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The Book of Two Ways

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  31,265 ratings  ·  5,208 reviews
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
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published September 22nd 2020 by Ballantine
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Barb I agree. I skimmed thru a lot of the Egyptian information and quantum physics. Then I felt bad because she did a lot of research to be able to write a…moreI agree. I skimmed thru a lot of the Egyptian information and quantum physics. Then I felt bad because she did a lot of research to be able to write about it.(less)
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Average rating 3.64  · 
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 ·  31,265 ratings  ·  5,208 reviews

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Nilufer Ozmekik
May 11, 2020 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Aug 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, womens-fiction
Because if there is a garden of maybes, you are the invasive plant I can’t ever get rid of.

If there’s one thing I appreciate, it’s a storyline with the power to make me think, to ponder the intricacies of life. The Book of Two Ways provides a contemplative look at the multitude of possible paths set before us, the regret that can linger in the shadows of our choices, and the reality that each one of us will one day reach the end of the road. In signature Jodi Picoult fashion, it’s evident a
Elyse  Walters
May 11, 2020 rated it liked it
This novel should come with a warning:
“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
Jun 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Jodi Picoult's latest novel is a fascinating exploration of life, love, Egyptology and Egyptian history, and Physics, regrets and wondering how life might have turned out if different life choices had been made. It has some commonalities with a book I recently read, Matt Haig's The Midnight Library, such as what makes life worth living, what really matters, and the need to focus on living, as life is short. Fortunately, reading this book was made easier as I already had an interest and some fami ...more
May 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
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
Taylor Reid
Oct 30, 2020 added it
Shelves: 2020
I also got to meet Jodi Picoult this past month (on Zoom but it still counts!) and gosh, I love her. Want to dive headfirst into Egyptian tombs? Jodi’s research is unbelievable. She puts you right there, on the front lines of archaeological digs, like you're right next to Indiana Jones. And, no surprise, it’s great. It’s a thoughtful, accessible, brilliant, and thought-provoking look at the meaning of life—and what we do to give our lives meaning. ...more
Aug 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed-by-me
Mummies, love, and a plane crash - oh my!

Shortest Summary Ever: Dawn Edelstein nearly dies in a plane crash. This moment draws her back to Egypt where she left her former life behind (and a man named Wyatt) 15 years ago. Then there’s Bryan and her daughter Meret back in Boston - the life she’s created that’s also dear. Where should she go?

Thoughts: I love Picoult when she’s not giving the expected, and so I enjoyed this book. To keep my review spoiler free I can say this - it’s brutally honest,
Oct 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: buddy-read, netgalley
After my first read by Jodi Picoult Small Great Things, which received a multitude of 5-star reviews (including mine), I was excited to get started on her latest release.

Unfortunately, I may have chosen the wrong book to continue the journey. There were so many reviews revealing the primary focus was on Egyptology, while the storyline itself got lost along the way.

Sadly, I couldn’t agree more.

Even though I went in with an open mind, willing to discover something new, it began feeling more li
Aug 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
3.5 stars

"Life asked death, 'Why do people love me but hate you? ‘Death responded 'Because you are a beautiful lie and I am a painful truth." -Unknown

Prepare for a Crash Landing. Everything changes for Dawn Edelstein when she is on a plane preparing to crash. As the plane goes down her thoughts are on Wyatt Armstrong, a man she loved and last saw 15 years ago, she does not think of her husband Brian or the life they had in Boston with their daughter, Merit.

Dawn is an interesting woman. She g
Sep 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Nothing like a plane crash to make you re-think your life. That’s what happens to Dawn. She is one of 36 survivors to walk away from a crash. She uses the opportunity to fly anywhere by the airline to return to Egypt. Fifteen years ago, she was a grad student helping with a dig at Deir el-Bersha. Now, she’s a death doula with a husband and daughter.
Picoult uses The Book of Two Ways, the Egyptian “guidebook” for the afterlife as a metaphor about the choices we make while on earth. Because maybe
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Sep 15, 2020 rated it really liked it

When she was in her mid-twenties, Dawn McDowell was a Ph.D. candidate in the Yale Egyptology program....

.....headed by Professor Dumphries, who led the department's dig at Deir el-Bersha.

Dawn and fellow graduate student, Wyatt Armstrong - a handsome, golden-haired Brit....

.....rubbed each other the wrong way from day one, each vying to be the best and the brightest, and competing to be Dumphries' favorite.

Dawn and Wyatt sniped at each other constantly until the day they discovered a depinto - a
Susanne  Strong
Nov 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
Do you ever have those nightmares where you didn’t actually graduate University because you missed a few credits? Reading this book made me feel like I failed classes in Egyptology and Quantum Physics and therefore failed out of College.

This novel is about Dawn, a woman whose life is unfulfilled, even though she is married to Brian and has a teenaged daughter. Years prior, in college, she met and fell for Wyatt who she has never forgotten.

When the plane Dawn is on crashes, she has an opportunit
Michael David
Sep 04, 2020 rated it liked it
A book about love and loss, life and death...oh, and Egypt. A whole lot about Egyptology.

