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Pretty Baby

A Novel
Length: 12 hrs and 7 mins
4 out of 5 stars (149 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

A chance encounter sparks an unrelenting web of lies in this stunning new psychological thriller from national best-selling author Mary Kubica.

Heidi Wood has always been a charitable woman: She works for a nonprofit and takes in stray cats. Still, her husband and daughter are horrified when Heidi returns home one day with a young woman 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 into Willow's past begin to surface, Heidi is forced to decide how far she's willing to go to help a stranger. What begins as an act of kindness quickly spirals into a story far more twisted than anyone could have anticipated.

©2015 Mary Kubica (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Couldn't stop listening

Couldn't stop listening. Well written and narrated. Audible recommends this to people who enjoyed Gone Girl and it's true - some great twists and turns told from different perspectives to piece together this story.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Thoroughly enjoyable read

I loved the gradual development of these interesting and believable characters and the way it was written from the three different perspectives. Very well done.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Incredible

I really struggled to stop listening to this book. heartbreaking and beautiful and read so well

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Couldn't put it down

Easy to get into and a very well written story. Very easy to listen to.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Original gritty story of a vulnerable young girl

This story can be upsetting, but is never very graphic, just implying the abuse. It does go a long way to help one understand the problems and suffering of life in the street, of adopted orphans and the abuse they may suffer. It has light and shade , evil and mindless, is a compelling story and I would highly recommend it, and the the ever calm voice of the narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Positive

Excellent could not stop listening;
I lived every moment with the characters, well done to all...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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intriguing.

love the book enthralling and captivating story. and wonderful performances by the voice actors. highly suggest if you like books with twists and touching story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic!

I loved this story! The narration was done perfectly. So suspenseful right to the end.

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Children Fostered

I love the in site this book sheds on the problems associated with child abuse, untreated mental health and foster care. This could very well be a true story. Well written and very well narrated. A good read.

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Great book to listen to while driving!

I really enjoyed this book. I thought the narration with the present events told by Heidi and Chris and the past told by Willow was a good technique as it created suspense. Heidi went through a lot of character development/change while Willows storyline provided some good twists. Pretty Baby gives a realistic depiction of moody teenage daughters and the effects of PTSD and abuse.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-09-2015

Not worth your time.

I spent the entirety of this book telling myself to have an open mind; scolding myself every time I felt the author was "reaching" for big descriptive words at a time when simplicity could have worked better; knocking myself down a peg when I felt I should just stop listening, wasting away those precious hours I spent listening to this book.

I felt the book was pointless, depressing, weak, trying-too-hard-to-impress. Overall a giant waste of my time.

114 of 121 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-08-2015

Mundane

I struggled to finish this book. The extremly slow unwind of the story was just too much for me.

63 of 67 people found this review helpful

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  • Christine
  • 21-09-2015

Don't waste your time

This book was a total let down and very predictable. The summary is the best part. Narration was good, though "Willow" sounded like she should blow her nose all through the book. I read the reviews, some of them were like wow what a great book. I think I listened to a different book then they did. Ideas weren't bad but it could have been so much better. Very disappointed.

57 of 61 people found this review helpful

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  • Avid Reader Girl
  • 28-08-2015

sorry it wasn't good.

It was long and drawn out and the ending wrapped up quickly yet unrealisticly. Sorry, not a good one despite the reviews.

45 of 48 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • M. Simpson
  • 23-09-2015

Implausible and imitative

What would have made Pretty Baby better?

I hate to say this about a woman writer, but this book has terrible portrayals of women and that bothered me. You have a neurotic woman pining for a baby, an adolescent who is repeatedly raped, negligent/unsympathetic social workers, and a predatory femme fatale. So I don't know that it could have been made better.

What was most disappointing about Mary Kubica’s story?

There are some really bad stereotypes of the foster care system and adoption. The details-- and myths -- about abortion are truly troubling. The whole approach is derivative of "Gone Gone" (alternating viewpoints of husband and wife, unreliable narrators) without the subtlety of Gillian Flynn. You have to take gigantic leaps to believe certain portions.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of the narrators?

I think they were given a tough job, given the nature of the book. The male was fine; the woman reading the Heidi parts had some incredibly treacly lines to read so I can't fault her performance except to say it was annoying. She should ask someone from Nebraska how Kearney is pronounced.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Pretty Baby?

The whole idea of a teenager taking a bus to Fort Collins, finding a house on foot, and then getting away with what happens in this book begs the question of whether this was vetted at all as a manuscript.

