The Dilemma by B.A. Paris, 4 Stars

I’m writing this review, knowing it won’t be published for two months. And it’s crazy. Because normally that’s not a big deal. Yet, we are just entering the time of this COVID-19 madness with everyone stocking up and getting ready to stay home for a long time. And I honestly don’t know what the world will look like two months from now.

I have a family of five and I might lose my mind. Currently my plan is to spend a lot of time watching movies together, mandatory daily fresh air and exercise for everyone and of course work for me and the hubs and school work at some point for the kids. I might start playing video games, I want to teach the kids to cook their favorite foods. I have ideas. These are best case scenario. These are assuming no one here gets very sick.

Whatever way you look at it, it will be quality family time. And I think in the end, if we all make it out healthy, we will be better for it. Maybe this post and all the ones that will follow over the next couple weeks (because I am going to tear through my TBR stack), will serve as a bit of a time capsule. Which is kind of fun. See you in two months.

From the Publisher:

It’s Livia’s 40th birthday, and her husband Adam is throwing her the party of a lifetime to make up for the wedding they never had. Everyone she loves will be there, except her daughter Marnie, who’s studying abroad.

But although Livia loves Marnie, she’s secretly glad she won’t be there. Livia has recently uncovered a secret about their daughter which, if revealed, will shake the foundation of their family to its core. She needs to tell Adam, but she’s waiting until the party is over so they can have this last happy time together.

Adam, meanwhile, has his own surprise for his wife: he’s arranged for Marnie to secretly fly back for the family celebration. But during the day, he hears some terrible news and he too is faced with a dilemma.

How far would you go to give someone you love a last few hours of happiness?

My Review:

I love B.A. Paris’s writing, and The Dilemma, her fourth book, is no exception. But this one FELT different. One of the most interesting things about sticking with an author and faithfully reading every book they write, is the journey and change you see in their writing book after book.

Like I said above, I love B.A. Paris. She is for sure one of the best writers in the Thriller/Psychological Suspense Genre today. But The Dilemma, it felt richer. It felt multi-dimensional. It felt wiser.

We meet Adam and Livia on the day of her 4oth birthday party. She has been planning to throw herself a birthday party for years and has diligently squirrelled away money for years to throw the party of a lifetime. She gave up a lot as a young mother, and as she reaches 40, she is ready to finally live.

But as we follow the couple through their day, we realized that while they both have separate concerns, they are both on a crash collision course with events that will forever change everything about their lives. And both in their own ways are completely oblivious.

I normally don’t love books that take place over one day, but Paris so intricately explores each character and the events leading up to the that day that I didn’t feel I was really just getting that one-day snapshot. The Dilemma is a compelling page-turner that will leave you thinking long after you’ve finished the book.

Special thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advanced e-galley in exchange for my honest review. This one is out June 30, 2020. Get your copy.


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