Jodi Picoult New Book: Book of Two Ways Disappoints

Jodi Picoult New Book: Book of Two Ways Disappoints

By Alli Lipsit, News Editor

If you’re a Jodi Picoult lover like me, you were absolutely ecstatic to hear that she would be releasing a new book in 2020. Personally, I had been waiting two years for a new book from Picoult. Her last novel, “A Spark of Light,” which was a total roller coaster of emotions, was released in 2018. That’s the bad thing about Picoult; you read one book, and then you have to read the rest. Her writing has a way of drawing readers into the book as if they’re a part of the story, and her endings are always unpredictable.

I was beyond excited when I heard my older sister had already bought the book, and even more happy when she gave it to me read before she even got the chance.Whenever a friend asks for a book recommendation, I always point them in the direction of Picoult’s books, and I even include an offer of money if they can guess the ending of the book. I’ve never had to follow through with giving anyone that money.

There’s really only ever been one Picoult book that I haven’t loved, “In Between The Lines,” but this was mostly due to the fact that the book was a young adult novel, and not as sophisticated and mature as her other books. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but now there are two Picoult books I don’t love. I really wouldn’t recommend Picoult’s newest book “The Book of Two Ways”.

I’m a big fiction reader, unless I’m reading a book about the current political climate, or a book written by a relevant politician, I don’t ever read nonfiction. It’s just not my thing at all, and it often tends to bore me. If you’re like me in that sense, this book really isn’t for you.

Don’t get me wrong, the book is indeed fiction. The characters in it aren’t real, and neither are their life stories, although they could be based on real people. The book seriously just feels like it’s nonfiction.

One of the things I love the most about Picoult’s writing is that she switches between different character’s perspectives, as well as different timelines. It’s like the excitement is quadrupled when there are four different timelines because each one of them keeps you wanting more, but you have to wait to get through other timelines perspectives to get back to that one. It’s basically just an endless cycle of excitement for the next chapter/perspective/timeline.

In “The Book of Two Ways” I found myself sighing with frustration whenever I got to the timeline that took place in Egypt. I don’t want to risk spoiling the book, so if you’re interested in more information about the plot, definitely check out her website.

But basically, the book is about a woman who has already established a life with a daughter and husband, and a job as a Death Doula (someone who pretty much makes sure a dying person have every wish granted.) Don’t get it confused with a hospice nurse, they’re actually opposites. However, in college, she was living in Egypt, studying “The Book of Two Ways” an ancient Egyptian scripture that would help her and her colleague, as well as lover, discover the tomb of prominent Egyptian figures from history. When her mother becomes sick, she leaves Egypt and her lover and never returns. A near-death experience several years later brings her back to Egypt, and you guessed it, her lover.

And boy, were the chapters that took place in Egypt boring. I could probably write out the whole alphabet in hieroglyphics now and answer a multitude of questions about Egyptian history considering that’s what pretty much half the book consisted of.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s an important topic, and even more important to history. It’s just not what I personally chose to read or learn about. Yet every time a chapter took place in Egypt, it was almost as if I was reading a National Geographic history edition.

And the ending…I guess you could say my expectations are really high for her endings, but I just didn’t find the ending very unpredictable at all. It was just kind of…random.

Overall, I’d have to give the book a 4/10. I was genuinely expecting a lot more from Picoult, but even though I didn’t like certain chapters, perspectives, or timelines, the plot was pretty solid, there was one timeline (the one where the main character is at home with her husband and child) that I was really intrigued by. I just expected a little more from her. It was foolish of me to think this book would save my 2020 I guess.

However, if you are looking for a good Picoult book, I would suggest literally any of them besides the two I’ve mentioned in my article today. She truly is one of the most gifted authors out there and will keep you on your feet the whole time.