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Publisher's Summary

Number one New York Times best seller

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. 

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 15 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?

©2020 Jodi Picoult (P)2020 Random House Audio

What listeners say about The Book of Two Ways

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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

Living, dying, regrets, and second chances

Loved this book! Loved the intelligent discussion on what happens after death and the process of dying, what it means to live in the present, about having regrets and getting second chances... this book has it all. One of my favourite books of 2020.

2 people found this helpful

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WOW! Powerhouse Book

Love the structure and complexity of the story. So detailed in the subjects described which adds richness. A book I will re-read many times!

1 person found this helpful

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Boring

I found it really hard to get into, it finally got a bit more interesting near the end. The readers voice grated on my nerves when she spoke in an English accent. uggggh. If you are interested in Egypt and tombs etc...you'll like it. I found it a struggle to get through. I usually enjoy Jody picoults novels but not this one.

1 person found this helpful

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Interesting.

I loved the book, but I was disappointed in the ending. The narrator was fantastic.

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Nice and different

The parts about Egyptian histories were a bit boring for me. But the story was engaging and very different.

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Love Jodi Picoult

Jodi never fails to amaze me. I love the way her books keep you hooked to the last few sentences. Love it.

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Disappointing

I did not enjoy this book and found it difficult to plough through.
I found the characters unrelatable, unconvincing, and cold. The protagonist seemed over-privileged, self-centered (despite her protests!) and unlikeable.
The timeline was precious, over-contrived, and confusing, and left me unconvinced. The ending was a non-ending and very unsatisfactory after the effort of getting through this.
To make matters worse, the narrator's English accent made me wince every time I heard it, or perhaps that was the effect of the character's words, which I found predictable and cliche, but then, none of the characters had any depth.
This book took me forever to finish. I am sorry I bothered.

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Amazing read!

I loved this book. It took me only 3-4 days to get through it. I probably would have finished it in one day if I didn't have work in the day :P

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Book of two ways rocks

This is one of the best books that Jodi has written. Always love the story (Egyptology) within the story. A true love story that leaves the heart split. An appropriate title for this book!

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  • Jen
  • 2020-11-25

Not a typical JP read

I missed the signature sign of a Picoult book, the telling of a story from multiple perspectives. This was a bit more info on ancient Egypt than I needed

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  • 🎧 Cyndi Marie🎧 ☆★Audiobook Addict★☆
  • 2020-09-23

✫✫ 5 Stars ✫✫

Well this book seriously touched a lot of buttons for me having lost someone close to me last year. The idea of a Death Doula was completely foreign to me until this book but after this book I think it's an amazing thing someone can do for someone who is dying. There was so many things said and explained in this book that really opened my eyes to death. This book will be one I remember always.



The Egyptology part of this book was very interesting if a little hard to follow at times. I guess I never thought much about Egypt before this book or that they are still finding tombs today, it is fascinating.



The "real" life part of this book was hard for me also because I wanted everyone to win and be happy but in these situations someone will always lose.



I will also say that this book contains a LOT of information about a LOT of different subjects. It was almost overwhelming at times but I was able to compartmentalize the information that I felt was most relevant to my take on this story.



The narration was also something I wasn't sure about when I started but by the end I thought she was perfect. For the type of character Dawn is, this narrator had the perfect tone and pace.



This quote stuck to me...
"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

54 people found this helpful

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  • McSusie
  • 2020-09-22

SO BORING!

I’m four very boring hours into this much anticipated book & it’s been a chore to listen to. The main character is not likable nor sympathetic for a “Death Dula”. The narration is flat & it’s like listening to a very dry text book. Much of the story is taken from text books. I cannot finish this book.

45 people found this helpful

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  • Racheal
  • 2020-09-29

Mesmerized w/ Egypt

I selected this book rather tentatively because of other somewhat negative reviews. Wow! I am so glad I discounted those reviews and went for it.

