The Book of Two Ways- Jodi Picoult


The book is about Dawn who is a death doula and Eygptologist. It's a sort of 'sliding doors' story with two parallel time lines. In one story she leaves her husband after a fight and goes to find 'the one that got away' in Egypt.

In the other she returns home, we see her work, and how she and her husband navigate what comes next. We also see elements of her past with ‘The one that got away’, what pulled her away from him and meeting her husband.


I am a long-term Picoult fan, and I was looking forward to reading this one. I'd heard that it's very different from the others so was prepared for that. To be honest I think her last few have been different, and I see that more as a development in writing styles

It didn't have the same initial 'catch' as many of her older books, but it was less formulaic. It also didn't hold quite the same 'issue' idea that previous books have. Plenty of reviews out there didn't like this.

There is a lot of stuff about Egyptology, and I really liked how the story reflected an Egyptian 'Book of 2 Ways' which guide to the afterlife through 2 different paths. We also hear about physics and the idea of parallel universes, with choices which choose your world.

I found the death doula bit interesting too. I was writing an essay on end of life care when I read this, coincidentally, so maybe that's why I found that interesting.

It’s not the same sort of easy read to a ‘normal’ Picoult, but I felt it had more meat on it’s bones and I like that, others have said they feel like she just wanted to use all the research she did.

SPOILERS At the end we don’t see if she chooses Brian or Wyatt (can I just add that is a very American name for a British character). At first I was a bit frustrated because I wanted to know. But on reflection I think this was the right ending.

All through we read about choices and parallel worlds. I like that it’s not that she didn’t make a choice so much as it could be either choice, or both choices, it is just creating another 2 ways.

I wanted her to choose Brian. He might not have always been exciting, but he was reliable, and he loved her. There is something about excitement, but at some point you have to be serious and practical. I did hope she continued with at least some Egyptology though


Originally tweeted by Lucybird (@lucybirdbooks) on 23/03/2021.

Other reviews:

So Many Books, So Little Time

Buy it (links are affiliate links and money goes back into the blog)

Hardback (£11.18)

Kindle (£9.99)

Paperback Pre-order (£7.37)

Leave a comment

Filed under Contempory, Fiction review

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s