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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 the critics say

“A thrilling adventure ... With Picoult’s stories, there is always something new to learn, and The Book of Two Ways is no exception.... A fun and interesting read, one that will lead readers to both learn a lot and also ask themselves key questions about how to create happy lives for themselves during the short time we have on earth.” (Associated Press

“Picoult’s fans will appreciate this multifaceted, high-concept work.” (Publishers Weekly)  

"Picoult’s fans will be more than ready for this puzzle of a novel.... [They] will find heady themes to consider.” (Booklist)     

What listeners say about The Book of Two Ways

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

3 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!

An edit: I have now read this book more than 10X and listen to it like an old friend. I listen to it when I have a few minutes and know exactly where I am in the story. Life and love are messy and there doesn't have to be anyone being wrong or evil. I love the mix of each characters background of Egyptology, science, a death doulah, art, and jumping of time in the story all of which add to this interesting read. A love story so well written, I am sure many will enjoy.

2 people 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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not as expected initially but turned out ok

the start was difficult to understand at times and not quite what I expected, however the character development and story progressed a d turned out good. q

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A solid Picoult book

I tried to read it 3x in hardcover but could not make it though the Egyptian chapters because of the names and words.

100% listen to it, you won’t regret it. The narrator pronounces the words so you can just sit back and enjoy the story. Beautifully written with a very good concept The Book of Two Ways will make you think about your own choices and ask yourself «  where would you be if you’d chosen differently » .

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Disappointment

Ending was terribly disappointing!! This is the first Of her books I didn’t like and I have read them

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In Awe

This book is no doubt heavy with information. If you are willing to learn the ways of Egyptology the story ties together so effortlessly, and yet still catches me by surprise. This is one of those books that has you closing the book feeling different. A whole new perspective and appreciation for decision making, life and even death.

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Should have been great, but reads like a textbook

This book had all the makings and potential to be novel and intriguing, given it's clever story arch and focus, but instead, it is lacking in narrative development, character development and overall content. It reads like a textbook at multiple times throughout and spends far too much time relaying information on Egyptology than on actually fostering the story. It was like reading the intro for a good book over and over: every moment was on the precipice of interesting but always fell short (never came to fuition) and was more often boring than sincerely engaging.

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Complicated

I found this story very long and complicated...and had to push myself to finish it hoping for ‘that’ moment that Jodi’s other books have and it never came...first disappointment of all her books

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loved this

I really enjoyed this novel except for the very end. I felt I needed to know!

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  • ❤️Cyndi Marie❤️🎧Audiobook Addicts🎧
  • 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

71 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!

41 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

32 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

24 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.

19 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!

15 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.

12 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.

9 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.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2020-11-06

two ways

I loved this book. The beautiful Egyptian poetry is so essentially human that we can relate to it thousands of years later. Dawn is a budding Egyptologist finishing her graduate work. She competes with academically and falls in love with another graduate student from England named Wyatt. They are at a dig in Egypt when Dawn received word that her mom is going into hospice care. Dawn did not even know her mother was ill and rushes home to care for her mom and her younger brother. She meets Brian who's grandmother is in the same hospice unit. When her mother died she has no money to continue studying and take care of her little brother. Brian is there to help her out and they have a baby, marry and 15 years go by.

I learned about Quantum physics and Egyptian history. This is all a framework for a fantastic love story. I am not a romance genre reader but this book encompasses such an intricate network of ideas and emotions and acts of total reason and other acts of emotional abandon that I couldn't stop reading to see what happens.

7 people found this helpful