This month I used my Audible credit on The Book of Two Ways by Jodie Picoult. I am an affiliate of Audible so my post will contain links that could earn me a little money if you click through and use them, but will not cost you any more. Thank you for your support.
Dawn thinks she knows everything there is to know about dying. As a death doula, she helps her clients fix what is left undone so they can peacefully make the final transition. But when her plane plummets from the sky and she thinks she is experiencing the last moments of her life, she is shocked to find that she isn’t thinking of her husband or teenage daughter – but of a road she strayed from 15 years earlier, when she turned her
back on her PhD studies. Against all odds, Dawn survives, and the airline gives her a free ticket to wherever she needs to get to. In alternating chapters, we see possible choices: land – returning to her husband, a quantum physicist who studies the possibilities of parallel universes, she is faced with a test to her marriage and a daughter who is struggling with self-image issues. And water: returning to her studies and the archaeological site she worked on 15 years earlier, where the man she abandoned is about to make the discovery of a lifetime.
But time may not be as straightforward as we think. As Dawn explores her possible futures, she is finding out what a well-lived life means, what we leave behind of ourselves when we leave the earth, and who she might have been….
My Review of The Book of Two Ways
This was an impulse buy, I was totally taken in by the blurb. How intriguing to follow two different paths to see what would have happened. A Little bit like the movie ‘Sliding Doors‘ I thought. I was wrong. Jodie Picoult is a lot more detailed than romantic comedy.
I’ll admit, although the beginning of the book was a great grab, I did find some parts a little more difficult to digest. I had gone in with totally the wrong expectations, thinking it was a light hearted read. But some of the details were a little too intense for that. Jodie Picoult certainly did a lot of research, quantum physics, hieroglyphics and Egyptology are just a few things she delves into. I did actually find it all fascinating and it certainly made me think. Definitely not so much a light hearted read which I was expecting.
The main character was likeable enough, as were the other main characters, and their personalities were examined in about the right detail. It always helps when you can connect to the characters of a book. They all had their own ways and reasons for being there in the book.
The story line was confusing but how can you not write something that goes in two completely different ways without a little confusion. If I’d a hard copy of the book I may have spent time flicking back just to make sure I’d got the thread of the story correct. (I must admit, the plane crash caused a little confusion.)
I liked how Jodie Picoult studied completely different personalities and threaded them together. I liked how she investigated how our dreams might differ so much from our real life and how pursuing our dreams can cause such conflict in our lives.
I liked how she set up the characters for the way the story developed. From her daughter who felt something was wrong with her from the beginning, to her husband not being the most stable rock she believed him to be, to the ‘other man’ who she had always loved being a bit of a surprise. Then there was her client that she was preparing for death. Combining the thought process of someone dying with those of who have so much living to do made for a very satisfying read.
There were a few twists and turns, but this was not a mystery book. There was just the right amount of romance and heartbreak but this is not a romance. The book was incredibly detailed though and it did get a little ‘boring’ at times. Some details could have been omitted.
Overall, I enjoyed the story. There were times I wanted to give up but I’m glad I persevered because it gave me plenty of food for thought at the end.
I listened to the book on Audible and the narrator made me cringe with her English accent. But if you consider that the English character was actually a Marquis then it is possible he would speak like this.
If I had a copy of the book I think there are lots of parts I would re-read a few times because they are well worth absorbing.
You can buy a copy of the book on Amazon here which is my affiliate link.
I’m joining in with Jo’s 20 Books for Christmas Challenge over on Tea and Cake for the Soul.
The books I’ve read so far. (I’ve some catching up to do)