Friday, September 25, 2009

Pope Joan by Donna Norfolk Cross

Pope John by Donna Norfolk Cross book cover
Pope Joan
by Donna Norfolk Cross
Crown Publishing Group, 2009
432 pages
Historical Fiction

Summary in a sentence:


When her older brother is killed, Joan, a rebellious ninth-century woman, assumes his identity, enters a monastery and becomes a great Christian scholar, eventually attaining the throne of Pope.

My Thoughts:

I've always been a big fan of historical fiction and Pope Joan definitely delivers. I mean, a story about a female pope who might have existed? Bring it on!

Pope JoanJoan is a very strong character. She is brave and educated in an age that saw an educated woman as unnatural and sinful. She also has a vast knowledge of medieval medicine which comes in handy later in the novel. The plot is action-filled; this is a book that sucks you in and can't be put down until it is done. Author notes in the back of the book are very informative about the Dark Ages and the church in Joan's time. I became so interested in the period while reading this book that I found myself researching the legend of Pope Joan...researching for fun! What is that?

One of the themes of the book is the idea of inner conflict, especially in regards to religious upbringing. Joan is the child of a pagan mother and a strict Christian father. She constantly struggles between faith and doubt and between her mind and heart.

The novel raises plenty of questions about women in the church both in the Dark Ages and today and whether Pope Joan even existed in the first place. I highly recommend this book for all historical fiction fans and those who enjoy a novel with a strong female protagonist.

Rating: 5/5

Read Alikes:

Author information: Learn more about the author at her website: Meet the Author: Donna Norfolk Cross.



Other points of view on the book:

Peeking Between the Pages

One Person's Journey Through a World of Books
Books for Breakfast

CymLowell

7 comments:

Lula O said...

I loved this one too! I thought the historical tidbits she included in the back of the book were a great tie-in. When I wrote a review of this a while back, the author actually commented! She was super nice. I guess she'll even arrange to phone in at your book club too. There's a movie of this being made, in Germany I think. Can you imagine?

A Bookshelf Monstrosity said...

I'm quite excited about seeing the movie. Not sure when it comes out...

Cym Lowell said...

Great review. I like Historical Fiction so I enjoyed reading this.

Thanks for joining in on the Book Review Blog party. Be sure to add my badge (or a link back) to the end of your post. This lets readers know that you are participating in the blog party and makes going back & forth between the reviews easier!

Stay tuned for Friday AM, when I announce the winner of the Amazon GC.

Again, I have enjoyed reading your blog and I am now a follower!

Warms-CYM

Crystal said...

This sounds really good, I'm going to add it to my list. I find myself loving historical fiction more and more and this sounds like an excellent book. Thanks so much for sharing your review.

Mary said...

I read this several years ago and really liked it. Nice review.

ibeeeg said...

Loved your review.
I have heard wonderful things about this book.
Thanks for your review as you have reminded me that I must read this book!

Melange said...

I've had this on my TBR for a long time. I'm currently reading Pope Patrick, which is a funny, and it's oh so very good. I think you should check it out.

Great Review!!

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