The Dilemma by Julia Roberts

Today I’m delighted to join the blog tour for The Dilemma, the brand new novel from Julia Roberts. My thanks to Sarah Hardy for including me in the tour and publisher Bookouture for the advance copy. Here’s what it’s all about:

Source: Netgalley
Release DAte:

About the Book

My child means everything to me. But saving his life means destroying my best friend’s family…

I didn’t plan to fall pregnant, but when I found out, I was overjoyed. Even though I’d be going it alone, I swore I’d give my baby everything they needed.

But I didn’t know who the man I met on that sweltering summer night, the father of my child, really was.

I decided to keep his secret to protect the innocent… but then my beautiful baby was born with a rare illness, desperately needing a transplant.

Now, as I gaze into my son’s wide and trusting eyes, I know the choice I have to make: for the sake of my precious little boy, I have to destroy my friend’s happiness.

But when the truth comes out, what if saving my baby means losing him forever?

An absolutely gripping and emotional read about the choices and sacrifices we make for those we love. Fans of Liane Moriarty, Amanda Prowse and Susan Lewis will love The Dilemma.

My Thoughts

How far would you go to save your child? If you knew that the only way to save their life was to break the heart of someone you love, would it give you pause? Would you hesitate for even one second? That is the eponymous dilemma facing Julia Robert’s protagonist, Charlotte, whose long awaited son, George, requires a life saving transplant for which she is unable to act as a donor. There is one small problem – the identity of George’s father. A closely guarded secret that stands to tear Charlotte’s world apart once revealed, that and those of the people around her.

I really enjoyed the way in which Julia Roberts has framed this story. We are taken into Charlotte’s world, pre-George, allowed to see how much she wants to become a mother and the torturous ritual she puts herself through each month waiting to see if this is the one, whether or not she has finally conceived. But there is also something else in play here, something which leads to a massive change in Charlotte’s world and, more importantly, that long awaited pregnancy. I could really feel all of Charlotte’s conflicting emotions throughout the early pages of this book. The hurt, the anger, the feeling of loss she experienced every time the test said no.

The author has done a brilliant job of pulling readers into Charlotte’s world and whilst I have never felt that biological imperative to have a child myself, I could sympathise with the devastation she felt, and also the sense of betrayal which accompanies one particularly damning revelation. And that is the key thing really – feeling something towards Charlotte as she, perhaps more so that George even, is key to what follows in the book.

Alongside Charlotte we meet her two best friends, all of them former models. Tiff leads a far more glamorous life than Charlotte, who now works in a florists, but despite there being something aloof about her character, something slightly more reserved, I did quite like her. The more we get to know her, the more I understood her and ultimately her life is one steeped in it’s own kind of tragedy. As for Annabel, she is perhaps Charlotte’s closest friend and, ultimately, her confidant, although I can understand her torn loyalties given what comes to pass. Despite playing more of a direct role in Charlotte’s ife, she is perhaps the character I felt least close to of the three, maybe because her motivations were different and her life seemingly far more put together than the others when push came to shove.

As readers, we are privy to far more information than many of the characters in this book, and seeing the way in which many of these secrets and lies by omissions play out adds a small amount of tension to the story. But more than that you can feel the love, from mother to child, between partners and between friends, no matter what has been thrown at them. Beyond being about Charlotte and her drive to save George, not matter what, this is a story of family and friendships. Of the devastating impact of lies and betrayal and also the healing power of forgiveness and it’s a very beautiful read.

About the Author

Julia Roberts self-published her first novel in 2015, Life’s a Beach and Then, the first part of the Liberty Sands Trilogy, followed by books two and three in the trilogy and the stand-alone, Alice in Theatreland, before signing a three book deal with Bookouture, under the name J G Roberts, for a detective/crime/thriller series centred around DCI Rachel Hart.

Little Girl Missing, was published in June 2019, followed by What He Did and Why She Died. She has now re-signed with Bookouture as Julia Roberts for two emotional heartbreakers; the first one, My Mother’s Secret, is publishing in January 2021 and is available now on pre-order.

Born in Nottingham, Julia travelled the world working as a professional dancer, singer and TV presenter, experience she was able to call on when developing the character of travel blogger, Holly, for her Liberty Sands trilogy.

Following roles as a hostess on the The Price is Right and a member of the Beadle’s About hit squad, she auditioned as a presenter for QVC, and launched the American shopping channel in the UK where she still works full-time.

She has two grown-up children who are in part responsible for her becoming a novelist. On Mother’s Day 2013, they gave her a notebook with words ‘Hold On People… I’m Having An Idea’, on the cover. On the first morning of a much-needed holiday in Mauritius, following a year of treatment for Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia, Julia had just that – the idea for her first novel.

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