The Book of Two Ways
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 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, her beloved daughter, and her work as a death doula, where she helps ease the transition between life and death for patients in hospice.But somewhere in Egypt is Wyatt Armstrong, who works as an archaeologist unearthing ancient burial sites, a job she 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 the survivors are seen by a doctor, then offers transportation wherever they want to go. The obvious option for Dawn is to continue down the path she is on and go home to her family. The other is to 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 beside 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?

The Book of Two Ways Details

TitleThe Book of Two Ways
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 22nd, 2020
PublisherBallantine
ISBN-139781984818355
Rating
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Romance

The Book of Two Ways Review

  • Nilufer Ozmekik
    January 1, 1970
    Hmmm… you see the alarming bell which warns you there is an unpopular review is about to come and of course I never expected it’s happening because I just finished a compelling novel of one of my all-time favorite authors. And as soon as I read the blurb about second chances, the Sliding Door/what ifs theme and amazing journey to learn more about Ancient Egyptian culture, I started to whistle Bangles’ song and getting so excited about this promising adventure. I already found amazing two reading Hmmm… you see the alarming bell which warns you there is an unpopular review is about to come and of course I never expected it’s happening because I just finished a compelling novel of one of my all-time favorite authors. And as soon as I read the blurb about second chances, the Sliding Door/what ifs theme and amazing journey to learn more about Ancient Egyptian culture, I started to whistle Bangles’ song and getting so excited about this promising adventure. I already found amazing two reading buddies to share my excitement:But as soon as I started flipping pages after the mind blowing start reminded of us Lost series’ beginning, Dawn Edelstein’ thankfully survives from the plane crash, my excitement hit to the roof! I wanted to see what was gonna happen next: After the imminent shock and her entire life flashed before her eyes, Dawn realizes there are things holding her back to have fulfilled life. And there are two paths appear in front of her: she may go back to her family life: husband she’s been married for 15 years and her 14 years old teenage girl. And of course her work at hospice as death doula is waiting for her. (Interesting choice of profession) Or she goes to Egypt and finishes her project she’s started 15 years ago when she has been working as an archaeologist but that means she has to meet with her first love of her life: Wyatt. So we read her two paths and we also learn more about Dawn’s story starting 15 years ago in Egypt by flashbacks. And interestingly two paths successfully intertwine. I have no problem about the promising premise of the book about taking your chances, learning from your mistakes and leaving no place for your regrets.BUT… Yes the problematic thing about this book: there is so much information bombardment exhaust your brain cells. Quantum psychics, philosophical approach to life and death, reincarnation, superstition , Egyptology, marriage, fat-shaming etc.It seem like the author juggled way too much plot balls at the same time and all of them start to fall down from her hands one by one. Especially I truly got lost at the Egyptology parts with all those hieroglyphs, symbolism, secret language hidden at the tombs, digital mapping, nope I’m stopping there. After reading those parts and scientific explanations Brian’s husband gave her about quantum psychics (couldn’t she marry with a man who has regular job?) I thought my mind was so close to explode.There are so many materials in this book were hard to absorb and all those details made you feel like this a study book you have to read by drawing its lines to pass your exam instead a regular, gripping contemporary fiction. The author may write at least 4 different books with those materials. But instead of that she chose to insert them into one story and I truly got so exhausted and needed more grey cells transplant because I truly fried most of them by over usage. I loved the family parts, impossible and meanest love-triangle of the story ( it’s so mean because any choice Dawn makes may end with unhappiness!) mother-daughter relationship and of course her profession as “death doula” at hospice was one of the most heartfelt, eerie but also interesting part that attracted my full attention. But I think those Egypt parts, symbolism, quantum psychics just killed the essence of this meaningful story. When you add too much scientific information into the equation, it affects the intensity of meaningful messages and emotional warmth of the story. But this is my opinion. There is nothing missing about this story. In fact there are too many things to absorb, understand, discover, feel, learn, and search so eventually they overwhelmed me.Overall: I loved the characters. I loved the idea of second chances, choosing different paths. I loved the devoted love between mother and daughter. But those scientific parts of the book failed me. I love Jodi Picoult’s brave writing style and play with our emotions to shake us to the core. But this time I decided to give only three stars. That’s a first for me, too. It doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the book. The emotional parts of the story completely worked with my needs but the informational parts were exhausting and confusing. They were still impeccably written but in my opinion, they didn’t fit so well with the main plot.Special thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing/Ballentine Books for sharing this ARC with me in exchange my honest opinions and review.
