Title: Pretty Baby
Author: Mary Kubica
Publication Date: 27th July 2015
Rating: 2/5 stars
Heidi Wood has always been a charitable woman: she works for a non-profit, takes in stray cats. Still her husband and daughter are horrified when Heidi comes home one day with a teenaged girl named Willow and her four-month-old baby in tow. Disheveled and apparently homeless, this girl could be a criminal – or worse. But despite her family’s objections, Heidi invites Willow and the baby to take refuge in their home.
Heidi spends the next few days helping Willow get back on her feet, but as clues to Willow’s past begin to surface, Heidi is forced to decide how far she’s willing to go to help a stranger. What starts as an act of kindness quickly spirals into a story far more twisted than anyone could have anticipated.
I REALLY have to stop buying books which claim to be good choices for fans of Gone Girl. I made the same mistake earlier in the year with Girl on the Train, which I absolutely hated! Unfortunately, Pretty Baby didn’t live up to the hype either.
Writing this review is really hard, because it was the ‘twist’ I hated. I just thought that the blurb implied more to the story. There was an element of delusion as a part of that twist, and that just irked me so much! It wasn’t cool and exciting; it was just bleugh…
Unlike Gone Girl, nothing about this book screwed with my head. Nothing happened for a really long time, and then the twist came through much too quickly. There were three viewpoints, much like Girl on the Train, one was Heidi, another was her husband Chris, and the last was Willow.
Heidi seems to be a very put-together, organised woman. But her life hasn’t always been easy – she wanted a big family and her hopes were dashed when the doctors discovered cancer in her womb. Already a bleeding heart, she is even more affected by the baby’s plight. She gets ridiculously possessive of the baby at certain points, believing that Willow isn’t equipped to look after a child.
Willow’s viewpoint is told through the lens of a police interview. It gets very confusing, because it jumps between the storyline’s past and present, while set in the future. Willow’s story isn’t told in chronological order, and that felt really weird. Her story was awful and very, very sad, and I just felt like she wasn’t given enough help by the police services. Her police interviewer was really mean and horrible, which I felt wasn’t a great representation of the people who are such an important part of a functioning society.
I don’t think I would have finished the book, except that it was the only book I had with me on a very boring day. This attempt has almost convinced me to leave the crime genre alone. However, I DID enjoy Luckiest Girl Alive recently, and am hoping to review it soon! Might be making a move back to the classics though.
What genre do you struggle with? Can you recommend any crime for me?