Contemporary/Literary · Domestic Drama · Read-Reviewed-2021

The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult. (2020).


The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult. (2020).

**3 out of 5 stars**

Dawn knows everything there is to know about dying. As a death doula she specialises in helping her clients make peace with the end of their lives. But she is forced to confront her own mortality when a plane trip goes wrong. And instead of seeing her brilliant quantum physicist husband Brian and their beloved daughter Meret flash before her eyes, only one face is clear: Wyatt. Safely on the ground, Dawn now faces a decision: go home to her family in Boston or journey back to an Egyptian archaeological site she left 15 years ago, reconnect with Wyatt, and finish her abandoned magnum opus, ‘ The Book of Two Ways’?

I went into this one hoping I would really enjoy it as I loved quite a few of the author’s previous books. Alas, it was fairly average for me. I’ve seen a lot of reviews mention that the storyline involved too many technical details around Egyptology and quantum physics (which is actually quite an odd combination of topics in my humble opinion), and I’d have to say that I agree with that. It was extremely well researched for sure, but also too technical for the average person in my opinion. I found the chapters involving Dawn’s death doula work intriguing, that was definite food for thought. The form of the narrative is like a ‘Sliding Doors’ kind of style as well as alluding to the titular ‘Book of Two Ways’; it seems like in one path Dawn has gone home to her family, and in the other path she has taken off to Egypt to reconnect with Wyatt and assist in a tomb dig site. However there is a lot of discussion about parallel universes so it seems to also be alluding to that?
Overall, this one is likable enough but I think a lot of readers will find the almost textbook like level of detail of Egyptology and quantum physics off-putting and distracting from the story itself.

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