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  • Elyse Walters
    January 1, 1970
    This novel should come with a warning: It’s TEXTBOOK TOP HEAVY.....“Mummies and Deadies” interweave with complexities of life - love - birth -death coaching - character backstories -superstitions -philosophical narration - sarcastic, competitive and flirtatious dialogue - marriage -lovers - parenting - betrayals - secrets & lies...and other messy relationship complications. “There is a literary text in Ancient Egyptian that says the gods made magic so that people could ward off misfortune. And y This novel should come with a warning: It’s TEXTBOOK TOP HEAVY.....“Mummies and Deadies” interweave with complexities of life - love - birth -death coaching - character backstories -superstitions -philosophical narration - sarcastic, competitive and flirtatious dialogue - marriage -lovers - parenting - betrayals - secrets & lies...and other messy relationship complications. “There is a literary text in Ancient Egyptian that says the gods made magic so that people could ward off misfortune. And yet, although you might be able to diminish something bad, you still couldn’t prevent it from happening”. The heavy archaeology and Egyptology details hinder a natural elegiac rhythmic reading flow. The author did extensive impressive research — but the reader will also need to research the authors research, to gain a better knowledge and understanding of it all....Unless.....like one reviewer said, she skipped over the Egyptology details. But then what’s the point? Sometimes it took me 40 minutes to finish ONE KINDLE PAGE....Because....I had to look up names, details, history, science, artists, scholars, and other historical information. I wish I had been warned ahead of time of the HIGH PROBABILITY that I would need to STUDY Jodi Picoult’s research myself. It took me two weeks to finish this book....( long for me).It was often maddening, draining, ( sometimes interesting)... but a heck of a lot of personal work for me to read up on:...hieroglyphs, ...photogrammetry, ...geomatics,...digital mapping in 3-D compared to linear measuring, ...hieroglyphics & software technology, ...epigraphy, ( ancient Greek study of inscriptions), ...Djehutynakht ( an ancient Egyptian) who was known for his painted outer coffin ( commonly called Bersha coffin).......archaeological Coffin Texts....[The Book of Two Ways]... performance artist: Marina Abramovic...oppositional defiant disorder......sloughing off skin and brain cells...holding therapy...fat basenji...paleography......renaissance masters and French painters ( Manet)......Jean/Francois Champollion ( French scholar, philologist, and orientalist),...the tombs of necropolis and the tomb DjehutynakhtAND....... quantum mechanics: “We’re all made up of molecules, like those electrons, if you zoom in and zoom in and zoom in, everything we do is explained by quantum mechanics”. I questioned if readers would enjoy the heavy loaded details. I questioned if whether or not I could recommend this book to my friends?Yes, .... but ‘only’ with ‘advance warning’ and preparedness to ‘study’ the parts not familiar with - rather than skip over the history —Or again I ask: “then why bother?” “The last datable hieroglyphic inscription was written by a Nubian priest visiting Philae in 394 B.C.E., because even when the Byzantine emperor closed all the temples, he still let the Nubians come workshop Isis. Then the entire language was forgotten for fifteen hundred years— until the Rosetta Stone was founded in 1799. Written in demotic, hieroglyphs, and Greek, it’s an incredibly boring tax about tax benefits and temple priests— but because it bore the same message in three languages, it provided the code needed to crack the meaning of Ancient Egyptian writing. In 1822, Jean-Francois Champollion published the first translation of hieroglyphs”. So, for me, this book became ‘textbook’ 101-learning.... Four thousand years of history.....mixed with trying to get to know the protagonist -Dawn Edelstein-better. She was not an easy person to feel close to. Dawn questioned the life she was living with her husband Brian. It was clear that she loved her daughter Meret — and valued her job as a ‘death doula’ and her clients,( especially Win)....But....Dawn never stopped loving Wyatt Armstrong....( her Yale grad school heartthrob colleague, and competitor). Wyatt often called Dawn, ‘Olive’. To Wyatt’s credit ( and Jodi Picoult’s playfulness with intimacy), Wyatt’s flirtatious love expression toward Dawn was mockingly cute! “In spite of all that has happened in the past six weeks— from the days spent trying to repair the sieve of my marriage, to Win’s letter and the trip I made to London; from my last-minute decision to go to Egypt, to reuniting with Wyatt and the unearthing coffin— getting to this point feels both monumental and inevitable”.“There is nothing –– nothing—like being the one to discover a piece of the world that has gone missing”. My final conclusion.... there is some enjoyment, mystery suspense... some interesting history...But do not go into this book blindly. Be aware of the facts that it’s heavy loaded with facts!!!As for the ‘male/female/male’ theme in this book...(Dawn/Brian/Wyatt), > .... its a little Lifetime-movie-ish.Not necessarily a negative - but....it’s wise to be aware of it being what it is. Personally, I was hooked enough to invest my time in this book— but I was also frustrated with all the time it took. Simultaneously, a double edge sword reading experience was a mixture of positives and negatives. Thank you Netgalley, Random house publishing/Ballantine, and Jodi Picoult
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  • Cheri
    January 1, 1970
    ’To die will be an awfully big adventure.’ -- J. M. BarrieA story filled with remembrances of people, some who lived long ago in Egypt, buried in tombs, and some who passed more recently. Some memories still haunt Dawn, the choices she’s made through her life, as well as what she’s learned from her interactions with others, the stories they’ve shared. Stories that aren’t her stories, but have become a part of her. Dawn used to work toward her goal of being an Egyptologist, and in another lif ’To die will be an awfully big adventure.’ -- J. M. BarrieA story filled with remembrances of people, some who lived long ago in Egypt, buried in tombs, and some who passed more recently. Some memories still haunt Dawn, the choices she’s made through her life, as well as what she’s learned from her interactions with others, the stories they’ve shared. Stories that aren’t her stories, but have become a part of her. Dawn used to work toward her goal of being an Egyptologist, and in another life spent time in Egypt pursuing that, alongside Wyatt. But that comes to an unexpected end when she is needed back at home to care for her much younger brother. Eventually, she marries, and a daughter comes along after that. A happy-ish family, although their daughter Meret, now a young teenager, is struggling with confidence and body-image issues, along with the usual teenage-parent problems, and parental frustrations. These days she spends her work hours as a death doula, a woman who helps those in their final stages of life, as well as their family members. Preparing for it, assisting them along the way, and finally through the last transitions. She begins each day by remembering them, a way to keep them, their memories alive. This story goes back and forth in time and place, when Dawn is in Egypt, and when she is in Boston. Early on, it took me a bit to make that adjustment, and occasionally I had to restrain from looking up every. little. thing, but I ended up loving the different timelines, as well as the way this story slowly evolved. I loved the interjections of thoughts she had, such as when she talks about when her daughter Meret was little and used to say lasterday, as a reference for any point in time in the past. I loved reading about her interactions as a death doula, the love and care she gave to those in her care. That being said, I still felt that it would have been an even better story if the scientific aspects of this had been pared down, even a little.This is about the choices we make in life, and about our life, along with the circumstances that force us to make choices, how they can present us with alternate opportunities. The regrets, looking back on the road not taken, the things we feel we need to share, the people we feel a need to see as we face the end of life, or even the end of a way of life. Pub Date: 22 Sep 2020Many thanks for the ARC provided by Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Ballantine Books
