Wednesday, January 3, 2024

#Bookreview of Bye, Baby by Carola Lovering

Bye, Baby: A Novel

By: Carola Lovering
Publisher: St. Martin’s Publishing Group
Publication Date: March 5, 2024
ISBN: 978-1250289377
Reviewed by: Nellie Calanni
Review Date: January 3, 2024
How do two women, forever bound by childhood trauma, reconcile a friendship founded on blind loyalty, toxicity, and lies? Carola Lovering answers this question in Bye, Baby: A Novel, a gripping and suspenseful story about best friends Billie and Cassie, and their never-ending search for perfection, peace, and acceptance.
Bye, Baby begins from Billie’s perspective in New York City in October 2023, setting the scene for where she and Cassie currently stand in their friendship. Billie has a baby with her – Cassie’s baby – but we’re not sure how or why. What the reader will understand immediately is that this situation is amiss and that something must have gone terribly wrong for Billie to be in possession of Cassie’s baby within earshot of Cassie’s wailing, desperate screams, and pleading with others to find her daughter.
As the novel unfolds, readers are taken on a journey through the past and present, from both Billie and Cassie’s perspectives. Billie and Cassie meet as teenagers, and Billie is instantly drawn to Cassie’s confidence and her ability to effortlessly draw attention to herself. Billie would do anything for Cassie, is there at her every beck and call, and as their friendship flourishes through high school, it’s abundantly clear Cassie would also do anything for Billie – especially when it comes to protecting Billie from the people who exist in her less-than-perfect home life. It's during their senior year of high school when a life-changing decision in their friendship is made – a decision they both promise to take to the grave, bonding them forever.
In present day, we experience Cassie’s torturous reality in the aftermath of her daughter’s disappearance, her contemplating all of the bad decisions that may have led to her deserving this unthinkable situation to take place, and her sudden need to have Billie with her at all times to provide that all-too-familiar sense of comfort only a lifelong best friend can offer. But – as we know, Billie is the one with Cassie’s baby. How can Billie possibly be useful to Cassie – something she’s been yearning for a long time – while at the same time feigning innocence?
Each day following the disappearance of Cassie’s baby makes every relationship in the novel increasingly complicated. Whether it’s Cassie and Billie, Billie and her cop boyfriend Alex, Cassie and her husband Grant, or Billie and her boss Jane, the world that Cassie and Billie have created is suddenly starting to shrink, and the time to get to the bottom of the mystery is running out.
Lovering differentiates the main characters with such ease, allowing the reader to relate to both Cassie and Billie, even when you know right off the bat that Billie has done something terribly wrong. She also dives into what is quite possibly one of the more taboo topics discussed in this day and age: motherhood. Namely, the forgone conclusion that all women want to be mothers and that true happiness can’t be achieved until a woman does become a mother. Lovering is a proven talent when it comes to writing about sensitive subjects and toxic friendships. Take her previous novels, Tell Me Lies and Can’t Look Away, as the perfect blueprints for laying the groundwork for this unconventional, complicated love story between two friends.
Quill says: With alternating perspectives that promise cliffhangers at the end of each point of view, Bye, Baby: A Novel is a complex and relatable story about the unspoken promises we tie ourselves to in friendships, and how those promises shape the lives we lead and the decisions we make for the rest of time.
For more information about Bye, Baby: A Novel, please visit the author's website at:

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