalled and scared for his family's safety, while Zoe just wants them all to go away.  It isn't long before Heidi is utterly consumed with the young baby, the memories of her lost baby haunting her every moment  and driving her every decision. Soon her obsession with the baby is causing her to ignore all aspects of her life.  The question remains, who is Willow and Ruby?  Where did they come from and why does Willow have blood on her crusty shirt? Is Heidi's obsession  putting her family's life in danger?

Pretty Baby is one of those thrillers that is told from alternating perspectives. First there is Heidi, then there is Chris, and finally there is Willow.  But Willow's perspective is from a different time.  She slowly reveals where she has come from and the horrifying events that led her to become homeless in Chicago with a baby.  But Willow's story is revealed as she is telling it to a social worker in a juvenile corrections facility. And knowing that is what drives the suspense.   As the book progresses you start to understand and really empathize with Willow at the same time that you watch Heidi come completely unraveled.  The drama of it is truly hypnotizing.  Then there is Chris, who is trying to hold it all together for his family.  He is getting worn out by all the travel and all of the temptations that come with being a road warrior.  He just wants to be home with his family, but he sees Heidi slipping away with her obsession, he just never realized how bad it had gotten until the truth is revealed.  His steadiness just offsets all of the crazy in a way that adds to the authenticity of the story.

Bottom line - Pretty Baby is one of those books that will hook you early and keep you on the edge of your seat.  Pretty Baby has been getting a lot of media buzz and for good reason.  This is not one to miss!