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  • Kendall
    January 1, 1970
    WOW.. this was painful to finish.Oh my gosh..... I felt like I was reading a history book gone wrong. Ugh... I thought I was going to be reading another fabulous women's fiction novel but my goodness was bogged down with an Egyptian style textbook.YIKES.... wayyyy to many details about history. Yes, I can see how history was needed in some of this story but not the ENTIRE book.The heavy terms of archeology and Egyptian really make it hard to read this. It took me EXTRA long to read the majority WOW.. this was painful to finish.Oh my gosh..... I felt like I was reading a history book gone wrong. Ugh... I thought I was going to be reading another fabulous women's fiction novel but my goodness was bogged down with an Egyptian style textbook.YIKES.... wayyyy to many details about history. Yes, I can see how history was needed in some of this story but not the ENTIRE book.The heavy terms of archeology and Egyptian really make it hard to read this. It took me EXTRA long to read the majority of this book due to the heavy content of the story. I felt like I should have been looking up names, details, and definitions. I skimmed the majority of this book sadly and would not recommend to Picoult fans. This is nothing like her previous older novels that I fell in love with.2 starsThank you to Netgalley and Random House Ballantine for the arc in exchange for an honest review.Pub date: 9/22/20Published to GR: 5/25/20
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  • Marialyce
    January 1, 1970
    There are times that a book just seems to come at just the right moment. Perhaps it is because of a life situation, a death or birth, or just because one finds themselves at a junction in life where the subject matter hits home with multiple punches. I have a 94 year old mother who is frail and as I read this book my thoughts constantly drifted to her and the end of life choices she and I will eventually need to make. Death is an absolute. None of us escape death, none of us return from it, none There are times that a book just seems to come at just the right moment. Perhaps it is because of a life situation, a death or birth, or just because one finds themselves at a junction in life where the subject matter hits home with multiple punches. I have a 94 year old mother who is frail and as I read this book my thoughts constantly drifted to her and the end of life choices she and I will eventually need to make. Death is an absolute. None of us escape death, none of us return from it, none of us know what awaits us.Dawn Edelstein is studying to be an Egyptologist. She is a young woman on the cusp of fulfilling a dream when a phone call comes that changes forever the direction her life will take. Her mother is dying, and even though she has fallen in love with Wyatt Armstrong, another Egyptologist, she rushes home to be with her mother and her young brother at this stressful time. She will not return to Egypt to the land and the man she loves as duty to her mother and brother prevail.Dawn meets a man, a quantum physicist, Brian, who is brilliant and explores the concept that we, as living things could in theory live in alternate universes where are choices are different, and our lives are not ones we are now experiencing. They have a child, a daughter, and eventually marry but there is always at the back of Dawn's thoughts the idea of Wyatt. Dawn loves her husband but with a love not equal to that she shared with Wyatt. Will her love for Brian win the day or is Wyatt the person she can't live without?These are multiple themes explored in this story. The concept of ancient Egyptians's belief in an afterlife and preparation for it was fascinating. Dawn's eventual job as a death doula offered a unique and heart felt perspective into how we can prepare one for their demise. And ...what if we were able to live an alternate life? Would we have been with the person who first filled our life and our soul with his or her love? How many of us have thought back and wondered what road we would have traveled if our life followed the pathway of a first love? Where are these first loves now? I found the book to be utterly fascinating and it touched my emotional core and made me think and wonder and reflect. Do we actually at the end of our days wonder what if? Do we come to terms with the life we lead or do we constantly think perhaps if only.I absolutely loved this story, its message, its cautionary warning that life is fleeting and how we need to grab onto the moments that thrill us. There is much spoken of in this book of the ancient Egyptian stories and rituals of long ago with their plethora of gods, paths to follow, and rituals. I was fortunate in understanding this section, since I taught a unit on Egypt for many years to the many classes that passed through my teaching life. It fascinated me drew me back to the wonder and joy my students and I experienced exploring and learning of what came before us. I most definitely recommend this book for all the ways it might conjure up your thoughts, make you see a reality that perhaps you didn't chose, and realize that all of us will eventually face a life that will come to an end. It's the road we travel that we see in the end, its joy, its sorrows and perhaps the people we left behind along the way. Thank you to NetGalley for a copy of this book due out on September 22, 2020.
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  • Jamie beauty_andthebook_
    January 1, 1970
    An actual masterpiece from the queen, Jodi Picoult. The Book of Two Ways is structured with two possible paths - each one playing out what would happen if Dawn Edelstein chose one versus another. You might think this storytelling device has been popping up more often lately (and you'd be right) but trust me when I say Picoult spins this on its side in the best way. It's no secret that Picoult is my favorite author of all time and I've been reading her since high school when my mom begrudgingly l An actual masterpiece from the queen, Jodi Picoult. The Book of Two Ways is structured with two possible paths - each one playing out what would happen if Dawn Edelstein chose one versus another. You might think this storytelling device has been popping up more often lately (and you'd be right) but trust me when I say Picoult spins this on its side in the best way. It's no secret that Picoult is my favorite author of all time and I've been reading her since high school when my mom begrudgingly let me delve into her stash of books that were possibly "a little too mature" for a 13 year old but I'm grateful she did. In true JP style, this book is rich with research, mostly of Egyptian culture as well as in the world of a death doula and end of life practices and is as informative as it is entertaining. My best advice for this book is to go in blind, devour every page and appreciate the ride. You'll be glad you did.Thank you to Random House for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.
