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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 Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

What listeners say about The Book of Two Ways

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

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

2 people found this helpful

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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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.

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Fascinating in parts

I love Egypt and found that part of the book fascinating but I found it impossible to actually like or care about, any of the characters .. Dawn is simply insufferable and I think the book could have been several hours shorter ..I got so tired of her constant arguments.On the plus side the story had a great plot, and the writer obviously knows her stuff . The male British accent was awful, which didnt help to make Wyatt more likeable. But the book really did make me think ..

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Don’t bother

I’ve loved just about everyone of Jodi Picoults books and was excited to get this one. Even pre ordered it but sooo disappointed. It’s just plain boring. I’m persevering with it but starting to think life is too short and May read a gardening catalogue instead (I’m not keen on gardening)...but it may be more interesting 🤷‍♀️

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incredible story

loved it. I was utterly gripped and found it fascinating. It was beautifully read with the exception of the British male accents, which were quite grating and irritating. I'm sure its fine if you aren't British though! Highly recommended.

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'Sliding Doors' of alternating life & death paths

'Sliding Doors' of alternating life (and death paths). Overlong, but did hit a nerve. I've read a lot of negative reviews of this, just glancing at the Amazon page. And yes, it's not perfect. At 15 hours, the audiobook felt like it could have ended several times over, and I actually spent most of my listening time thinking it would have made a fabulous novella. I couldn't tell you now what needed to take so long that I was kept at it for days and days, points felt laboured and repetitive. I've only read a couple by this author before. It was the subject that intrigued me - the idea of different paths in life explored, a death doula, and Ancient Egypt. Dawn is the victim of an airplane crash, one of a few survivors, and instead of heading home soon after escaping unscathed, finds herself wanting to know what her life would have been like if she hadn't chosen husband, child and family. If she'd stuck with her plans to study Egyptology and the man she fell for. So we see both paths - she returns home, she travels to Egypt. But this also becomes confusing, certainly on the audiobook, as we also watch Dawn's past as she met, hated then came to be attracted to Wyatt, but additionally, later on, scientist husband Brian. I couldn't quite keep track which timeline I was in. On top of this, Dawn works with Wynn as her doula, a woman dying but determined to sort out her own regrets before this, so an additional storyline about romantic regrets floods the plot. It felt overfull and overdone. I enjoyed Dawn's relationship with her daughter (also with issues, of course), and was very interested how the author chose to bring things to a close with husband/lover/present/past. I wasn't actually quite sure when it ended, what had happened, but it wasn't the conventional ending I'd been dreading at least. Personally, I enjoyed the Egypt sections, I love history, I loved the idea of The Book of Two Ways and exploring paths not trodden. But there was so much repetition to wade through, the insightful parts got a little lost in there. I would recommended this be read on paper/Kindle as it is confusing when listened to as an audiobook, though the narrator was engaging and voiced both genders well. Needed to be much, much tighter. But a great idea with sparks of perception regarding marriage, infidelity, love and family. With thanks to Nudge Books for providing a sample Audible copy.

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Couldn't finish.

So much about ancient Egypt in the first few chapters and the "English" accent was so terrible I had to return this book (which I almost never do). I may try it in paperback in the future but it's not really my field of interest so probably not.

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Not for me

There was just too much information about the ancient Egyptian theme in this story for me .

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Cant stand the narrator

I have read all her book, but this one was such a disappointment!!! To top to off I can't stand the narrator!!!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 21-11-20

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.