Try a Sample Chapter of Jodi Picoult’s Stunning New Novel, The Book of Two Ways

Try a Sample Chapter of Jodi Picoult’s Stunning New Novel, The Book of Two Ways

My calendar is full of dead people.

When my phone alarm chimes, I fish it out from the pocket of my

cargo pants. I’ve forgotten, with the time change, to turn off the re- minder. I’m still groggy with sleep, but I open the date and read the names: Iris Vale. Eun Ae Kim. Alan Rosenfeldt. Marlon Jensen.

I close my eyes, and do what I do every day at this moment: I remember them.

Iris, who had died tiny and birdlike, had once driven a getaway car for a man she loved who’d robbed a bank. Eun Ae, who had been a doctor in Korea, but couldn’t practice in the United States. Alan had proudly showed me the urn he bought for his cremated remains and then joked, I haven’t tried it on yet. Marlon had changed out all the toilets in his house and put in new flooring and cleaned the gut- ters; he bought graduation gifts for his two children and hid them away. He took his twelve-year-old daughter to a hotel ballroom and waltzed with her while I filmed it on his phone, so that the day she got married there would be video of her dancing with her father.

At one point, they were my clients. Now, they’re my stories to keep.

Everyone in my row is asleep. I slip my phone back into my pocket and carefully crawl over the woman to my right without dis- turbing her—air traveler’s yoga—to make my way to the bathroom in the rear of the plane. There I blow my nose and look in the mir- ror. I’m at the age where that’s a surprise, where I still think I’m going to see a younger woman rather than the one who blinks back at me. Lines fan from the corners of my eyes, like the creases of a familiar map. If I untangle the braid that lies over my left shoulder, these terrible fluorescent lights would pick up those first grey strands in my hair. I’m wearing baggy pants with an elastic waist, like every other sensible nearly-forty woman who knows she ’s going to be on a plane for a long-haul flight. I grab a handful of tissues and open the door, intent on heading back to my seat, but the little galley area is packed with flight attendants. They are knotted together like a frown.

They stop talking when I appear. “Ma’am,” one of them says, “could you please take your seat?”

It strikes me that their job isn’t really very different from mine. If you’re on a plane, you’re not where you started, and you’re not where you’re going. You’re caught in between. A flight attendant is the guide who helps you navigate that passage smoothly. As a death doula, I do the same thing, but the journey is from life to death, and at the end, you don’t disembark with two hundred other travelers. You go alone.

Continue reading the extract here…

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The Book of Two Ways is Another Must-Read from Jodi Picoult

Review | Our Review

22 September 2020

The Book of Two Ways is Another Must-Read from Jodi Picoult

    Publisher details

    The Book of Two Ways
    Author
    Jodi Picoult
    Publisher
    Allen & Unwin
    Genre
    Fiction
    Released
    23 September, 2020
    ISBN
    9781760528768

    Synopsis

    The #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Spark of Light returns with a thought-provoking and otherworldly new novel about the fates that we choose for ourselves and what happens when we have the chance to choose again. Dawn Edelstein knows everything there is to know about dying. She specialises in helping her clients make peace with the end of their lives. But as she's flying home from her latest case, she is forced to confront her own mortality for the first time. Instead of seeing her brilliant quantum physicist husband and their beloved daughter flash before her eyes in what she assumes are her last moments, only one face is shockingly clear: Wyatt Armstrong. Safely on the ground, Dawn now faces a desperate decision. Should she return to Boston, her family and the life she knows, or journey back to an Egyptian archaeological site she left over a decade earlier, reconnect with Wyatt, and finally finish her abandoned magnum opus, The Book of Two Ways? As the story unfolds, Dawn must confront the questions she's never truly answered: What does a life well-lived look like? When we depart this earth, what do we leave behind of ourselves? And who would you be if you hadn't turned out to be the person you are right now?
    Jodi Picoult
    About the author

    Jodi Picoult

    Jodi Picoult is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twenty-six novels, including A Spark of LightSmall Great ThingsLeaving TimeThe StorytellerLone WolfHouse RulesNineteen MinutesThe Pact and My Sister's Keeper. She is also the author, with daughter Samantha van Leer, of two young adult novels, Between the Lines and Off the Page. Jodi lives in New Hampshire.

    Books by Jodi Picoult

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