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  • Kati Berman
    January 1, 1970
    The Book of Two Ways by Jodi PiccoultI am a huge fan of Jodi Picoult, read most of her books and liked many of them, especially the earlier ones. I was excited to get The Book of Two Ways from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.While I appreciated the thorough research that went into writing this book both on Egyptology and being a death dula, this book just was not for me, especially in the middle of a pandemic. I couldn’t deal with all the morbid issues surrounding death and I didn’t c The Book of Two Ways by Jodi PiccoultI am a huge fan of Jodi Picoult, read most of her books and liked many of them, especially the earlier ones. I was excited to get The Book of Two Ways from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.While I appreciated the thorough research that went into writing this book both on Egyptology and being a death dula, this book just was not for me, especially in the middle of a pandemic. I couldn’t deal with all the morbid issues surrounding death and I didn’t care for the minute detail of Egyptology. So, overall I can only give three stars to this novel, all of it for the research.Thanks NetGalley, Random House and Jodi Picoult for the advanced copy.
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  • Christina
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this beautiful book, which is about roads (or lives) not taken. Dawn is a mother to a young daughter and a wife to Brian, but years ago, she was an Egyptologist, excavating tombs with the handsome and charismatic Wyatt. She leaves Egypt, and Wyatt, abruptly to attend to her dying mother at home, and then meets Brian. She marries him and never goes back to Egypt or the man she left behind. Fifteen years later, when Dawn is in a plane crash (no spoilers: this all occurs at at the beginning I loved this beautiful book, which is about roads (or lives) not taken. Dawn is a mother to a young daughter and a wife to Brian, but years ago, she was an Egyptologist, excavating tombs with the handsome and charismatic Wyatt. She leaves Egypt, and Wyatt, abruptly to attend to her dying mother at home, and then meets Brian. She marries him and never goes back to Egypt or the man she left behind. Fifteen years later, when Dawn is in a plane crash (no spoilers: this all occurs at at the beginning of the book) and facing possible death, it is not her husband she thinks of but her previous love Wyatt.The book then follows Dawn in her two lives: one at home in Boston with her husband and child, and her lost past life in Egypt, where she returns to see Wyatt and the life she left behind as an Egyptologist and excavator of Egyptian tombs. Dawn is two different people with the different men (Wyatt even has a different name for her) and she must choose one life, one man, and one person she wants to be going forward. The idea of the two possible lives is based on an ancient Egyptian text, The Book of Two Ways. I was fascinated by all the Egyptology in this book, the hieroglyphics, and the way the excavation of the tomb is used as a beautiful metaphor. There was definitely NOT too much Egyptology for me - but then, I have always been interested in Egypt and as a little girl I made my parents take me to see King Tut. This book renewed my interest and I did some heavy Googling to find out if the mummy king was real (fictional, but based on another real king) and the text of the Book of Two Ways was real (very real). This is a dense book with a lot of information (even some quantum physics!) and it will take a significant investment of your time and heart, but the rewards are great. It sounds wild, but somehow Jodi Picoult always makes me feel like I have learned something huge about life, and I leave her books feeling enlightened. In this case, the book had a lot of pretty deep things to say about life and death, and the unfinished things we feel we need to do or see before we die.. It was also beautifully validating of the fact that we all have paths in our lives that we did not take that perhaps we will always wonder about. The structure of the book and the several big reveals are just beautifully executed. I have some mixed feelings about the ending but it was lovely and fitting. Thanks to NetGalley, Jodi Picoult and Ballantine Books for the advance copy of this transcendent book in exchange for my honest review.
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  • The Story Girl
    January 1, 1970
    The cover and synposis are up, and I can. not. wait!!! And what I wouldn't do for an ARC! The cover and synposis are up, and I can. not. wait!!! And what I wouldn't do for an ARC!
  • Irene
    January 1, 1970
    The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult. Was so looking forward to a new Jodi Picoult book. Reading the first part I developed an acute case of spring fever. I kept looking out the window wanting to be outside wishing the bell would ring so the lecture would end. It was well researched as with all Ms Picoult's books. The story had an interesting premise but there was too much technical information and not enough on the characters. Guess this is a book of two ways, either you going to like it or not The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult. Was so looking forward to a new Jodi Picoult book. Reading the first part I developed an acute case of spring fever. I kept looking out the window wanting to be outside wishing the bell would ring so the lecture would end. It was well researched as with all Ms Picoult's books. The story had an interesting premise but there was too much technical information and not enough on the characters. Guess this is a book of two ways, either you going to like it or not. Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley for the opportunity to preview the book.
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  • Kerri
    January 1, 1970
    This didn’t wow me like most of Picoult’s books. I thought the parts about her being a death doula were more interesting than the Egyptology portions which felt like a history book at times.
  • Wendy
    January 1, 1970
    Jodi Picoult's desire to write a book involving Egyptology and The Book Of Two Ways seems to have gotten in the way of her usual character and plot development. This book didn't seem to have a real clear flow and at the end I didn't feel like I knew or cared about the characters.
