Jodi Picoult’s new novel displays life, death and love

By Erica Cortes

One of New York’s bestselling authors Jodi Picoult explores a what-if scenario, something everyone can relate to takes us into a chance to answer it in her book “The Book of Two Ways.”
This book is about Dawn Edelstein, a death doula, who finds herself back in Egypt after surviving a plane crash.
Although Edelstein has a family, (a husband named Brian Edelstein and their 14-year-old daughter, Merit) she decides to not go back home to Boston but fly to another place from her past.
When Dawn was facing death after the plane crashed, all she could think about was Wyatt Armstrong, a former colleague and lover in Egypt.
The reader goes through a series of flashbacks to when they first meet and back to the present where she unfolds and discovers things about herself through this unexpected journey.
The plot overall is a stimulating story, showing the audience not to wait until you die or almost die to face unfinished business before leaving this world.
The main character, Edelstein, gives a unique perspective in life.
She starts off by having a near death experience in the beginning of the book, then later realizes her life is short and decides she wants to continue her study of Egyptology.
She pausesd her studies in the first place when she found out that she needed to go back home to take care of her brother, as her mother had passed from ovarian cancer.
Edelstein also gave the confusing deposition of what she really wants throughout the story.
She has this great family at home that cares for her but also has her former lover and remembering the time they had together back when they were studying.
The best part about this protagonist is her passion for her work and where she studies.
The determination after such a long time to finish what she once had started.
It shows it was her first love and a love that never ended. “’If you could go anywhere when you blink your eyes,’ he asked, ‘where would you be?’ ‘Egypt.’
The answer came as easily as my next heartbeat.” (Picoult, Book of Two Ways)
This story mainly takes place in Egypt.
Imagining what it could be like to explore and learn the culture like Edelstein, during the time that she was studying, gives a new land to envision while reading this book.
It comes in perfect time, when the world is still limited to traveling around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The one issue to this novel is of the lengthy information the author gives to readers about Egyptology.
Picoult tries to shove a lot of information into the plot that could be mistaken for a textbook instead of a novel.
Once the reader grasps the various Egyptian terms and symbols around the story, the reader can see how this story is for a reader who wants to go back. The reader can answer the question of what if.
The protagonist of the story answers her inner question and attempts to go back to Egypt to finish her book about the tale of two ways. ­­­

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