Dawn lives in Boston with her husband, Brian, and her teenaged daughter, Merit. She is a death doula, someone who is there to support a dying person any way necessary. After the plane taking her home to Boston crashes unexpectedly, Dawn (one of only 36 survivors) can’t help but thinking about how close she just came to death, and the unfinished business she has with the love of her life. His name is Wyatt A
’To die will be an awfully big adventure.’
-- J. M. Barrie

A 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
Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors. Some of her books have been some of my all-time favorites. I finished this book about a month ago and I’ve sat on this review because I’m not quite sure what I think. I had just finished another book that had referenced the multi-verse so I thought that it was interesting when it was brought up in this book as well. I thought the concept of how every different choice impacts our lives however big or small. Also to think that there could possibly be ano ...more
Aug 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love the way that Jodi Picoult continues to grow and explore new narrative structures: moving backwards in time in "A Spark of Light" a la "Time's Arrow," or offering us a nonlinear examination of one woman's exploration of "what might have been" in her latest novel, "The Book of Two Ways." And "what might have been" is indeed the crux of this emotionally rich and complex novel. Some of the small moments of families in crisis in Massachusetts are tender and wistful -- the protagonist's family, ...more
Aug 04, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Book of Two Ways is an ancient Egyptian text and belief depicting the path a soul can take to the Afterlife.

Dawn Edelstein lives in Boston, she’s a death doula preparing terminally ill patients and their families for the inevitable. She’s been married to Brian, a physicist, for fifteen years and they have a daughter, Meret. Dawn experiences a dramatic and life changing event which leads to a choice and she has to make a decision about which path or two ways her life should take. Should she
Kasa Cotugno
May 26, 2020 rated it did not like it
A reader picks up a Jodi Picoult novel for specific reasons. A story well told 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 an ...more
Sep 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
I began reading this ARC just prior to the publication date, thinking I could breeze through...I thought wrong.

Holy cow, is this a heavy read. Not emotionally heavy like My Dark Vanessa, but heavy like, "I have huge exams for my Egyptology, Quantum Physics, and Death for Dummies classes tomorrow and I haven't even started studying! I need crash courses...let me go find my Jodi Picoult book, The Book of Two Ways...that should do it!"

Egypt. Death. Quantum Physics. Uh...

The actual story seemed
Jessica | JustReadingJess
The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult is a very unique book that I enjoyed a lot.

The Book of Two Ways is a very complex story. There is the double timeline which is very unique and I loved. The Book of Two Ways has historical information from Egypt. This was spread throughout the story of Dawn and Wyatt. I thought this added to the story.

I have read all of Jodi Picoult’s books and loved all of them. The Book of Two Ways is no different. The Book of Two Ways has everything you would expect in a Pi
Sherri Thacker
I see I’m in the minority with only giving this book 2 stars. It started out very slow and it didn’t grab me so i stopped at 25%. Too much Egyptian lingo for me. I found myself skimming through a lot of the little part I read. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this early release in exchange for my honest review.
Oct 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The minute I read some of the reviews of this book I decided I had to read it too. As many other people, I have a slight fascination for Egyptology – with a copy of the Book of the Dead in my study and 800 pictures taken during an unforgettable holiday to Egypt in 2012. In contrast to the situation nowadays, as the author describes, we took trains without a problem and even visited Minya. I must admit that the situation for tourists was deemed rather dangerous, so with a group of 18 people we we ...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Dec 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dining-room-1
Thank you to Random House for the gifted book.

3.5 starts!

The first one I read was My Sister’s Keeper. I admired how the author addressed ethical issues in a thoughtful, well-balanced way from the different perspectives of the characters. Over the years, I read more of her books as they released, and I could not be more impressed with how she has evolved and tackled even more hard-hitting issues in that same thoughtful way, while each book is distinctly unique.

The Book of Two Ways could not be an
Jamie Rosenblit
Apr 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
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
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Happy Publication Day to this unique and fascinating read.

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 pla
Sonja Arlow
4.5 stars

Based on the current 3.7 star average rating this book is not getting a lot of love from the goodreads community. But I thought this was one of Jodi’s best books to date.

The Book of Two Ways is an actual collection of Coffin texts that ancient Egyptians included in the coffins of their dead. This depicts two paths a soul can take to the same destination. Both paths are full of strife and temptation where the soul gets tested.

It’s a perfect entry point for the story. Its about two choi
Dale Harcombe
The story starts with Dawn suddenly face to face with her own mortality when the plane she is traveling on plunges out of the sky. Then the tale turns backwards to Egypt and the life Dawn initially thought would always be hers, as an Egyptologist. But fate or circumstances had other plans for her. Dawn ends up getting a phone call that sends her home to care for her mother and young brother, Kieran. During this time she meets and come to love Brian. She ends up with a daughter Meret and married ...more
Never thought I would put a DNF next to a Jodi Picoult book but I just couldn't get into this one and have too many other books I can't wait to get my hands on to spend more time with it. Felt too much like non-fiction and a plot that I just couldn't get into. Won't rate this one since I only read about 25% (and it took me four days to struggle through that much). ...more
Jul 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is the 28th book by Jodi Picoult that I’ve read, so I think it’s fair to say that she is one of my favorite authors. Even though my average rating for her books are 3.2 stars I love that I mostly get exactly what I signed up for.

What makes JP unique is that she is so good at showing both sides of the story and making you understand and feel equally and deeply for both POV’s. But in The Book of Two Ways what had most impact for me, was how much she was able to pack into this story. I loved t
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Play Book Tag: The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult, 3.5 stars 1 22 Nov 24, 2020 11:53PM  

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Jodi Picoult is the author of twenty-six novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Small Great Things, A Spark of Light, Leaving Time, The Storyteller, Lone Wolf, Between the Lines, Sing You Home, House Rules, Handle with Care, Change of Heart, Nineteen Minutes, and My Sister’s Keeper. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children.

Her new novel, THE BOOK OF TWO WAYS, is

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