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    THE BOOK OF TWO WAYSBY JODI PICOULTI was really grateful to receive my Advanced Reader's Copy of THE BOOK OF TWO WAYS, by JODI PICOULT. It was a novel that is near and dear to my heart. My oldest son always wanted to be an archaeologist and this novel gave me a greater understanding of what he might be doing. In this novel The Book of Two Ways was symbolic of the different life path's one can choose. Either the one you are currently on or the one you wish you took. Which one is the right path to THE BOOK OF TWO WAYSBY JODI PICOULTI was really grateful to receive my Advanced Reader's Copy of THE BOOK OF TWO WAYS, by JODI PICOULT. It was a novel that is near and dear to my heart. My oldest son always wanted to be an archaeologist and this novel gave me a greater understanding of what he might be doing. In this novel The Book of Two Ways was symbolic of the different life path's one can choose. Either the one you are currently on or the one you wish you took. Which one is the right path to living your best life?In this novel the book starts out with an airplane crash and then alternates sections about Dawn McDowell as a graduate student at Yale getting her PhD in Egyptology in 2003 and fifteen years later in 2018 going back to Egypt to see Wyatt Armstrong the other teaching assistant whom she was the other under Professor Dumphries in 2003. In 2018 Wyatt Armstrong has taken over the dig in Egypt and has finished his publication of his dissertation and has taken Professor Dumphrie's position as Yale's Director of Near Eastern Studies. In between these two time period's Dawn has gotten married to Brian Edelstein and has had a daughter named Meret who she loves fiercely.Brian is a physicist who teaches Quantum Mechanics and is a professor. Dawn met Brian when she got a call that her mother was dying in hospice and his grandmother had recently died. Brian stayed at the hospice for Dawn's sake to be a shoulder to lean on. Brian's income as a professor has allowed Dawn to become a Death Doula. Someone who is not only there for her dying client but to also help the grieving family members. Dawn will help the dying with any unfinished business as happens with her current client Winnifred Morse who lives in Newtonville and asks Dawn to help her write a letter to Win's former boyfriend who she met before her current husband Felix. Her boyfriend she met as an artist.Dawn and Win have something in common.What I was most impressed about in Jodi Picoult's newest novel and I have loved all of them, but in this one she really succeeds in making me feel the power of love in all its different forms. The love that is so powerful for your child. The love that is a grateful love towards a spouse in a long term marriage. The love for your first love that has been interrupted for some reason and a longing and wonder to how thing's might have been have you had the chance to pursue it. The niggling wonder to what might have been...? Dawn's marriage to Brian has hit a rough patch after fifteen years. In what Dawn suspects as Brian cheating by Brian helping out his PhD student named Gita install an air conditioner. Brian forgets Meret's birthday celebration dinner while he is helping Gita. Is that really considered an emotional affair? What I appreciated about the way Jodi Picoult writes this narrative is in a conversation that Brian has many times with Dawn telling her that Gita means nothing to him. He expresses this to Dawn several times but she still thinks he had an emotional affair but Picoult asks the reader did Brian really have an affair or is that just Dawn's interpretation? I love how Brian tells Dawn at fifteen years of marriage "Love is a choice." Dawn doesn't think that her going back and seeing Wyatt is cheating because Brian did it first, but did he really? That question is left open for the reader to decide. I think that Brian is committed to Dawn and Meret. It was clear to me that Brian's priority was Dawn and his daughter Meret. He is an example of the the symbolism of this book's title. So isn't the symbolism of this novel's title in how Winifred Morse thinks it is okay to do what she does which again is a powerful love towards Thane and also a wholesome love towards her current husband Felix. Both women justify what they are doing is okay but I considered to be a profound love by their words on the written page. I LOVED THIS NOVEL FOR THE STRENGTH AND NUANCES OF ALL OF THE DIFFERENT MYRIAD OF WAYS THAT A PERSON CAN LOVE. This is Jodi Picoult's prowess as a skilled writer to be able to allow me to feel these different facets of love. She has written another hit by soaring a home run right out of the park with this one. Her talent is illuminated once again for her ability to make me feel. I will read everything that she writes in the future. Every time she writes a book it is strong and this one is both multilayered but also interesting and touched my heart. The Book of Two Ways in many ways is symbolic not only in Egyptology but life.Thank you to Net Galley, Jodi Picoult and Random House Publishing Group-Ballantine for providing me with my ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.Publication Date: September 22, 2020#TheBookofTwoWays #JodiPicoult #RandomHousePublishing-Ballantine #NetGalley
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  • Erin Sykstus
    January 1, 1970
    I have been a huge Jodi Picoult fan since I was young and I would steal my mom's copies to read in middle school. I love that she is able to write stories that not only educate you and give you perspective on complicated and usually intense topics, but also that she does it in a way that makes you feel. like you're apart of the story. The Book of Two Ways is extremely well written, well researched, and moving. While it it drifts a bit from her usual dramatic writing style, it is extremely profou I have been a huge Jodi Picoult fan since I was young and I would steal my mom's copies to read in middle school. I love that she is able to write stories that not only educate you and give you perspective on complicated and usually intense topics, but also that she does it in a way that makes you feel. like you're apart of the story. The Book of Two Ways is extremely well written, well researched, and moving. While it it drifts a bit from her usual dramatic writing style, it is extremely profound in the sense that it provides honest and accurate accounts of death and loss and the pain of moving forward. While it is a fictional story, I think it also provides a perspective that everyone needs to have in regards to the stigma regarding end-of-life care and the role that we need to provide while supporting someone that is dying. While I loved the characters and the stories they told, I also think this book is capable of shifting perspectives and shedding a light on topics that are not frequently talked about. Thank you to NetGalley and Ballantine/Random House for providing an ARC!
