The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult

The Book of Two Ways Book Cover The Book of Two Ways
Jodi Picoult
Ballantine Books
432

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Small Great Things and A Spark of Light comes a riveting 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 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?

The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult

A heart wrenching, devour worthy read that splits your heart in two different directions.

Have you ever wondered about the decisions you never took, how they play out in a possible alternate universe? Maybe you ended up richer in this alternate universe, married to someone else, in a bigger house, or in a smaller home. I am one that has always been plagued with those type of philosophical thoughts of my alternative outcomes. Jodi Picoult has taken that theory and entwined it into a beautiful yet plaguing theme of “two outcomes” type story which has brought me to tears but also left me hopeful.

Dawn Edlestein, our leading lady is on a flight when she’s all of a sudden alerted that there will be a crash landing. Dawn is one of the lucky survivors and is seen by doctors, then offered a free flight anywhere of her choice. She then decides her destination…

In that split second we see Dawn’s two outcomes, the book itself becomes split with each of the decisions she makes at that very moment played out. Dawn in one alternate chooses to head back home to Boston, to her loving husband of 14 years, teen-aged daughter and successful career as a Death Doula. In the other alternate she chooses to go to Egypt, to Wyatt Armstrong.

What’s in Egypt you ask? A past life (graduate student days), she used to be an Egyptologist dig tomb sites and research the ancient Book of Two Ways which is what she was basing her thesis on. After an incident with her mom happened she had to leave abruptly one semester leaving all her hard work behind, never looking back.  Until now with the biggest anchor (Wyatt) calling her split fate back to Egypt. He was once her competitor and fellow graduate student always pining for the professors attention and praise. They were equals in knowledge and trust to the professor. And what happened all those years ago with all that heat, sand dust, and competitive nature?

If you guessed a deep yearning attraction that leads to explosive romance on a dig site you are correct.

So with this split or alternate realities unfolding, both reuniting with Wyatt again and answering all his questions, and returning home to all the secrets and obstacles that await her there, Dawn faces no easy path. With each new revelation my heart would pause and break for Dawn yet mend back together as she picked herself back up and kept on, keepin’ on.

The Book of Two Ways left me breathless all throughout in both good ways and bad. Picoult penned such a strong female lead, someone so relatable to me. Dawn is a sister, a mother, a wife, someone with regrets, a woman with wants, needs, and aspirations. Her characteristics were so relatable which made all the heart wrenching moments all the more severe to my heart and mind. No matter which outcome I favored in the moment or which man I wanted it to work out with, I always wanted Dawn’s happiness first. This is the kind of resounding read that will last in my heart for years to come. I can see myself coming back to it to refer to my favorite moments.

I am giving this book 4.5 stars, it is a staple in my “Favorites” category and could not recommend it enough. Please give this a read. The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult is filled with complex characters that face extreme emotional challenges, but all of it inspires courage to seek truth and happiness for yourself.

To pre-order your copy CLICK HERE. (Also this cover is just so gorgeous!)

 

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