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Publisher's Summary

Dawn thinks she knows everything there is to know about dying. As a death doula, she helps her clients fix what is left undone so they can peacefully make the final transition. But when her plane plummets from the sky and she thinks she is experiencing the last moments of her life, she is shocked to find that she isn't thinking of her husband or teenage daughter - but of a road she strayed from 15 years earlier, when she turned her back on her PhD studies.  

Against all odds, Dawn survives, and the airline gives her a free ticket to wherever she needs to get to. In alternating chapters, we see possible choices: land - returning to her husband, a quantum physicist who studies the possibilities of parallel universes, she is faced with a test to her marriage and a daughter who is struggling with self-image issues. And water: returning to her studies and the archaeological site she worked on 15 years earlier, where the man she abandoned is about to make the discovery of a lifetime.  

But time may not be as straightforward as we think. As Dawn explores her possible futures, she is finding out what a well-lived life means, what we leave behind of ourselves when we leave the earth, and who she might have been.... 

©2020 Jodi Picoult (P)2020 Penguin Random House Audio

What listeners say about The Book of Two Ways

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I really really wanted to like it...

I was so excited when I heard about this book. I love everything to do with ancient Egypt and have even studied to be a death doulla. I've also listened to & enjoyed many Jodi Picoult novels but this was my least favourite. However I did enjoy some snippets of thoughts about death and dying. They seemed to be the most thought through ideas in the story. On the negative side : The main protagonist was extremely annoying and self-centred, the love story was unbelievable, the choppy timeline and the way the story was told was confusing but I'm afraid the worst part for this version was the narration. If all the characters were American it would have been ok..but her English accent was really bad and well just shouldn't have been attempted :( Sorry

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Soooooooo boring!!

Usually Jodi Picoult’s books are a safe bet but this one is unreadable. So boring! If I’d wanted a text book on Ancient Egypt I would have bought one.

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Boring

Normally love this author but this book was boring. In the author’s nots at the end of the book she said the original ending was vastly different. Perhaps she should have gone with that one instead. Whist the writing about ancient Egypt was quite fascinating, the story was dull and waffling.

1 person found this helpful

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Learned so much!

Wonderful to learn such about ancient Egypt, life and death wrapped inside a beautifully written love story. Incredible insight, information and detail, making for a rich and absorbing reading experience.

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Total Immersion, True Jodi Picoult Style

What I have always loved most about Jodi Picoult’s books is the experience of being drawn into a new topic, subject, place and time. No book feels the same as the other. But every book challenges your feelings, opinions and experiences of very raw human qualities and relationships.

The research and inclusion of Egyptology, basic and easy to follow quantum physics and parallel lives is so important to create and define the characters in this book. And the intense immersion and details of Egyptology highlights Dawn’s passion for the field and the lose she feels for dreams left incomplete.

And if you feel angry, and challenged by the character’s relationships and indecisiveness between two really amazing men and two possibilities of happiness. Maybe it’s triggering you to remember/acknowledge in a quiet moment to yourself, the ones who have made great impacts in your life and you have felt deep love. I’m sure this is the point Wyn makes to Dawn.

But more so, this book is a reminder that life shouldn’t be something we choose, but a life is something we LIVE.

I only removed one star for the story as I would have loved it if the story had finished about 1.5hr earlier without tying up everyone’s endings. Rather leaving many possible endings to whirl around in my mind. It probably would frustrated me for days. But it would have been impactful. But more importantly, lend itself to the concept of infinite parallel possibilities.

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An amazing story!

Loved it, a true love story with unexpected, believable turns, so well written, well done.

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Glad I read it

Well researched. I didn’t mind the Egyptian content which some people have criticised for being too detailed. Wasn’t a fan of the narrator’s English accent. Mixed feelings about the protagonist but then I don’t suppose you have to live the main character to get something out of the book. It made me think about how we are all flawed. Overall, I’m glad I read it.

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Good story but very heavy references to Egyptology and some quantum physics

I liked the book but also didn’t stop listening as it had very heavy reference to Egyptology and quantum physics. If you can look past those it’s a good story.

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  • tj
  • 26-01-2021

Sensitive and beautiful

Loved this book the sensitive way it deals with love and death. Interwoven with interesting Egypt. Enjoy

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Loved!

The main character, Dawn, who was an ancient Egyptian archaeologist, before becoming a death doula, has a near death experience. This causes her to question her life path. The characters in this story were real and raw and the research that has gone into it is unbelievable. Jodi Picoult is amazing!