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  • Leslie
    January 1, 1970
    Received this book as an ARC from Netgalley. I have read and enjoyed many Picoult books over the years, so I was very much looking forward to this one. Unfortunately, the book is so bogged down with the Egyptian history and physics lessons that it’s just not enjoyable, and I didn’t want to finish it.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    There's no two ways about it, Jodi Picoult knows how to craft a compelling story. Her extensive research provided framework to visualize Ancient Egypt and interpret hieroglyphs. At times I found it difficult to determine if the story took place in the past or present but love proved to be the ties that bind. Egyptology is at the center of Dawn's world until a tragic event alters her life's course. Forced to make a split decision, she put aside her dreams to save her family. 'The Book of Two Ways There's no two ways about it, Jodi Picoult knows how to craft a compelling story. Her extensive research provided framework to visualize Ancient Egypt and interpret hieroglyphs. At times I found it difficult to determine if the story took place in the past or present but love proved to be the ties that bind. Egyptology is at the center of Dawn's world until a tragic event alters her life's course. Forced to make a split decision, she put aside her dreams to save her family. 'The Book of Two Ways' opens 'Sliding Doors' with a dose of 'The Time Traveler's Wife' serving up a modern-day account of living for the present while honoring the past. As a death doula, Dawn assists terminal patients to make the most of each day. She provides a beacon of hope for loved ones and allows her charges to die with dignity fulfilling their final wishes. Winning the patient lottery, Winifred 'Win' Morse is a shinning example of living for the moment. Her bright spirit is damped by remorsefully thinking of her lost love. While Dawn shows Win to let go, her patient teaches Dawn how to live. Thank you to #NetGalley and the publisher for the early read in exchange for an honest review. #TheBookofTwoWays reawakened my love of history and learning about other cultures. At times I wanted to get back to the central story and found myself bogged down by historical figures and scientific terms. That being said, they provided a benchmark to measure Dawn and Brian's story and fan the flames of Wyatt's and Olive's affair. Rating: 3.5/5
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  • Kasa Cotugno
    January 1, 1970
    A reader picks up a Jodi Picoult novel for specific reasons. A story well told usually containing some mystery, with enclosed life lessons and usually a twist they didn't see coming. This novel, sadly, has none of that. I'm afraid she seems to have jumped the shark, or several sharks as the case may be. Much the same as with James Michener in later years, there doesn't seem to have been much editing going on here -- great swaths of pages that repeat needlessly. Both storylines are bloated with d A reader picks up a Jodi Picoult novel for specific reasons. A story well told usually containing some mystery, with enclosed life lessons and usually a twist they didn't see coming. This novel, sadly, has none of that. I'm afraid she seems to have jumped the shark, or several sharks as the case may be. Much the same as with James Michener in later years, there doesn't seem to have been much editing going on here -- great swaths of pages that repeat needlessly. Both storylines are bloated with detail and description that stall the plot, plus two romantic entanglements with exceptional, well educated men who are over the moon for the narrator, and that kind of narrative gets old. Fast. If I hadn't had to write a review, I wouldn't have finished it..
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  • Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars. Thank you to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for my electronic ARC in exchange for my honest review. This book will be published September 22, 2020. Jodi Picoult is one of a few authors I follow; I will ALWAYS read her latest book. I’ve probably read 10 books by her and they are all vastly different. The common theme is she is an expert story-teller and she does thorough research on whatever topic she chooses. I’m not particularly interested in Egyptian archeology or the Art of Dying a 4.5 stars. Thank you to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for my electronic ARC in exchange for my honest review. This book will be published September 22, 2020. Jodi Picoult is one of a few authors I follow; I will ALWAYS read her latest book. I’ve probably read 10 books by her and they are all vastly different. The common theme is she is an expert story-teller and she does thorough research on whatever topic she chooses. I’m not particularly interested in Egyptian archeology or the Art of Dying and yet I got sucked in, after a slow start when I thought I’d be buried in historical facts. I quickly learned I was rather fascinated by both topics, which only serve as backdrops to the two love stories that are playing out 15 years apart. The book raises the question of What If? What role does fate play in our relationships? My only critique is it ended abruptly without answering a really important question. (No spoilers here).
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  • Rae
    January 1, 1970
    At a different time. I may have liked this book. I felt like I was slogging through it. I really disliked the Egyptian part of the story. I found it boring even though I saw the need for it.
  • Kelly 💜☕️
    January 1, 1970
    This sounds so good.... I would love an ARC!!!!
  • MJ
    January 1, 1970
    FINALLY. I can't wait to read it the plot sounds very interesting and promising. Bring on the angst please.
  • Trinia
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Ballantine Books , Netgalley and Jodi Picoult for the opportunity to read this arc edition in exchange for an honest review.In general I tend to remember the endings of books and how the book left me feeling. Quickly I forget how slowly the story developed or sometimes even how it started... when it's a really good book. I'm a little torn about this book. I find Ms. Picoult tends to deliver most of her books in that fashion, drawing you in and making you feel like part of the story. Thank you to Ballantine Books , Netgalley and Jodi Picoult for the opportunity to read this arc edition in exchange for an honest review.In general I tend to remember the endings of books and how the book left me feeling. Quickly I forget how slowly the story developed or sometimes even how it started... when it's a really good book. I'm a little torn about this book. I find Ms. Picoult tends to deliver most of her books in that fashion, drawing you in and making you feel like part of the story. That wow moment that grabs you and keeps your interest to the end. With this book I had to look back on my thoughts and consider more than just that one ah ha moment. This book travels back and forth from Boston to Egypt with a tenuous love triangle including a child. It's messy and complicated and painful. I've concluded that I liked this book ... was it my favorite book by Jodi Picoult? No, but I did enjoy it enough to give it 4 stars. Initially, I felt like she was trying too hard with her Egyptian research, putting in too many facts about Egypt and it's history, loosely tying it to the main character's current story of being a Death Doula, which was very interesting by itself. On a side note, the conversations between our MC, Dawn and her patients are like beautiful lyrics in a song. I imagine myself in those situations and I could never respond in such perfect language. It's simply exquisite! Writing about the timing in conversations and responses are impressive, like poety. But I digress... This is basically a love story started in the past and a current relationship hanging by a thread. Our main character us then forced to choose between them, causing pain to someone either way. It is well thought out, developed, researched but I didn't Love it, it fell a little flat in the end. The strengths of this book are Picoult's writing and insight into relationships. Weakness would be the excessive details about Egyptian history. I could see her feeling the need to develop such detail , but I felt like I was reading two books, not a book about two ways.I recommend this book for fans of Contemporary Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance and Historical Fiction.
