The Book of Two Ways: A Novel

· Sold by Ballantine Books
32 reviews

About this ebook

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • 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 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 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?

Ratings and reviews

32 reviews
Laura Kogelschatz
February 8, 2021
I haven’t finished this book but I’m annoyed by 2 inaccuracies. In referencing the main characters time in grad school (2001) JP discusses fireball whiskey which wasn’t a thing then And then writes about cell phones taking pictures...while this may have been possible, the technology and the widespread use of cell phones was not prevalent at this time.
2 people found this review helpful
Did you find this helpful?
Linda Stilwell
April 8, 2021
I usually love her books, but not this one. Very slow, difficult to get interested in, too detailed. I appreciate the fact that I she goes to great lengths to research her subjects, but this was not interesting to me at all.
2 people found this review helpful
Did you find this helpful?
September 27, 2020
Jodi Picoult is one of those authors who can introduce to you a new concept and 300 pages later you will love it. I think The Book of Two Ways will be of much interest to those who already have an introduction to/interest in Egyptology as much of the action centers around the mystery and methodology involved in understanding Egypt's history, and applying those lessons learned into your own life. I know for me those scenes at the tombs were my favorite parts but like protagonist Dawn Edelstein I have always had a fascination with the historical and Egypt's contributions to life as we know it. And I am old. Looking back from 71 is a much different perspective than that experienced at 25. In our rearview mirror we tend to question concepts and decisions made in the long ago, and actually see the twists in the road of life because of those choices. At 25 you mostly just want to get there, faster, please. This was a book that really caught my interest, and kept me on the edge of my seat. It is a change of pace for Jodi Picoult but an excellent example of her ability to bring us into her world. I found the death duela segments fascinating. This is an approach to life-ending choices and chores that I would love to see better represented in my neck of the woods. I learned a lot from The Book of Two Ways. Thank you, Jodi Picoult. It is a book I will want to read again and savor. I received a free electronic ARC of this novel from Netgalley, Jodi Picoult, and Ballantine Books. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work.
13 people found this review helpful
Did you find this helpful?

About the author

Jodi Picoult is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twenty-nine novels, including A Spark of Light, Small Great Things, Leaving Time, The Storyteller, Lone Wolf, Sing You Home, House Rules, Handle with Care, Change of Heart, Nineteen Minutes, and My Sister’s Keeper. She is also the author, with daughter Samantha van Leer, of two young adult novels, Between the Lines and Off the Page. Picoult lives in New Hampshire.

Rate this ebook

Tell us what you think.

Reading information

Smartphones and tablets
Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.
Laptops and computers
You can listen to audiobooks purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.
eReaders and other devices
To read on e-ink devices like Kobo eReaders, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Follow the detailed Help Center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.