ARC BOOK REVIEW: The Book Of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult

Publication Date: 
September 22, 2020
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Format: ebook
Pages:  432 Pages
Genre:  Mystery/Thriller
Buy: Kindle | Audible


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 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, 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 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 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?


I love Egypt, I have traveled to Egypt, I've climbed through the great pyramids, I've been inside the step pyramids in Saqqara, visited the Valley of the Kings, did a meditation in the paws of a sphinx, so to say this book spoke to me is putting it mildly.  

Dawn was getting her PhD in Egyptology when her life gets sidetracked by the death of her mother and finding herself having to care for her younger brother.  While in Egypt she formed a close bond with Wyatt, the dashing Englishman who was writing his thesis on the same topic, The Book of Two Ways.  The Book of Two Ways was a book about dying that was painted inside many tombs.  When Dawns mother falls ill her path shifts from studying the dead to becoming a death doula, and helping people die.  

After an incident with her husband Dawn starts to think about what if, what if her life had taken a different path, what if she had gone back to Egypt instead of staying to raise her brother, what if she hadn't met her husband and had a daughter? 

When tasked with finding the past lover of one of her clients Dawn finds herself drawn to Egypt and the one she left behind.  Will they rekindle their relationship? Has he moved on? This book is about death, about life and everything in between.  Do we ever forget our first love? Is the way in which the ancients dealt with death different from how we do it today? Who remembers us when we are gone? What are the rituals of today? 

Death is a scary topic that most people don't like to think about, dwell on or investigate yet its something none of us can outrun.  Can we learn anything from ancient people about death? What about life? Do we need closure of different things so we have no regrets? This book brought a lot of questions with no real answers.  I've read that others think this reads too much like a textbook but I didn't find that at all but I already have a pretty vast knowledge of Ancient Egypt so to me it was just revisiting knowledge I already had and wishing I was back there in the heat digging in the sand. 

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through in exchange for an honest review

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