Between Two Kingdoms - Suleika Jaouad

Between Two Kingdoms

By Suleika Jaouad

  • Release Date: 2021-02-09
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 4.5
From 422 Ratings


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A searing, deeply moving memoir of illness and recovery that traces one young woman’s journey from diagnosis to remission to re-entry into “normal” life—from the author of the Life, Interrupted column in The New York Times

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, Bloomberg, The Rumpus, She Reads, Library Journal, Booklist • “I was immersed for the whole ride and would follow Jaouad anywhere. . . . Her writing restores the moon, lights the way as we learn to endure the unknown.”—Chanel Miller, The New York Times Book Review
“Beautifully crafted . . . affecting . . . a transformative read . . . Jaouad’s insights about the self, connectedness, uncertainty and time speak to all of us.”—The Washington Post

In the summer after graduating from college, Suleika Jaouad was preparing, as they say in commencement speeches, to enter “the real world.” She had fallen in love and moved to Paris to pursue her dream of becoming a war correspondent. The real world she found, however, would take her into a very different kind of conflict zone.

It started with an itch—first on her feet, then up her legs, like a thousand invisible mosquito bites. Next came the exhaustion, and the six-hour naps that only deepened her fatigue. Then a trip to the doctor and, a few weeks shy of her twenty-third birthday, a diagnosis: leukemia, with a 35 percent chance of survival. Just like that, the life she had imagined for herself had gone up in flames. By the time Jaouad flew home to New York, she had lost her job, her apartment, and her independence. She would spend much of the next four years in a hospital bed, fighting for her life and chronicling the saga in a column for The New York Times.

When Jaouad finally walked out of the cancer ward—after countless rounds of chemo, a clinical trial, and a bone marrow transplant—she was, according to the doctors, cured. But as she would soon learn, a cure is not where the work of healing ends; it’s where it begins. She had spent the past 1,500 days in desperate pursuit of one goal—to survive. And now that she’d done so, she realized that she had no idea how to live.

How would she reenter the world and live again? How could she reclaim what had been lost? Jaouad embarked—with her new best friend, Oscar, a scruffy terrier mutt—on a 100-day, 15,000-mile road trip across the country. She set out to meet some of the strangers who had written to her during her years in the hospital: a teenage girl in Florida also recovering from cancer; a teacher in California grieving the death of her son; a death-row inmate in Texas who’d spent his own years confined to a room. What she learned on this trip is that the divide between sick and well is porous, that the vast majority of us will travel back and forth between these realms throughout our lives. Between Two Kingdoms is a profound chronicle of survivorship and a fierce, tender, and inspiring exploration of what it means to begin again.


  • Unique perspective

    By LeighSNo
    Such a wonderful unique perspective of a young woman trying desperately to find her way back from cancer and sickness to living her life with meaning . It encourages everyone to take inventory of their own life and go appreciate all those that have made positive contributions along the way . Very enjoyable book !
  • Powerful

    By LoriCosgrove
    This is a beautiful story that would touch anyone who has been close to someone experiencing illness. I would highly recommend it and hope to read future novels.
  • A hard book to read

    By 1 Banker
    This is a difficult book, yet it’s hard to put down. It’s painful because it’s “but for the grace of God” story reiterates that her story could just as easily be my story or my child’s story. The seeming randomness of getting a life altering or life ending illness is just that, random. In its simplicity, it’s a reminder to live every day to its fullest, because you never know what’s going to happen next.
  • Amazing

    By kevster33
    Incredibly inspirational! Will remember this book for the rest of my life.
  • salamatiye pedar madaramun dustaye bab

    By rafigaye ba mramo ,oftade☺️☺️
    رفیقای با مرام ، افتاده در کنار دیگ پلو... درد های پژمرده در کنار آب نور دو دیگانش... وقت نماز شب است چندین کودک بازی میکنن کنار آب میخنددند از عمق دل بدونه ریا ،گویا که همبازی‌شان خود خدا هست... خدایا اجازه هست؟کفش ندارم مراهم بازی میدهید؟ خدایا مرحمتی بیشتر بفرما بر این بنده حقیر...
  • I didn’t think I would be interested.

    By Canine Kids
    This book is so beautifully honest and compelling. I am reading it in the middle of the night. One of the best books I have read in a long time…amongst the best ever.
  • Great Read

    By cjfarber
    Truthful. Thoughtful. Complete.
  • A+

    By Billy in Vermont
    Excellent. Could not put it down.
  • Incredible story

    By DFX406
    Totally compelling, beautifully written. I didn’t want this book to end. One of the best memoirs I’ve read.
  • Excellent

    By FLLtoNYC
    This book touched me profoundly. Thank you.