Any additional comments?

Ok. "Gone Girl" was an amazing success but can we move on?

67 of 73 people found this review helpful

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  • Carmen C
  • 12-08-2015

Loses Steam

I felt like this book had a lot of potential that wasn't realized. The end really pittered out for me. I would have liked to have heard more from Heidi at the end, and it ended at an unsatisfactory point in the story to me. However, the narration was sublime. That part was excellent! Overall - the premise was interesting but it never really lived up to itself.

45 of 49 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Marianna
  • 12-08-2015

cliché upon cliché

Not sure why I finished it-- could only bear to listen to it while doing household chores.

43 of 47 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Nia
  • 11-09-2015

Entirely too long

To be honest, the reviews kept me listening. So many saying this was an amazing story. I just felt cheated, lied to, mislead, overwhelmed, burglarized, and simply put: I feel this story was entirely too long. (Do you see how many words were in my last sentence just to say it's too long? That's exactly how I felt this story was).

I'm disappointed.

32 of 36 people found this review helpful

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  • Nikole
  • 31-07-2015

not what I expected! BETTER!

has a lot of twist to it, at first I was a little lost and was just going to stop listening, I'm so glad I didn't!! I recommend this book highly!

42 of 49 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • M. Ryder
  • 06-08-2015

Expected More!

Story was slow moving, and did not see all the twists and turns that everybody is referring to. Thought about giving up on the book, but kept assuming the plot would get better. The characters were pretty boring, with very little depth. This book is definitely not what I would call a psychological thriller. Also, the narration was a bit off, especially with regard to the female parts. Heidi sounded stoned or as if she had just woken up (but always), and Willow's voice was terribly nasal sounding. However, the male narration was well done. I think he also performed in the Good Girl, and was really believable Although some might consider this story a mystery, I would put it on par with Daniele Steel type reading. Skip purchasing it, if you have not already done so.

29 of 34 people found this review helpful

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  • Ann D
  • 16-12-2015

Brilliant!

Any additional comments?

A brilliantly written tale of of human fallibility, evil, damage and vulnerability. Each character, the troubled and the reprehensible, were brought fully to life. Not one to read when feeling fragile in any way.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Pam
  • 05-08-2015

I'm not good with American stories but this gripped me

This book got better and better as it went along- i loved the narrators which is difficult - struggle a lot with strong accents. But it was moulded and folded and unfolded professionally - a sign of a good book for me is 'un-put-down-able' and I was listening wherever I went! Good on you Mary Kubica and your narrating team. 5* from me!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • MaMaMason
  • 02-08-2015

Can't carry on listening to this ~ too disturbing

The story is constructed so that you're pulled in and hooked, but I got to the point where the adrenaline was up just a bit too high, and had to stop listening.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jenna
  • 10-12-2015

kept me gripped!

If you could sum up Pretty Baby in three words, what would they be?

Gripping, clever, twisty!

What did you like best about this story?

the story and people and plot were all intersting and made you care about what was happening to them

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Natasha
  • 17-10-2015

Sucks you right in

The style of writing is excellent, Mary really places you there. The voices were so pleasant to listen to - I enjoyed every minute of this book on my long walks. Highly recommend.
The story builds slowly (but never boringly so) and before you know it you are immersed in the lives of Heidi, Willow and Chris and can't stop listening.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 14-10-2018

Fabulous

This book kept me gripped right to the very end. So much so, I finished it in two sittings over two days. Can’t wait to read more of Mary Kubica’s other books

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • MRS
  • 11-08-2017

So Slow

What disappointed you about Pretty Baby?

After reading over half of this book I had yet to discover any psychological event. It was at this stage simply a story of a woman grieving for the loss of her own unborn child many years earlier and her need to help an unfortunate girl with her own baby. Clearly anything interesting was yet to happen ... but it was too slow.
I could see where the story was heading and chose not to continue through lack of interest.

Would you ever listen to anything by Mary Kubica again?

Yes, provided the preview is accurate and provided something entertaining occurs quickly.

Any additional comments?

Disappointed as purchased based on comments by earlier readers

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  • metfer
  • 08-04-2016

Disappointed after reading other reviews

Struggled with this audio book from the beginning really, the story never really seemed to get going & several times I almost decided to abandon it. However I persisted, I found the narrator who played Heidi had a particularly monotonous voice which didn't help matters. All in all a rather dreary book. Guess I have been lucky with other audio books I have listened to in Audible - can't win them all!