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The Book of Two Ways

The Book of Two Ways

A Novel

eBook - 2020
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of Small Great Things and A Spark of Light comes a “powerful” (The Washington Post) novel about the choices that alter the course of our lives.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY MARIE CLAIRE
Everything changes in a single moment for Dawn Edelstein. She’s on a plane when the flight attendant makes an announcement: Prepare for a crash landing. She braces herself as thoughts flash through her mind. The shocking thing is, the thoughts are not of her husband but of a man she last saw fifteen years ago: Wyatt Armstrong.
Dawn, miraculously, survives the crash, but so do all the doubts that have suddenly been raised. She has led a good life. Back in Boston, there is her husband, Brian, their beloved daughter, and her work as a death doula, in which she helps ease the transition between life and death for her clients.
But somewhere in Egypt is Wyatt Armstrong, who works as an archaeologist unearthing ancient burial sites, a career Dawn once studied for but was forced to abandon when life suddenly intervened. And now, when it seems that fate is offering her second chances, she is not as sure of the choice she once made.
After the crash landing, the airline ensures that the survivors are seen by a doctor, then offers transportation to wherever they want to go. The obvious destination is to fly home, but she could take another path: return to the archaeological site she left years before, reconnect with Wyatt and their unresolved history, and maybe even complete her research on The Book of Two Ways—the first known map of the afterlife.
As the story unfolds, Dawn’s two possible futures unspool side by side, as do the secrets and doubts long buried with them. Dawn must confront the questions she’s never truly asked: What does a life well lived look like? When we leave this earth, what do we leave behind? Do we make choices . . . or do our choices make us? And who would you be if you hadn’t turned out to be the person you are right now?
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

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a
Aunteloise
Apr 17, 2021

I haven’t really finished this book. I am not into Egyptian history so found the beginning so boring. I tried to turn a bunch of pages but still boring, a real disappointment

2
22950011730488
Mar 28, 2021

I normally love Jodi Picoult's books and can't wait to put them down, but I found this one quite boring. I ended up skipping paragraphs since it seemed to delve too deeply into Egyptian history and, honestly, I don't think it really mattered when I did that. But I found it quite confusing anyway. Having just finished another book where the timeline diverged quite cleverly, I thought this was going to be the same but I'm not really sure it was (mostly because I couldn't seem to find the enthusiasm to read through it and just skipped to the end). I'm sure Jodi put a lot of energy into researching this novel but sadly, it's not one I'd recommend.

r
retiring_rep
Mar 05, 2021

This book introduced me to Egyptology, ancient Egypt burial customs , the beauty of hieroglyphics and the beauty of the art found in and on coffins; the science and logic of quantum mechanics; lastly, death doulas and the preparatory stages before death. Among these elements is woven a complicated set of relationships among four main characters. Amazing! What worked for me is that each person was complicated in their own right as we are in reality, we all grow and change. There is no final action that sets the characters lives and that fits with the novel's premise of change. I have never read this author before but I will now.

loonylovesgood Mar 03, 2021

The first book in a long time that I couldn't finish. I really tried, because I usually enjoy Jodi's books. But it was so wordy, so overly descriptive with all the Egyptian stuff (which I would normally find interesting but it was just too much in this book) and the story just didn't interest me. Maybe one day I'll try again.

m
marytatum
Feb 07, 2021

It was slow in beginning but I did like the comparison of the death doula and study of the Egyptians. I could understand the feelings regarding death and living and process of dying.

j
JamesMallory
Jan 28, 2021

Ugh -- a really annoying and self-righteous first-person narrator with a complete lack of introspection assisted by some dishonest narrative (i.e. being unclear/deceptive about the order in which the various events unfold). Throw in way too much Egyptology and a few too many not-very-well-explained themes (e.g. the many-worlds hypothesis) and you end up with this bloated book. Don't forget the complete lack of an ending -- the desperate hope for a clever resolution was the only thing that kept me reading for the final 100 pages, but no such luck. Thumbs-down, unfortunately, since the author is obviously a good writer and could do much, much better.

STPL_Kerry Jan 25, 2021

I can see why the ratings on this book are so divided. There were things I loved about it (if you are not interested in Ancient Egypt it probably won't hold a lot of appeal for you) and there were topics that were new and compelling for me - and also that 'ifficult with no right answer' desision that characters must make which is common to Jodi Picoult novels that leaves you wondering "what would I do?". HOWEVER, there were large sections that I found myself skimming over as it was reading too much like a text book (quantam physics is not something I can wrap my mind around!!), and sometimes the nonlinear storyline gets a little confusing. I think if it ended differently it would have made it pretty close to 5 stars....!

m
Margush
Jan 19, 2021

Nope, not for me. Pretentious. Reads like a textbook but I didn’t want one.

m
mimsipod
Jan 17, 2021

I have been enthusiastic about all the Jodi Picoult books I have read - until this one. If you are very keen to be instructed frequently about Egyptian archaeology, or quantum physics, you might enjoy this book. It moves between time and relationships in what felt to me like an awkward way. I was disappointed with it and didn’t finish it. I am at an age where I no longer feel like I should finish books if I’m not enjoying them. There are just too many good ones out there for me to read.

ontherideau Jan 15, 2021

The work of a death doula and an Egyptologist is of interest.The statement "Fat is not who you are, it's something you have." is worth noting. The romance drama and flipping between time settings even within chapters is overdone.

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