Friday, 26 January 2018

Dilemma by Baheya Zeitoun + Free Book

Dilemma by Baheya Zeitoun
Self published in November 2015.

D for my 2018 Alphabet Soup Challenge

Where to buy this book:

How I got this book:
Downloaded the ebook from Smashwords

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

She is caught in the middle of a love triangle for the first time in her life, but only desires one man. As he grows distant, she seeks comfort in the unlikeliest places. All the while, trying to manage her uncertain financial situation and her career. It is a contemporary tale about a young writer and the struggles of independence in a 21st century metropolis.

Dilemma is an experimental literature novella that describes the life of a young everywoman in everycity over the period of a year. Created by Zeitoun from her own diaries, she tells her story in a third person perspective and has anonymised the both the characters and the city itself. I have seen this anonymity device come unstuck in other novels, but I thought here it worked well. The pared down cast and narrative line meant I was never confused as to who was the focus of the writing and the city, while being an important element in its own right, could be pretty much in any country. Zeitoun's novella is, of course, completely personal to her experiences, but at the same time manages to accurately illustrate the coming of age of thousands of women across the globe.

I appreciated witnessing She's personal growth from the first naive chapters where she defines her identity more by her potential partner than by her own self. Later She talks about transition and I felt that concept was the crux of this book. She cannot be comfortable as her own person until she learns what and who she really wants to be.

Dilemma is a gentle story and a quick read which was appealing in its simplicity. There is a smattering of proofreading errors which distracted me a little, but not overly so, and I enjoyed reading this story.

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Baheya Zeitoun / Women's fiction / Books from Egypt


  1. HI Steph! (All right to call you that?)

    Interesting it's a readers favourite, yet has a smattering of spelling errors.

    1. Hi Sassy, Steph is fine :-)
      I see those badges on quite a few indie books, but they never specify which readers so I usually ignore them and make up my own mind!

  2. This sounds very interesting, actually. A lot of good indie books just seem to be free these days.

    1. I'm generally a little wary of the free books because some need a lot more polishing, but this one was interesting and different to my usual genres.