A psychological suspense novel which serves as both social treatise and dire warning, Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica leaves you thinking – and vaguely frightened.
Heidi Wood calls all those who see a need and don’t meet it do-nothings. Heidi is the polar opposite of that- she works for a nonprofit, rescues stray cats from dangerous situations, and is constantly aware of those around her who might need a helping hand. Which is why it is no surprise that Heidi notices and worries about the young homeless girl with an infant that she sees when Heidi is getting on the train. It is also no surprise when the next time she encounters them, she gives the girl her warm rain parka to wrap the baby in. Also not surprising when she buys the girl a meal. It is surprising – shocking even- when she informs her husband and young daughter that the girl, Willow, and her baby will be staying with them. Indefinitely.
What should happen next is that Heidi, who knows how the system works, helps Willow get on her feet. Instead the two prove to be demanding guests, until Heidi all but forgets her husband and daughter as she cares for their needs. Slowly this sets off a chain of events that lead to an inevitable, startling conclusion.
This book takes a daring look at how our society fails its most vulnerable members and the violent, terrible results that can lead to. The author does a magnificent job of keeping the sand sifting beneath our feet so we are never quite sure what we are looking at or what is really happening. Engrossing, terrifying and heartbreaking, this book keeps you guessing to the very end.