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.
In the mood to contemplate your own mortality? Then Jodi Picoult has the book for you ... In short, if you are looking for comic relief, you are out of luck. But readers don’t pick up Picoult for the LOLs. Instead, they come for the heart-wrenching moral choices, the complicated family dynamics, the deep dive into ethical issues, and, lately, the nonlinear plots ... Picoult weaves us around, at times not clarifying which story line we’re in. Some readers may find the ambiguity frustrating, others may enjoy trying to figure out Dawn’s path ... While there’s ambiguity in the story, there’s none regarding Picoult’s passion for Egyptology. After 26 novels she is a master researcher, but she’s also usually a master of weaving in information without letting it slow the pacing. Not this time. She knows her stuff, but she’s showing readers her 200 best vacation pictures instead of 20. As a result, the history can feel heavier than a sarcophagus ... Picoult, at this point in her career could skillfully build tension in a broom closet, but the best part of this book is not the suspense; it’s the look at the complexity of a woman as she enters middle age ... Picoult always tells both sides of a story not with judgment, but with grace.
... a thrilling adventure, but the many timelines woven through the novel can also be a bit difficult to follow. With Picoult’s stories, there is always something new to learn, and The Book of Two Ways is no exception. The characters’ interests in ancient Egypt, quantum physics, death, and more bring a certain dynamism to the story, but at times, can also get a bit dense ... Nevertheless, Picoult has certainly crafted a fun and interesting read, one that will lead readers to both learn a lot and also ask themselves key questions about how to create happy lives for themselves during the short time we have on earth.
For those who love in-depth and descriptive prose, this novel has it all. Picoult goes into comprehensive detail regarding Quantum Physics, Brian's forte, the history of Egypt and hieroglyphics—including pictures and explanations of the writing—as well as the duties and concerns of a death doula. Intense and at times confusing, the prose tends to be overwhelming and tedious, making this a substantial read ... In actuality, this could comprise three novels ... Along with the comprehensive description of many subject matters—some of these topics which may not be one's forte—this book provides education in matters unknown to many as well as offering a great deal of food for thought about human relationships.