Pretty Baby

Mira: Harlequin. Aug. 2015. 384p. ISBN 9780778317708. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9781460382288. F
Heidi and Chris have been married for a while. He works hard as an investment banker to support their lifestyle. She diligently strives to help the underserved of the world. Their daughter, Zoe, is an angry preteen who locks herself into her room and doesn't eat. One day, Heidi spots Willow, a young homeless woman toting a baby, and brings her home. "Just like the stray cats," thinks Chris. With these unusual houseguests, the family's life is turned upside down. Chris and Heidi are forced to confront long-buried traumas brought to the surface by having a baby and a stranger in residence. As events unfold, the narrative alternates between the points of view of Chris and Heidi; Willow's story is told in flashbacks after most of the events of the book are finished.
VERDICT Those who appreciate character-driven explorations of human emotion will enjoy Kubica's sophomore effort (after The Good Girl). The major characters are each deep in the midst of their own psychological crises based on past events. There is no notable action, but the story will stir readers just the same. [See Prepub Alert, 3/2/15.]
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