It is coincidental that the Pope resigned around the time I was reading this book. Pretty cool actually.
“For a thousand years her existence has been denied. She is the legend that will not die–Pope Joan, the ninth-century woman who disguised herself as a man and rose to become the only female ever to sit on the throne of St. Peter. Now in this riveting novel, Donna Woolfolk Cross paints a sweeping portrait of an unforgettable heroine who struggles against restrictions her soul cannot accept.
Brilliant and talented, young Joan rebels against medieval social strictures forbidding women to learn. When her brother is brutally killed during a Viking attack, Joan takes up his cloak–and his identity–and enters the monastery of Fulda. As Brother John Anglicus, Joan distinguishes herself as a great scholar and healer. Eventually, she is drawn to Rome, where she becomes enmeshed in a dangerous web of love, passion, and politics. Triumphing over appalling odds, she finally attains the highest office in Christendom–wielding a power greater than any woman before or since. But such power always comes at a price . . .
In this international bestseller, Cross brings the Dark Ages to life in all their brutal splendor and shares the dramatic story of a woman whose strength of vision led her to defy the social restrictions of her day.”
Expectation: Feminism in religion and a historical time period. In a way I did get that.
When Joan was a little girl she was awesome. By awesome I mean she would best grown men in debates. Joan was really well-developed. She probably was the only one in the book however.
I do not know if it because of my big book reading. But, I just feel that everything could have been developed more. Everything was going really amazing in the story until the romance came. The romance while not necessarily killing the story really brought down the story. I would have cared about the romance if it did not spring up out of nowhere for one thing. If it was not creepy too that would have been nice. For a while I thought it was The Thorn Birds part 2. It was still one of those romances to end all romances that makes like nobody else matters. It was a point that he put Joan before his kids. Joan did not put him before him. But, I can not help myself from feeling Pope Joan did not fully reach her potential. This book did not reach its full potential either.
The latter part when she became Pope Joan was ehh.The ending was something not good. Mythology says that is how it all ended so yeah. The villains or bad guys in the story were lackluster. Actually reminded of Pillars of the Earth which handled this so much better. I spent half the book not knowing what the villains purpose was since the author just put them in randomly.
Overall: I liked it. There was so much missing though to make me really enjoy it. I kind of still want to see the movie.