Loved the performance. Accents were perfect and it was really easy to listen to.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 21-11-2020

Different from her other work; but worth reading.

A beautiful journey and lovely characterization. The structure of this book took me a while to wrap my mind around-very cleverly done. As always the subject matter was sensitivity handled.

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  • Aysha
  • 18-11-2021

Disappointed

I really did not enjoy this book, I struggled from the beginning. I have read many of Jodi Picoult 's books and this is by far my least favourite. The storyline was all over the place and never really tied nicely together. The ending was really awful, I listened until the end just for something to change my feelings, but I was very disappointed. Sorry Jodi maybe your latest soon to be released will be better.

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  • ERROL
  • 10-04-2021

Upsetting

It irritates me the way tthe book jumps back and forth between decades. Youre listening to one story line and then the next sentence is a different story line

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  • Lauren
  • 24-11-2020

Reminded Me How Much I Love Egyptology

I loved this from start to finish. The factual information not only about Egyptology, but also about Quantum Physics & the role of a Death Doula. It was an insight into something I have always avoided thinking about.

Jodi Picoult is one of my favourite authors and this book has made its way to the top end of my favourites list.

Whilst some found the parallel timelines confusing I revelled in them - I may have found it easier to follow because I listened to the audio most of the time rather than reading the hardback I also bought (because it was too beautiful not too).

This book has made me think about where I could have been if the choices I made were different and where I may be in the future.

I don’t have a bad word to say about this book.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Roxydog
  • 08-11-2020

Boring

Normally I love Jodi Picout but this book was more like a guide to Egyptology. Much too factual unless you are really into Eygptology Gave up about a third into the book as no real story was developing. Bored to the stage where I kept falling asleep. I expect better from this author

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  • H. Wright
  • 04-11-2020

Two confusing ways...

I loved and hated this in equal measure. The overall premise is really interesting and a lot of the detail is too (and there is a LOT of detail). The narrator was ok when she was doing most of the voices but her faux English accent was excruciating (and somebody really should have told her how to pronounce Marquess). I found the whole book very long and drawn out and while I kept going until the end I would never listen to it again. Not sure whether to try other books by this author.

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  • mrs d m abram
  • 23-07-2021

Thought provoking

Thought provoking. I found myself torn between the two men. I suspect that my choices would have been different to Dawn's. But Jodie always makes you consider the options which is good.

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  • The breeze in her hair.
  • 10-07-2021

not Jodi Picoult"s best

Some interesting bits but mostly boring. Would have returned the book but wanted to give it a chance. I wish I hadn't bothered.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mrs R G
  • 23-05-2021

Excellent listen

This was well written, well narrated and I really loved that the story went beyond where most writers would see a conclusion. I often did ah books and still have questions but tbh is one satisfied me. All of the historical discussion around Egypt was really interesting. Excellent life questions in this book. An easy but enjoyable listen

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  • Kathie Williams
  • 01-03-2021

The Epitome of First World Problems

I’ve never read any Jodi Picoult books before; this story will not persuade me to try one of her novels again. The main character is unsympathetic and selfish, the dialogue and plot cliche heavy and the fascinating subject of Ancient Egypt is recounted in mind-numbingly dull detail. Added to this mix is a narrator who’s English accent is laughable - at least that provided some entertainment!

1 person found this helpful

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  • LJ Reed
  • 02-01-2021

Okay read, much longer than it needs to be

The story is far too drawn out, a couple hours in the middle could've ben condensed - I had to persevere to get to the ending.
Jodi clearly did exceptional amounts of research , but this book was a little too much Egyptology for me. Some was interesting but some didn't seem relevant.
I'm a fan of many of Jodi's other novels, but I think this one was missing a gritty issue to really think over. I thought the conclusion was a little too easy on the character too!

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  • sarah magee
  • 18-05-2022

a great audio Jodie Picoult did not disappoint

the story telling as always was captivating and the characters full of strong women showing true resilience and the ability to be many versions of themselves. Thank you for making me think and question life and the way it can be perceived in different forms. a great book .

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  • Susan Hemsley-Brown
  • 30-03-2022

Interesting

I have the paperback but because I have severe fatigue I often also listen to audio books alongside when I can't read, I love the book but , I'm sorry to the narrator, I found her voice quite irritating, not too much when she spoke in her own accent but when she was doing the English accent, I found it grating and wish she had just stuck to her own accent, I'm now going back to the paperback ...

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