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  • R
    January 1, 1970
    Book of Two Ways was a beautifully written and well researched story with multiple layers of intensity including Egyptology and its Book of Two Ways, quantum physics, and the multiverse parallel universe. On a less intense level there were Irish superstitions dispersed throughout the story which added a bit of levity when needed. On an emotional level the characters dealt with the lost of lives and loves, second chances, fat shaming, and acceptance of the choices made. There was also a story of Book of Two Ways was a beautifully written and well researched story with multiple layers of intensity including Egyptology and its Book of Two Ways, quantum physics, and the multiverse parallel universe. On a less intense level there were Irish superstitions dispersed throughout the story which added a bit of levity when needed. On an emotional level the characters dealt with the lost of lives and loves, second chances, fat shaming, and acceptance of the choices made. There was also a story of love: a mother’s love for her daughter and the people who have impacted Dawn’s life- before the death of her mother and after it. Everything about this story was compelling. I enjoyed the characters, their careers, the different timelines, and settings. I found Dawn’s job as a death doula interesting. Her interactions with her clients, especially Win, were filled with compassion and heartache. I also loved how the story evolved, especially when the past and present converged. Overall, the storyline was not only thought provoking and engaging but also educational.An ARC was given for an honest review.
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  • Marla
    January 1, 1970
    Will you have regrets as you leave this world? Do you question your choices and wonder where a different path might have taken you? Would you be happier? What would it be like? Dawn Edelstein reflected upon these questions after she survived a terrible plane crash. She regretted not finishing her studies in Egypt because she had to leave to care for her dying mother in Boston. She also questioned leaving behind her true love Wyatt. She was currently married to Brian and had a beautiful daughter Will you have regrets as you leave this world? Do you question your choices and wonder where a different path might have taken you? Would you be happier? What would it be like? Dawn Edelstein reflected upon these questions after she survived a terrible plane crash. She regretted not finishing her studies in Egypt because she had to leave to care for her dying mother in Boston. She also questioned leaving behind her true love Wyatt. She was currently married to Brian and had a beautiful daughter Meret in Boston with a job as a death doula. She agonized over continuing on with her life as it is or choosing the life she left behind years ago .The intertwining story of Dawns client Win added insight to why Dawn was deeply questioning her life. Even though death is an uncomfortable topic I found this part of the book deeply touching and beautifully written. The history of the Egyptian burial sites was also interesting but could have been cut down some to help the flow of the story. I enjoyed this book so much! It touched me in a deep emotional way that I can't even explain right now. I need time to process it.
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  • Betsy Dunphy
    January 1, 1970
    This is far and away Jodi Picoult's best! She deftly weaves the threads of multiple love stories with the mysticism of ancient Egypt and quantum physics, Picoult's narrative draws you deep into her main character's head as she struggles with the trajectory of her life as a talented scientist to mother and wife and back.
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  • Leona
    January 1, 1970
    I’m so thankful for the ARC of this book. Picoult is my favorite author - fiercely intelligent, pushing concepts and scenarios that always make me wonder 'what if'' or 'what would I do?' I got a little lost with the Egyptology since I was tearing through the book, I tried to grab what was relevant to the story from the references. The physics aspect is a good contrast to the archaeology. The relationships and dynamics, those were morsels I savored. Beautiful, though provoking sentences and parag I’m so thankful for the ARC of this book. Picoult is my favorite author - fiercely intelligent, pushing concepts and scenarios that always make me wonder 'what if'' or 'what would I do?' I got a little lost with the Egyptology since I was tearing through the book, I tried to grab what was relevant to the story from the references. The physics aspect is a good contrast to the archaeology. The relationships and dynamics, those were morsels I savored. Beautiful, though provoking sentences and paragraphs. Real life mentions of Curious George, magnadoodles , the time warp of hospice....these things I could relate to.. Due to the pandemic, isolation and vulnerability influence everything I’m reading. This novel was a great exercise for my mind and spirit. I recommend this book! Thank you NetGalley for making this available.
