I really liked Kubica’s The Good Girl, so I downloaded the audiobook of Pretty Baby from my library. I think this thriller might even be better than The Good Girl — it certainly kept me on my toes!
“Momma used to say, “We don’t have much, but at least we have each other.” And then one day, we didn’t even have that much.”
Pretty Baby is told from three viewpoints: Heidi, a married woman working for a nonprofit in Chicago; her businessman husband, Chris; and Willow, a homeless girl with a baby that Heidi meets on the street one day. Heidi ends up taking Willow home one day, desperate to help her and the baby. The first part of the novel is basically Heidi vs. Chris — she wants to help, he’d rather throw money at the problem. We get little snippets of information about Willow — her background as well as what happens later, after she’s no longer with Heidi & Chris. It’s only about halfway through the book that something changes, and we realize that someone in this little group might be slowly going crazy.
It’s a good read — you spend a lot of time piecing together Willow’s story as Kubica drops little hints, and then trying to figure out what’s going to happen is equally suspenseful. If it hadn’t been an audiobook, I would have torn through this in a night or two. Listening to it, I was forced to slow down and really pay attention, rather than trying to the end as quickly as possible. Kubica is an excellent writer, too — not just the plotting, but her descriptions of locations and events are incredible.