Admittedly, it probably helps that I find Egypt intriguing because this book contains A LOT of obvious research material. However, there is the profound essence of a beautiful story that unfolds around all the factual elements that makes this book an absolute joy.

Others found the narrator unlistenable; however, the narrator seemed perfect to me.
1. She was age-appropriate to the main character.
2. She pronounced with ease the difficult Arabic words, which would have frustrated me had I been reading in print.
3. The tone was appropriate to the subject and the dilemma revealed in the plot. (It is, after all, a book about death. I would have been disappointed had the narrator been cheerful and upbeat.)
4. The very sound of the narrator's voice was pleasant and soothing. I could imagine her leading guided meditations in real life.

Bottom line: don't be dissuaded by the opinion of other listeners. This is another beautifully told work from one of the best story-tellers today.

Oh! The personal note from the author at the end was a real bonus. Enjoy!

34 people found this helpful

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  • Catrina D.
  • 2020-09-22

A bore!

This is like an educational book about Egypt..., it’s like a history book of boredom. FAIL! Returning

24 people found this helpful

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  • Wendi
  • 2020-09-28

Biggest Disappointment This Year- Awful

I don't know what happened to Jody Picoult. Before I had audible, I would pre-order every one of her books and devour it the day it came out. I pre-ordered The Book of Two Ways as well, hoping it was better than her last novel, and looking forward to another 'Storyteller' or 'Tenth Circle.' I am so disappointed that I am almost mad at Jodi. What is she thinking?

The Book of Two ways is nothing but a professorial lecture on Ancient Egypt, with little or no story in between. I tried listening to it 4 times, and I decided to give up. I am returning this credit.

To be honest, I don't think that Jodi Picoult even wrote this. Either that or she is having a writer crisis where she wants to change her normal formula with rich characters and take notes from Rutherford or Follet on historical fiction. The Storyteller, set in Nazi Germany, was great historical fiction with rich characters and an excellent story. The Book of Two Ways is just boring and disjointed with zero character development.

If you want a lesson on Ancient Egypt, choose a non-fiction book or google specifics on the internet. This book is the most disappointing read for me of the year.

So disappointed.

-Wendi

15 people found this helpful

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  • Cindy
  • 2020-09-27

Zzz...

Snooze fest. This is NOT the Jodi Picoult books I know and love. This was like sitting at a college course I was forced to take because nothing else was open. The main character is not enjoyable at all, she isn’t kind and mostly thinks of herself throughout the part I listened to.
I couldn’t finish, I tried but nope.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Kitkat
  • 2020-09-29

Boring

I did not like any of the characters. I really have this book a shot. Maybe if I hadn’t listened to it and read it instead. The narrator sounds like she’s trying to narrate and I can’t get past the voice to perhaps appreciate the story. I quit because I really don’t care what happens to any of them. And I will never listen to this narrator again!

12 people found this helpful

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  • Heather
  • 2020-09-28

Who wrote this book?

I pre-ordered The Book of two Ways based on Picoult's previous books -and I am disappointed.
Had I waited, I might have paid attention to some of the reviews and left the book on your shelf.
I have just thrown in the towel, after four tedious hours which included never-ending painful lessons about Egypt.
A few reviews said that the ending is good - but I just cannot take another eleven hours and forty-five minutes so perhaps I'll just skip to the last few minutes of the last chapter.
Could be my last pre-order.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Karen
  • 2020-10-01

Jodi Picoult at her finest

I didn’t want it to end...Interesting, novel, and thought provoking. I’m so glad she has returned to her unique way of allowing the reader to choose.

7 people found this helpful

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  • RioPuerco
  • 2020-09-24

I’m so torn

This was not a great book. I love her writing usually, but this was not my favorite. That being said, the ending was one of my favorite endings I have read due to the way it was written. The message was there, hiding in the boredom of just getting through another chapter, but the message *was* there and I enjoyed that aspect. This is a book about past vs present with a lot of Egyptian stuff in the middle. Also, I didn’t like the main character AT ALL. She’s selfish, but maybe that was the point.

7 people found this helpful