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Are you looking for an audiobook review that will inspire and move you? Look no further than Suleika Jaouad’s memoir, “Between Two Kingdoms.” This powerful story details Jaouad’s journey of resilience after a life-altering cancer diagnosis at age 22. Through her vivid prose, Jaouad transforms hardship into hope and shares with readers the transformative experience of overcoming adversity.

In this article, we provide an in-depth exploration of Jaouad’s memoir. We examine her unique writing style, discuss the main themes and emotional impact of the book, compare it to other memoirs in the genre, and provide a balanced view of the praise and criticisms it has received. Whether you are a fan of memoirs or looking for inspiration, “Between Two Kingdoms” will not disappoint.

About the Author Suleika Jaouad

Suleika Jaouad is a New York Times bestselling author, speaker, and advocate for young adults and communities facing health challenges. Her critically acclaimed memoir, “Between Two Kingdoms,” is a powerful testament to her life-changing journey. Born in New York City to a Tunisian father and a Swiss mother, Suleika grew up between Paris, France, and Princeton, New Jersey.

After graduating from Princeton University with a degree in Comparative Literature, Suleika pursued a career in journalism and wrote for publications such as The New York Times, Vogue, and NPR’s “All Things Considered.” However, her life took a turn when she was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 22.

Full Name Suleika Jaouad
Born New York City
Education Princeton University
Occupation Author, Speaker, Advocate
Notable Works “Between Two Kingdoms”

Throughout her battle with cancer, Suleika began writing a personal blog, which later turned into a column in The New York Times called “Life, Interrupted.” In 2014, she was declared cancer-free and embarked on a 15,000-mile road trip around the United States, chronicled in her Emmy-winning video series, “The Isolation Journals.”

“Between Two Kingdoms,” her debut memoir, has been praised for its courageous honesty and raw vulnerability. In the book, Suleika shares her journey of healing and transformation after cancer, as she navigates a new sense of identity and purpose.

“The most important thing I learned on this journey is that our identities are constantly evolving,” Suleika says. “Even when we feel like we’ve reached the kingdom we were fighting for, there’s always more to discover and explore.”

Suleika continues to write, speak, and advocate for young adults facing health challenges, using her own story to inspire others to find hope and resilience in the face of adversity.

Summary of Between Two Kingdoms

In “Between Two Kingdoms,” author Suleika Jaouad takes readers on a transformative journey through her battle with leukemia and the subsequent healing process that followed. After being diagnosed with cancer at the age of 22, Jaouad spent several years in treatment before eventually going into remission.

The memoir details Jaouad’s subsequent road trip around the United States, during which she explores themes of identity, human connection, and the resilience of the human spirit. Along the way, she meets a variety of people who help shape her journey, and comes to terms with the significant changes in her life.

This powerful memoir offers an honest and heartfelt look at the challenges of illness and recovery, and the impact that these experiences can have on our lives. Through Jaouad’s moving story, readers are reminded of the power of connection and hope in even the most challenging of circumstances.

“Jaouad’s writing reflects the level of resilience, empathy and introspection that she acquired over a harrowing journey. Between Two Kingdoms will inspire many along the way.” – The Washington Post

Writing Style and Narration

Suleika Jaouad’s writing style is beautifully lyrical, infused with poetic details that paint vivid images of her experiences. She uses both metaphor and reality to create a deeply moving and captivating memoir that keeps listeners engaged throughout.

Furthermore, the audiobook narration by the author herself lends an added layer of authenticity and emotion to the story. Jaouad’s voice is calming and melodic, adding to the overall listening experience. She also imparts a deeper understanding of her journey through her inflection and tone.

One noteworthy aspect of the audiobook production is the addition of musical interludes and sound effects that emphasize the emotional impact of certain scenes. This use of audio elements adds depth and texture to the story, creating a rich sensory experience for listeners.

Example Quote:

“As a writer, Jaouad is both a gifted wordsmith and a gifted storyteller, and her memoir is a testament to the power of language to heal and transform.”

Themes Explored in Between Two Kingdoms

Suleika Jaouad’s memoir, “Between Two Kingdoms,” explores several central themes that resonate with readers on a deep emotional level. Through her personal story, Jaouad examines the meaning of resilience, identity, and the power of human connection.

One of the main themes in the memoir is resilience in the face of adversity. Through her battle with cancer, Jaouad experiences physical and emotional challenges that test her strength. Her courage and perseverance in the face of these challenges inspire readers to develop their own resilience and overcome difficult circumstances.

Identity is another important theme in “Between Two Kingdoms.” Jaouad struggles to define herself as she navigates life after cancer treatment. Her journey to rediscover her identity offers readers valuable insights into the complexities of self-discovery and the search for meaning.

The memoir also emphasizes the power of human connection and the importance of community. Jaouad’s relationships with loved ones and strangers alike demonstrate the transformative effects of genuine human connections. Her story underscores the value of empathy and interpersonal support in the face of hardship.

