The Dilemma

The Dilemma

Large Print - 2020
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"It's Livia's fortieth birthday, and her husband, Adam, is throwing her the party of a lifetime. Everyone she loves will be there, except her daughter, Marnie, who's studying abroad. But Livia is secretly glad that Marnie won't be there, because Livia has recently uncovered a stunning secret about her daughter. And while she's waiting until the party is over to tell Adam, he has his own surprise. Adam has arranged for Marnie to fly back for the party. When he hears some terrible news, Adam, too, is faced with a dilemma: Does he share what he's learned with his wife? How far are Adam and Livia willing to go to protect the loved ones, and give each other a few hours of happiness?"--Page 4 of cover.
Publisher: Waterville, ME : Wheeler Publishing, a part of Gale, a Cengage Company, 2020.
Edition: Large print edition.
ISBN: 9781432879709
1432879707
Branch Call Number: LARGE PRINT PARIS B
Characteristics: 503 pages (large print) ; 22 cm.
large print (16 point)

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a
axeman
Mar 08, 2021

This was more of a family drama than a thriller but it still had lots of suspense.

0
0424pat
Feb 18, 2021

The theme is the dynamics of grief. Setting is England. Over three days a couple.e is preparing dfor a 40th birthday party. Daughter is coming home rom Hong Kong via Ciaro and her plane rashes. When does Mother get told? When does Mother re veal daughters secret? Gets tedious.

l
ldgundlach
Jan 27, 2021

One word: anticlimactic. If you're expecting one of B.A. Paris' usual psychological thriller novels, you will be sorely disappointed. The entire book, I kept expecting some kind of a twist (which is pretty much the hallmark of the psychological thriller genre). Instead, it's hideously predictable. Something I love about Paris' previous novels is her unpredictability - somehow, no matter how much you think you've figured out the storyline, she throws in a wrench that completely derails your expectations. This is in no way a thriller. My guess is that it started out as one and then Paris completely changed direction halfway though.

It also reads like an incredibly drawn-out short story; 340 pages that EASILY could have fit into 100 or fewer. Two perspectives, husband and wife, each harboring a secret that they can't bring themselves to share with the other. They spend a good couple hundred pages talking in circles, saying pretty much the same thing over and over again. It's really the most manufactured conflict. Lazy storytelling at its best. You also find out their "secrets" within the first half of the book and then spend the rest of it waiting for a twist that never comes. I realize that's pretty much what this review is doing but in some way it's making me feel better about the 6 hours I wasted reading this book.

ArapahoeJohanna Jan 07, 2021

Having read a couple of B.A. Paris's novels, I was expecting something closer to a standard domestic thriller. A lot of the themes were there- lies, secrets, hidden pasts, and the slow realization that a loved one isn't who you thought they were. I suspect the original plan for this book was more aligned with the genre standards, but somewhere along the line, Paris chose to focus on a different angle. The result is something wholly unusual, fascinating, and emotionally devastating.

I don't want to give too much away. The slow unravelling of my expectations was a big part of the experience for me, and I would recommend going in relatively blind if you can. This isn't a light read in the way that thrillers often are, but it is highly suspenseful and difficult to put down. I find BA Paris to be a pretty uneven author, but The Dilemma is an impressive book that I'm not going to forget about any time soon.

c
curd5223
Dec 17, 2020

I enjoyed this book. Her book, "Behind Closed Doors" was the best though. This one kept me guessing.

JCLAmandaAW Dec 16, 2020

The book largely takes place in the span of a day. The point of view switches back from the husband and wife. Both spouses are keeping a secret from the other one, but they don't want to ruin a party for each other so they keep them to themselves. Meaning 95% of this book is switching back and forth to the thought processes of each character. Maybe fun at first. Then highly annoying.

Each section plays out like this: Husband: Keeping this secret is so hard. I need to tell my wife. I'm going to tell my wife. But she looks so happy/this is the last time she'll be happy/this is what she'll think/etc. I can't tell my wife. Switch to the wife, same internal dialogue. Rinse. Repeat. x100.

I enjoyed the first couple of books by this author but I don't think I'll read her material anymore. These books make me incredibly frustrated by my own relentless curiosity. I can't put it down because I want to know how it ends, even though the book is incredibly exasperating more than suspenseful. So much could be resolved with conversations between the characters but that would be a much shorter book.

2 stars was generous and only because I actually made it through to the end of the book without throwing it across the room (see Nicholas Sparks).

JCLJenV Nov 05, 2020

Carve out some time to read this book, because once you start, you won't want to stop. This thriller keeps you engaged with each page you rapidly turn...

d
Dee_BPL
Oct 28, 2020

Listened to this audiobook so it was extra dramatic!! So good! Behind Closed Doors was my favorite book by BA Paris and this was a close 2nd!!

t
Teejaygirl1
Oct 28, 2020

A good suspense story from varying points of view over the course of a long, long day, but also dipping back into the past. It was really hard to put down and is one of the first books I yelled at, as if I were watching a suspense movie.

ArapahoeKati Oct 22, 2020

I enjoyed that B.A. Paris departed from the thriller genre to write something a little different, and the secret being kept felt so real and devastating that I couldn't put this down.

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