Tag Archives: Family Drama

The Dilemma by B A Paris #BookReview @BAParisAuthor #TheDilemma @HQstories

Today I’m thrilled to share my first review of 2020, it’s for The Dilemma by B.A. Paris, it’s very different to the authors previous reads, but in a good way. Read on for my thoughts…..

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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.

The Dilemma – how far would you go to give someone you love a last few hours of happiness?

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I have read previous books by B.A Paris, which I would class as psychological thrillers, so I was pleasantly surprised to find The Dilemma. a departure from her usual genre. The Dilemma is a powerful, emotive family drama that packs a hell of a punch. The story is told from the dual perspectives of Adam and Livia, a married couple with two teenage children Marnie and Josh. Livia has been meticulously planning her ‘perfect’ 40th birthday party for years, and finally the day has arrived. 

It will come as no surprise considering the title of the book that both main characters are faced with dilemma’s, not the “what dress will I wear to my party?” kind, but the earth shattering ones. Livia has a secret but doesn’t know how to tell her husband,  and Adam has shocking news, but cannot find the right moment to tell his wife. Both are aware that once they share their news with each other, their life will never be the same.

As each character struggles to find that right moment to share their closely guarded news the tension builds, like the characters you are constantly waiting for the ‘right moment’ when all will be revealed. B. A. Paris describes both character’s emotions with such clarity, you can feel their anguish, fear, and despair as the moment of truth grows closer. I’m not sure I would have made the same decisions, although I do understand the reasoning behind Adam’s choice, it’s one of those ‘what if books’ that make you ponder what you would do faced with a similar situation? 

What an emotional rollercoaster this book turned out to be, and it’s all thanks to the authors ability to get inside the heads of her characters, you can’t help but become invested in Livia and Adams  heartbreaking story.The Dilemma explores familiar themes of loss, love, resentment, families and friendships, but B.A Paris provides the reader with an original read, that’s poignant, and thought provoking read. This would make a brilliant book club read, as there’s so much to discuss and debate. Highly recommended to those who enjoy a compelling family drama

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HQ; edition edition (9 Jan. 2020)

Buying links:  Amazon UK 🇬🇧   Amazon US 🇺🇸

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The Nowhere Child by Christian White #BookReview @CWhiteAuthor @MinotaurBooks

Today I’m sharing my review for The Nowhere Child, the debut thriller from Australian author Christian White. I’m so glad I picked this book up. Read on for my review but first the book description…….

972EFAD3-45B2-4542-96B0-E1E685647C59A child was stolen twenty years agoLittle Sammy Went vanishes from her home in Manson, Kentucky – an event that devastates her family and tears apart the town’s deeply religious community. And somehow that missing girl is you

Kim Leamy, an Australian photographer, is approached by a stranger who turns her world upside down – he claims she is the kidnapped Sammy and that everything she knows about herself is based on a lie.

 How far will you go to uncover the truth? 

In search of answers, Kim returns to the remote town of Sammy’s childhood to face up to the ghosts of her early life. But the deeper she digs into her family background the more secrets she uncovers… And the closer she gets to confronting the trauma of her dark and twisted past.

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One of my favourite things about reading a book is the fact you are never sure what story the pages of a book will hold. Yes, you have the book description to give you a hint, but even so a story can take so many directions. I thought The Nowhere Child would be a straightforward “girl gets taken, and then found years later” but how wrong I was this book has so much more to offer, it’s dark, genuinely twisted, layered in mystery and intrigue. I should mention the book is the debut thriller from Australian author Christian White, and what a debut, it’s superbly plotted, and one of those books that’s a pleasure to read for all its twist and turns.

What would you do if you discovered your entire life was a lie? That’s the question Kim Leamy has to face when she’s approached by a man whose convinced she’s Sammy Went, a little girl who went missing twenty-eight years ago in Manson, Kentucky. In a quest for the truth she travels to Manson where Kim soon learns that some secrets are best left buried. The Nowhere Child alternate between the past and the present chapters, ensuring the reader’s attention never wanes. The chapters narrated in the past explore the impact of Sammy’s disappearance on her family and the small religious community they live in. The present chapters follow Kim’s journey to discover the truth about her past. Although the theme of a child being stolen isn’t entirely new, the authors telling of the story made this book a compelling read. As one chapter ended, and another began I found myself immersed in Amy’s story, rather like Amy I was desperate to get to the truth of her disappearance. 

I found the chapters told in the past to be the most fascinating part of this book, as the author scratches below the surface of Kim’s grieving family, buried secrets bubble to the surface, and relationships already fragile begin to unravel. As to the present chapters as Kim delves deeper into her past what initially presents itself as kidnapping crime mystery novel turns into something darker and far more sinister. Every character from Kim’s past has something to hide, and as each one is revealed the web the author weaves becomes more tangled. 

Although some readers may consider this read a slow builder, I thought the pace was perfect; it allows the reader to get to know the various dysfunctional characters from Kim’s past warts and all. The NoWhere Child is a heart wrenching and somewhat chilling psychological thriller which explores several different themes,  love, loss, scandal, and religious cults. Christian White’s Debut made for a compelling read with fascinating characters, with a mystery containing so many twists and turns it’s one guaranteed to keep even the most ardent psychological thriller readers entertained. Highly recommended 

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (8 Aug. 2019)

Buying Link:     Amazon UK

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