Friday 10 January 2020

The Dilemma by B. A. Paris Book Review

I don't think there are many authors can manage to write brilliant stories each and every time they release a new novel but as B. A. Paris releases her fourth novel The Dilemma, I'm here to tell you that she has in fact found the winning formula. An impressive mix of heart-break and mystery that will always have you wanting more. 

It didn't take me long to devour this book, three hours to be precise.


There was a slight change to her formula this time round, in the sense that it was less suspenseful, instead more thoughtful. Looking at the affect of what one event can have on not just one person, but those around them too. Family and friends alike.

A moment in time can change, some things, it could also change EVERYTHING.

It’s Livia’s 40th birthday and she’s having the party of a lifetime to make up for the wedding she 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 at the party. She needs to tell Adam something about their daughter but she’s waiting until the party is over so they can have this last happy time together.

Adam wants everything to be perfect for Livia so he’s secretly arranged for Marnie to come home and surprise her on her birthday. During the day, he hears some terrible news. He needs to tell Livia, because how can the party go on? But she’s so happy, so excited – and the guests are about to arrive.

Told from two points of view. 

Adam and Livia.

We get perspectives of both husband and wife, how they think, how they interact. It makes for an interesting read. Actually making me think about my own marriage and the types of things I talk to my husband about. And also those little changes I make to stories, those teeny tiny white lies which in my head I'm saying to preserve his feelings.

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

The story itself revolves primarily around two events.

Livia's 40th birthday and the party that she has been planning (and saving for) twenty years. When she married Adam young and pregnant her parents turned their back on them. The wedding they ended up with was not the wedding that she'd longed for this celebration is and attempt to make up for that lost day. She has everything planned and the only thing missing is her daughter Marnie, who is studying in Hong Kong.

Bringing us to the other ongoing event, her daughter Marnie's story, which becomes increasingly complicated with every turn of the page. A tale that has become a bit like Chinese whispers because not everyone is privy to the full story.

I'll admit reviewing The Dilemma is hard because I want to give it so much praise, but without giving away the parts of the novel that give it that 'OMG' factor.

One day that will change a family forever.

As secrets are revealed tensions run high.

When things go wrong, how do you hold the rest of the pieces?

A novel told over a twenty four hour time line, so well written that each person's story manages to seamlessly weave together. Culminating in a story that is powerful, emotional and ultimately heart-breaking. 

If you are yet to pick up a book this year then I highly recommend that The Dilemma be your first!


  1. Thank you for writing a great review without spoilers! I really want to read this now, it sounds really intriguing :o)


  2. This sounds like a really good read. I've read all of B A Paris's previous books, so I'm sure I would enjoy this one too.

  3. Oh wow, this has really got me guessing. I certainly want to read this


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