Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Review - Bye, Baby

Title:   Bye, Baby
Author:  Carola Lovering
Publisher:  St. Martin's Press
Genre:   Psychological Thriller
Format:  Kindle and Audiobook ARCs
Narrators:  Helen Laseer; Karissa Vacker; Zachary Webber
No. of Pages:   352
Date of Publication:   March 5, 2024
My Rating:  4 Stars 


A missing baby. A fraught friendship. A secret that can never be told.

On a brisk fall night in a New York apartment, 35-year-old Billie West hears terrified screams. It's her lifelong best friend Cassie Barnwell, one floor above, and she's just realized her infant daughter has gone missing. Billie is shaken as she looks down into her own arms to see the baby, remembering—with a jolt of fear—that she is responsible for the kidnapping that has instantly shattered Cassie’s world.

So begins the story of Billie and Cassie's friendship--both in recent weeks, and since they met twenty-three years ago, in their small Hudson Valley hometown the summer before seventh grade. Once fiercely bonded by their secrets, including a traumatic, unspeakable incident in high school, Cassie and Billie have drifted apart in adulthood, no longer the inseparable pair they used to be. Cassie is married to a wealthy man, has recently become a mother, and is building a following as a fashion and lifestyle influencer. She is desperate to leave her past behind--including Billie, who is single and childless, and no longer fits into her world. Hurt and rejected by Cassie’s new priorities, Billie will do anything to restore their friendship, even as she hides the truth about what really happened the night the baby was taken.

Told in alternating perspectives in Lovering’s signature suspenseful style, Bye Baby confronts the myriad ways friendships change and evolve over time, the lingering echoes of childhood trauma, and the impact of women’s choices on their lifelong relationships.


Cassie Adler is the very busy mother of a four-month-old daughter. More than that, she runs a boutique and is well on her way to becoming a major social media influencer. Seemingly happily married to husband Grant, what more could Cassie ask for in life.

In order to understand what Cassie stands to lose, the story goes back to her younger years when Cassie and her friend Billie West were the best of friends. Things remained that way for years, but something pulled the women apart and their lives have taken on different directions. As far as Billie is concerned, Cassie should want to be a part of her life and has never been able to let go of that desire.

While I first got Bye, Baby as an eARC, I was approved for the audiobook ALC, and boy did this make this engaging story all that more compelling. With three narrators, the story flowed easily from differing perspectives and brought the past and present together in spectacular fashion. 

This story of friendship, secrets and very sad childhood trauma had a powerful impact on me as a reader. As a survivor of the trauma that this book contained, the choices both Cassie and Billie made were easy to understand. However, the choices they made at one time in their lives would no doubt have a powerful impact on their lives as adults. 

While this latest offering from Carola Lovering did factor in Cassie's missing baby, the story told so much more. In fact, I loved how the women in this book were written. There was not much to love about Cassie, yet you just had to find out what happened. Billie and her story was incredibly sad and many times I wanted to reach through the pages and to give her a hug. Kudos to Ms. Lovering for writing a story that grabbed me from beginning to end. 

Many thanks to St. Martin's Press and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


Carola Lovering is the author of the novels Tell Me Lies, Too Good to Be True and Can’t Look Away. She is a graduate of Colorado College, and her work has appeared in New York Magazine (The Cut), Marie Claire, W Magazine, National Geographic, Outside, and Yoga Journal, among other publications. Her novel, Tell Me Lies, is currently being adapted into a television series for Hulu that will air in 2022. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and son.

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