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  • Sabrina
    January 1, 1970
    Never planned to read a Jodi Picoult in my life (no particular reason, it just didn’t seem like my thing) but I’ll be dammed if this synopsis doesn’t intrigue the hell out of me
  • PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
    January 1, 1970
    ***Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a complimentary copy of THE BOOK OF TWO WAYS by Jodi Picoult in exchange for my honest review.***I feel like I won the ARC lottery when I received notice that I had been approved to review Jodi Picoult’s latest masterpiece, which is not hyperbole. THE BOOK OF TWO WAYS is filled not just with plot, but also voluminous information on Egyptology with sprinkles of information on physics. Beneath all the facts is the story of Dawn Edelstein and the roads taken ***Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a complimentary copy of THE BOOK OF TWO WAYS by Jodi Picoult in exchange for my honest review.***I feel like I won the ARC lottery when I received notice that I had been approved to review Jodi Picoult’s latest masterpiece, which is not hyperbole. THE BOOK OF TWO WAYS is filled not just with plot, but also voluminous information on Egyptology with sprinkles of information on physics. Beneath all the facts is the story of Dawn Edelstein and the roads taken and not taken. A plane crash give Dawn the opportunity to go back to Egypt to revisit a dissertation and never finished and a love with Wyatt she left unfinished. Or she Venmo go home to a surly teenage daughter Meret and husband Brian, who didn’t stray physically, but emotionally. I was squarely #TeamWyatt. Their chemistry dropped from the pages, where Brian made me yawn, although personally I’m more of a Brian type.I had some difficult connecting with the Egyptology information, as it’s not a personal area of interest or an area I’d choose to explore. I found myself feeling out of my league and skimming parts of this and the physics information. I understood Schrödinger’s cat more before reading pages about how the cat could be both dead and alive. For readers hoping for a straight story, this might be a turnoff. I was perfectly fine enjoying the richness of Picoult’s storytelling omitting the certain parts.Few writers have Picoult’s skill to immerse herself in exhaustive research and weave that information so seamlessly into a story as Picoult and fellow New Englander Chris Bohjalian. I am in awe of their talent.Dawn is a death doula, which is like a hospice Jill-of-all-trades. I have a friend who just began work in this field, the work of metaphoric angels. I liked Dawn very much, even when I didn’t understand her choices or decisions.THE BOOK OF TWO WAYS is a showcase of the Picoult’s prowess as a storyteller. It may not appeal to all her readers. I hope her fans will read without feeling intimidated by material which may be beyond their areas of interest and that they can take the parts they embrace and leave the rest for others.
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  • Willow
    January 1, 1970
    4.5// I have loved Jodi Picoult's writing since I read her novel Nineteen Minutes. At the time, I had no idea how much her words would impact me, and sit with me. I just remember learning she was from New Hampshire, and thinking how cool that was. Since then I have read a handful of her novels, each one just as good as the last. Her books made me think I wanted to be a lawyer, or a judge, something like that. She quickly became my favorite writer. She is incredible at destroying the lines betwee 4.5// I have loved Jodi Picoult's writing since I read her novel Nineteen Minutes. At the time, I had no idea how much her words would impact me, and sit with me. I just remember learning she was from New Hampshire, and thinking how cool that was. Since then I have read a handful of her novels, each one just as good as the last. Her books made me think I wanted to be a lawyer, or a judge, something like that. She quickly became my favorite writer. She is incredible at destroying the lines between right and wrong, making you question your morals, and everything you once believed to be true. The research she puts into her novels is impressive. In her novels, the characters become alive, and real, until you are hurting with them, and imagining yourself going through the same struggles.When I saw that Jodi Picoult's latest creation was available as an ARC on Netgalley, I was overjoyed. I remember reading the description, but also thinking that it wouldn't matter what it was about, because I would read it regardless. That being said, it was difficult for me to get into this book at first. As I said above, Picoult puts so much time and effort into making her characters genuine, and real. I read about Dawn and Wyatt’s passion for egyptology, and Brian's fascination for quantum mechanics, feeling like I actually knew these people. A lot of it did go over my head, but at its heart, this novel is more than egypt and quantum mechanics. It is about life, and death, and the choices we make, and who we are as a result. This is achieved through shifting settings/timelines. One, where Dawn is in Land/Egypt, and the other where Dawn is in Water/Boston. These occur simultaneously with one another, supporting Brian's ideas about quantum mechanics and alternate universes, but also The Book of Two Ways, which describes how egyptians believe they get to the afterlife, either choosing the path on land, or through the water. At first glance this novel seems like the classic plot: if you could live two lives simultaneously, what would those look like? But I promise this book is so much more than that. Trust me, I have read my fair share of worn out alternate reality/universe novels. Once again Jodi Picoult took my expectations and turned them around, playing with my emotions all at the same time.
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  • Donna Hines
    January 1, 1970
    This was really a journey into two separate worlds from present day to past archaelogy digs with Wyatt via Egyptology.Who knew this would be so intriguing with ancient burial sites, hieroglyphics, and the study of human nature especially with the author's own personal experiences with her son studying this fascinating arena of information.It truly was a unique treat to read as we venture right along with Dawn to the coming of age that includes a past love, a pregnancy, and a revelation that will This was really a journey into two separate worlds from present day to past archaelogy digs with Wyatt via Egyptology.Who knew this would be so intriguing with ancient burial sites, hieroglyphics, and the study of human nature especially with the author's own personal experiences with her son studying this fascinating arena of information.It truly was a unique treat to read as we venture right along with Dawn to the coming of age that includes a past love, a pregnancy, and a revelation that will shock to the core.What is love?What defines a 'biological' parent?Is blood thicker than water?When a plane crash joggles the memory we go down ol company road to a place long lost that Dawn left in 2003 (15 yrs earlier) with Wyatt taking her to the Cairo airport.It picks back up with her interest in this burial site when she returns to see this coffin while paying for the expedition.The old flames ignite but we are lead through a maze of sorts that explain the emotions eloquently on paper.The Book of Two Ways was a diamond in the rough that I hope you enjoy as much as I have because every inch of this was lovely, inquisitive, and delightful.It really makes one wonder what is truly most important in life and what's worth fighting for...Thank you to Jodi, the publisher, NetGalley, and Kindle for this ARC in exchange for this honest review.
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