3 Jan 2021

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Book Review / The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult


From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Small Great Things and A Spark of Light comes a riveting novel about the choices that change the course of our lives.

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?

Published:    22nd September 2020
Publisher:  Ballantine
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned




What a beautiful story.   I have been reading Jodi Picoult's novels for a long time now and, for me, they just keep getting better and better.  In this story, we follow the main character Dawn.  At the beginning she is in a plane crash which she miraculously survives from.  Before the plane crash she was a wife and a mother living a 'normal live'.  Before her normal live existed, she was a egyptologist.  The two lives could not have been more different.  The plane crash gives Dawn a moment of reflection and plants the seed of wonder in her mind as to what would have been if she had stayed in Egypt.  We follow Dawn.

This was a slow read for me, but that's not a bad thing.  I loved it.  The pace of story made me slow down and really enjoy the atmosphere and follow Dawn as she rediscovers what she left behind.  I have always been interested in Egypt and Egyptology and have not come across many books based on that, so that was a particular aspect of this that I enjoyed a lot. 

It is a very interesting question to follow in this story.  Where would I be now if I had made a different choice?  Here Dawn is actually attempting to find out what would have happened.   Sometimes the path less travelled was less travelled for a reason but maybe it is worth it.

I would highly recommend this story, particularly if you do have an interest in Egypt and Egyptology as that is a large part of this novel.