I loved Mary Kubica’s first novel, The Good Girl, which was a haunting novel about a dysfunctional family that I could not put down. I expected a similarly intense and intricate story in Pretty Baby and got exactly that. Heidi starts off as a sympathetic woman who rushes to help a young homeless girl clutching a baby in the rain. Soon Heidi has taken Willow and the baby into her home against her family’s wishes and becomes obsessed with Willow’s child.
I guess I was expecting something more sinister here than just a story about a woman who filled the void of not being able to conceive by smothering Willow’s baby. The rocky relationship between Heidi and her husband sort of pushed Heidi into becoming the controlling woman who appeared at the end of the novel. Yet, neither her husband nor Willow were completely innocent characters here. Everyone’s less than honorable actions pushed the story to an illegal point of no return. The pacing was a little slow at times. I didn’t feel that I needed quit as much explanation about Heidi’s marriage or her physical health to get to a point where I understood her actions, and would have preferred a bit more action. I did shy away from a bit of the story due to the violence.
This was a good read, but not as thrilling as The Good Girl.