The Book of Two Ways, a novel by Jodi Picoult, is the story of Dawn McDowell, a doctoral candidate for a degree in Egyptology. Dawn is forced to returned home to care for her younger brother when her mother becomes ill. Married and with a daughter of her own, Dawn has established herself in a new career helping those facing end-of-life issues. Then, she discovers her daughter's father is not Brian – the stable man to whom she has been married for 15 years. The father is Wyatt, the handsome Brit who has continued his academia path to become one of the major names in Egyptian history. When Dawn faces a near-death experience of her own, she must come to terms with the ancient Egyptian belief that there are two ways to reach the afterlife, a land route and a water route. Each brings the traveler to the same destination. The novel's main themes are facing death, the importance of hope, and the complexity of lost love.