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The Dilemma

A Novel

B. A. Paris

Hardcover

List Price: 27.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (5/4/2020)
Library Binding, Large Print (7/29/2020)
CD-Audio (6/30/2020)
Paperback, Large Print (6/11/2021)
Paperback (6/15/2021)

Description

A woman's birthday party takes a dark turn in a poignant, heart-stopping new novel from the reigning queen of suspense, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors, The Breakdown, and Bring Me Back.

“A heartbreaking page-turner that will have you up at night reading just one more chapter.” —Catherine Steadman, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Something in the Water

“The phenomenal B. A. Paris has done it again! I devoured The Dilemma in one sitting—it grabbed me from the very first page and wouldn’t let go until I’d finished. Secrets, guilt, shame and heartbreak—this story has it all in spades.”—Sandie Jones, New York Times bestselling author of The Other Woman

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?



Praise For The Dilemma: A Novel

A USA Today Bestseller!

One of Bustle's "Most Anticipated Horror Novels and Thriller of 2020"

One of PopSugar's "New Thrillers and Mysteries to Look for in 2020"
One of BuzzFeed's "17 New Thrillers You Need to Add to Your Summer Reading List"
A New York Post "Best Book of the Week"

“Paris constructs an unusual and compelling premise and masterfully maintains suspense about what happened and when it will be revealed. A breathtaking story, nearly impossible to put down.”—Booklist (starred)

“[An] evocative drama. Welcome to B.A. Paris' dilemma. It's the kind of book you can read cover to cover in one sitting, eager to see how the characters' impossible choices play out.”—Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“A heartbreaking page-turner that will have you up at night reading just one more chapter.” —Catherine Steadman, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Something in the Water

“The phenomenal BA Paris has done it again! I devoured The Dilemma in one sitting—it grabbed me from the very first page and wouldn’t let go until I’d finished. Secrets, guilt, shame and heartbreak—this story has it all in spades.”—Sandie Jones, New York Times bestselling author of The Other Woman

“An all-encompassing, tightly plotted novel of psychological suspense.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Riveting, groundbreaking and absolutely compelling. The brilliant BA Paris explores new psychological territory in this irresistible thriller about impossible decisions, wrenching loyalty, and heartbreaking loss. Do not miss this!”—Hank Phillippi Ryan, USA Today bestselling author of The First to Lie

“A powerful, beautifully crafted story that ratchets up the tension with every page and packs a huge emotional punch.” —T. M. Logan, author of Lies

“A beautifully written story of love and loss which will stay with me.”—Louise Jensen, author of The Sister

“BA Paris is a mistress at tapping into fears you didn’t even know you had. This is a poignant, thoughtful family tale with a difference.”—Jane Corry, author of My Husband’s Wife

St. Martin's Press, 9781250151360, 352pp.

Publication Date: June 30, 2020



About the Author

B. A. PARIS is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors, The Breakdown, Bring Me Back, The Dilemma, and The Therapist. She grew up in England but has spent most of her adult life in France. She has worked both in finance and as a teacher.


Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

1. When did you first start to suspect that Marnie wouldn’t make it to Livia’s party? When did you first guess why not?


2. Intergenerational relationships play a large role in this novel. Mothers and fathers, sons and daughters. Which relationships most closely mirror one another? How does Marnie’s relationship with Rob upend not only these close relationships, but the generational divide that’s necessarily a part of them?


3. Despite Marnie’s final fate—and the statue her father planned to carve for her—The Dilemma makes it clear that she was no angel. Does her affair change the way you see her? How does it complicate the narrative?


4. Throughout The Dilemma, there are multiple instances of two people having a conversation, or overhearing one, in which they believe they’re on the same page, but in reality are talking about entirely different things. How does the idea of communication—and miscommunication—play into the themes of the novel as a whole?


5. In the first pages, Livia says, “Once she’s back, everything will change and we’ll no longer be able to live the lovely life we’ve been living,” and there’s an echo of that statement near the end: “I wanted to be able to carry on living the life I was living.” This must be a devastating thought for Livia to look back on. How did reading it affect you? Do you agree with Livia’s guilt in this moment, for thinking that in the first place?


6. In the end, the secret about Rob and Marnie’s affair remains hidden from almost everyone. What does the revelation of one of the novel’s huge secrets and the subsequent continued confidentiality of the affair say about the nature of secrets? Do you think the choice they made is ultimately more helpful or more hurtful?


7. Can you understand the choice Adam made? Do you agree with Livia’s decision to forgive him? Put yourself in their shoes. Would you have made the same choice as Adam? Could you have forgiven a loved one for making that same choice?


8. In Adam’s chapter that runs from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., he is preparing to tell Livia what has happened to Marnie when he thinks instead, “these might be her last few moments of happiness.” Ultimately, do you think the choice Adam made to keep this secret was brave or selfish?


9. If you’ve read B. A. Paris’s other novels, you’ll note that The Dilemma is a departure from her usual genre, psychological thrillers. How did you find this novel different from her previous books? In what ways is it similar?