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The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult: ⭐️⭐️
Synopsis of The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult
Dawn is an Egyptologist turned death doula who is faced with her own mortality when she walks away unscathed from a plane crash. The shocking part is that ever since her brush with death, she can’t help thinking about those moments that flashed before her eyes. She wasn’t filled with memories of her husband Brian, back home with their daughter Meret. Instead, her thoughts were invaded by the one who got away; Wyatt Armstrong, an archeologist living half a world away whom she hasn’t seen in 15 years.
Dawn is left wondering about all that might have been; everything she left behind when she abandoned Egypt 15 years prior for a family emergency, and the course of her life’s actions leading her to this very crash.
Is her heart pure? What does it say about her morality to be married to one man, while desperately missing another? Is it possible to be in love with two men at the same time?
The Book of Two Ways is a story that takes place over four timelines; reviewing the steps we take that lead us through our life paths, and ultimately, that every little decision we make leads us to our future – it’s themes paralleling the actual Book of Two Ways; an ancient Egyptian book that depicts the two routes to one’s afterlife; water, and land, and how your actions and choices will ultimately get you to where you’re going.
Time for some real talk. Jodi Picoult has been my absolute FAVORITE author for the past 17 years. No one is able to tell a story the way JP can. She often writes about controversial topics, and narratives that will break your heart into a tiny million pieces. There’s beauty in every heartache that is a Jodi Picoult novel. So needless to say, I didn’t even have to read the jacket cover to find out what The Book of Two Ways was about. If it’s written by JP, it’s an automatic “add to cart” for me.
But guys. This was different. I’m sad to admit that I struggled through this book. I felt it was very text book heavy.
To gain a full understanding over the general theme of this book, Picoult HAS to give us a lesson in Egyptian history. But I wasn’t here for it. No disrespect to the Egyptian culture, it was just tough to get through those chapters because I honestly felt like I was an attendee in a history lecture. There was a LOT of Egyptian history woven into the early chapters, especially, and while it shows that Picoult did her due diligence (as always) in studying the topics she’s writing about, those chapters felt more like a school essay than they did a classic JP novel.
Even though it was a difficult read in spots, Jodi did what Jodi does best; she weaves every dang sentence of the book into the central theme: in this case, it happens to be the paths we choose in life. When faced with a decision, how even the tiniest of choices can have the biggest impact on our future.
I’m glad I stuck with this one through until the end. It’s definitely not going on my list as one of my favorite Jodi Picoult novels, but hands down she is still my absolute favorite storyteller.