Overall, “Between Two Kingdoms” is a powerful exploration of essential themes that are relevant to readers of all ages and backgrounds. Through her personal story, Suleika Jaouad illuminates the enduring human spirit and inspires readers to approach life with courage, authenticity, and compassion.

Emotional Impact and Journey

“Between Two Kingdoms” is a memoir that leaves a powerful emotional impact on readers. Suleika Jaouad’s journey of resilience, healing, and self-discovery is a moving and transformative experience that resonates deeply with audiences.

The author’s vulnerability and authenticity in sharing her personal struggles with cancer and the aftermath of treatment make her story both relatable and inspiring. Jaouad’s candid and introspective writing style draws readers in and encourages them to reflect on their own journeys of growth and resilience.

The audiobook format adds another layer to the emotional impact of the story. Hearing Jaouad’s words spoken aloud in her own voice allows listeners to connect with her story on a deeper level. The narration conveys the author’s emotions and experiences in a way that elevates the audiobook experience beyond simply reading words on a page.

Overall, “Between Two Kingdoms” takes readers on a compelling and transformative journey that leaves a lasting emotional impact. Jaouad’s memoir is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of hope and connection in the face of adversity.

Praise and Criticisms of Between Two Kingdoms

Since its release, “Between Two Kingdoms” has received both praise and criticisms from readers and critics alike.


“Between Two Kingdoms” is a beautifully written and inspiring memoir of resilience that captures the reader’s attention from beginning to end. Suleika Jaouad’s unique writing style and storytelling is a testament to her strength and bravery.”

– Oprah Winfrey

“This memoir offers a raw and honest portrayal of what it means to face adversity and come out on the other side stronger. Jaouad’s story is one of hope and human connection. Highly recommended.”

– The New York Times Book Review


Some readers found the pace of the book to be slow and drawn-out, particularly in the early chapters. They also felt that certain parts of the memoir were repetitive and could have been condensed.

– Goodreads review

While the story was inspiring, others felt that Jaouad’s journey was not representative of the average cancer survivor. Some readers noted that the privilege she had access to significantly impacted her recovery experience.

– Amazon review

Overall, while “Between Two Kingdoms” is not without criticism, it has been widely praised for its unique approach to the memoir genre and its impactful themes of resilience and human connection.

Comparison with Other Memoirs

While there are many memoirs that explore themes of resilience and healing, “Between Two Kingdoms” stands out for its unique perspective and engaging writing style. In comparison to other memoirs, such as Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” and Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild,” “Between Two Kingdoms” offers a more intimate and personal exploration of the author’s journey through illness and recovery.

Where “Becoming” offers a political perspective on the importance of self-discovery and growth, and “Wild” shares a tale of adventure and self-discovery through nature, “Between Two Kingdoms” focuses on the power of human connection and community in times of struggle. The memoir allows readers to not only experience Suleika Jaouad’s personal journey, but also to connect with their own experiences of loss, illness, and healing.

Overall, “Between Two Kingdoms” provides a unique and refreshing take on the memoir genre, and is a must-read for anyone looking for a deep and emotional exploration of the human experience.

Audiobook vs. Print Book Experience

Experiencing “Between Two Kingdoms” through an audiobook versus a print version can offer vastly different experiences. On the one hand, the audiobook version delivers a more immersive experience, particularly with talented voice actors who can bring the story to life.

The audiobook format is also more accessible for readers with visual impairments or just prefer to listen to books on-the-go. However, audiobooks lack the visual elements of print books, such as illustrations, that can add a unique dimension to the story.

On the other hand, print books give readers a tangible object to hold and can offer a more personal reading experience. Additionally, print books are more suitable for readers who want to take their time or go back and re-read specific passages.

Ultimately, the choice between an audiobook or print book of “Between Two Kingdoms” comes down to personal preference. Those looking for a more immersive experience may prefer the audiobook, while readers who want a more tactile reading experience may lean towards a print version.

audiobook vs. print book experience


In conclusion, “Between Two Kingdoms” is a captivating and deeply emotional audiobook that explores important themes of resilience, identity, and human connection. Suleika Jaouad’s unique writing style and powerful narration make for a truly immersive experience that takes listeners on a transformative journey alongside the author. While there have been some criticisms of the book, including its somewhat slow pacing in parts, overall it has received widespread praise for its powerful storytelling and raw honesty.

For readers interested in exploring “Between Two Kingdoms” as an audiobook, we highly recommend giving it a listen. The audio format allows listeners to fully immerse themselves in Jaouad’s story, and her narration adds an extra layer of depth and emotion to the experience. However, for those who prefer the traditional print book format, the memoir is also available in that version.

Overall, “Between Two Kingdoms” is a powerful and thought-provoking memoir that is sure to resonate with listeners. Whether you’re looking for a story of resilience and hope or simply a well-written and engaging audiobook, “Between Two Kingdoms” is definitely worth checking out.

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