Pretty Baby: Mary Kubica


Pretty Baby tells the story of a family that comes asunder, when they harbor a destitute woman and her baby.  The book starts well enough, and the interactions between Heidi, the wife, and Willow, the girl are both heart-warming and tense.  The format is good too – with Heidi beginning the story from the start and Willow from the end – and the suspense build up works.  But then suddenly, the book comes apart in the second half, with all of the characters acting irrationally, and new story threads that are not credible.  The end is even more bizarre.  Kubica doesn’t trust the reader’s intelligence and makes sure she repeats everything a few times to ensure we get it.  Towards the end, I just wanted the ordeal to be over.

Don’t even think about it.

The Golden House: Salman Rushdie


It is heartbreaking to see Idols fall.  Rushdie’s ‘Midnight’s Children’ ranks amongst my all time favorites.  However, ‘The Golden House’ disappoints.  It’s a very ordinary book that attempts to link the Bombay blasts, the 12/26 attacks on the city, into a fictional tale of an odd family living in New York.  Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?  The problem is not with the story.  Surprisingly enough, it is the telling.  It’s ordinary, high strung, and doesn’t delve into Rushdie’s magic-realism world.  Maybe it’s the beginning of the end of the legend or our times?

Don’t bother.




The book selects ten lesser known historical events that had a profound impact on America.  Massacre at Mystic, California gold rush, the civil war battle in Antietam, Manhattan project, and Elvis Presley phenomenon are some of the events that are covered.  The significance of the events on the course of history made for fascinating reading.  The linkage of the events with their impact on American way of life is brought out well and in an engaging way.