Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica. Canada: MIRA, 2015. 371 pages. *****
Heidi Wood has always had a big heart, works for a nonprofit and takes in stray cats. When she sees the young girl on the train platform clutching a baby in the pouring rain, Heidi doesn't know what to do. Her husband Chris is horrified when she brings home that same girl, Willow and her four-month-old baby, Ruby, a few days later. Heidi doesn't even question Willow when she declares that she is eighteen years old because to do otherwise would require a call to the police or Child Protective Services. Disheveled and seemingly homeless, Willow is inept as a mother and provides little information as to where she came from, who her family is or information about the baby. Chris, Heidi's husband, is very concerned and worried that Willow could be a criminal and insists that his family sleep together in one room. After discovering what looks like blood on Willow's shirt, Heidi crosses the line and discards the shirt to protect Ruby. Heidi calls into work sick to stay home to assist Willow and care for Ruby who is running a fever and is sick. It is so easy to tell the clinic that the baby is Heidi's so they will not ask questions. Even though Chris keeps insisting, it's not so easy to turn Willow and Ruby back onto the streets with no where to go in the pouring rain. What is Heidi to do?
Kubica is a master at weaving a psychological mystery. I received copies of this book from BookSparks and NetGalley to review and was not familiar with this author. There are many subplots going on simultaneously, but they are all relevant and meaningful to the story. How Kubica managed to provide such a compelling plot and tie it all together is amazing. I was lulled into the book innocently and then soon realized it was a masterful plot of lies and deceit. This is one of those books that kept me wondering, what happens next? Well done.
Mary Kubica is the national bestselling author of The Good Girl. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and American Literature from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She lives outside Chicago with her husband and two children. Follow Mary at http://www.MaryKubica.com and Twitter @MaryKubica.