Title: The Dilemma
Author: B.A. Paris
Publisher: St. Martin
Publish Date: June 30, 2020
My Rating: 4/5
A woman’s birthday party takes a dark turn in a poignant, heart-stopping new novel from the reigning queen of suspense, NYT and USA Today bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors, The Breakdown, and Bring Me Back.
Knowing the truth will destroy her. Keeping it secret will destroy him.
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 Livia is secretly glad Marnie 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 Livia: he’s arranged for Marnie to secretly fly back for the party. But before Marnie arrives, Adam hears some terrible news. Now he too is faced with a dilemma: Does he share what he’s learned with his wife? Is hiding the truth the same as telling a lie? And how far are Adam and Livia willing to go to protect the ones they love—and give each other a last few hours of happiness?
Livia and Adam have been married for years, but they never had the big wedding or other big celebrations. Livia wants a big party for her 40th, and she’s been saving for years to celebrate the night with friends and family. Adam has the perfect gift for his wife – a visit from their daughter, Marnie, who is studying abroad in Hong Kong. Livia knows a secret about Marnie though, and she’s been waiting until after the party to tell Adam. Before the party, Adam learns some terrible news, and now he has something to tell Livia after the party.
Told from the alternating points of view of Livia and Adam. The novel is primarily set in one day, and follows Livia and Adam as they prepare for the party and struggle with the secrets they are keeping. The reader is aware of the secrets, and it’s frustrating to see how they are keeping important information from one another.
I’ve read three other books by B.A. Paris (Behind Closed Doors, The Breakdown, and Bring Me Back), and they were all mysteries and thrillers. This one is not. The reader is aware of the events happening throughout the novel, there is no mystery. It’s a contemporary story about a married couple and the secrets they are keeping.
While I was sometimes frustrated with the characters and their actions, I was drawn into the story and couldn’t put it down. An enjoyable read for fans of contemporary domestic drama. Intense and compelling.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.