Things go dangerously wrong when a middle-class wife and mother impulsively opens her home to a homeless teen and her tiny baby in Kubica’s sophomore novel.
When Heidi Wood, a woman who can’t help herself from helping others, spots a teenage girl with a small baby on the platform of Chicago’s train system, her heart goes out to them. Not only is it cold and raining, but the pair is obviously in need of help. Soon, Heidi has spotted the homeless teenager again, and, being the nurturing type, she feels compelled to reach out to her. That annoys her husband, Chris, and selfish 12-year-old daughter, Zoe. But Heidi ignores her husband’s misgivings—after all, he’s distracted by the new girl at work, Cassidy Knudsen, a lissome blonde who always seems to be nearby when Heidi calls. So when she brings the girl, Willow, and Ruby, her baby, into their condo, it only widens the gap between Heidi and Chris. And, through some clever foreshadowing, the reader knows, almost from the outset, that this isn’t going to turn out so well for the Wood family. Kubica skillfully weaves the story together, with Chris, Heidi, and Willow all narrating portions of the tale. As bits and pieces of Willow’s story are revealed, the other characters keep the story moving forward toward what the reader knows will be disastrous results. Kubica's debut novel, The Good Girl (2014), also employed multiple points of view and timelines, but Kubica serves up a much more cohesive tale this time around—the story is almost hypnotic and anything but predictable. The writing is compelling, but Kubica’s strong point is being able to juggle a complicated plot and holding the reader’s interest without dropping any of the balls she has in the air.
This book will give insomniacs a compelling reason to sit up all night.