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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pope Joan

I'm going to interrupt my trip down memory road to write a book review. I follow several blogs where books are reviewed and I have appreciated those critiques and recommendations.

Today I finished the second of my two Book Club selections for November. Pope Joan was a rich and fascinating work of fiction based on historical facts which Donna Woodfolk Cross spent many years researching. It is the tale of a girl whose origins should have kept in in squalid domesticity. Instead through her intelligence, indomitability and courage, she ascended to the throne of Rome as Pope John Anglicus.

Joan assumes the role of her brother who is killed in a viking attack. She dons her brother's clothing, cuts her hair and goes to a monastery for protection and education. Her sharp mind takes her places she could never have gone as a female in 814 AD.

It really was an interesting story and the Author's Notes and Reader's Guide at the back of the book add a dimension to the tale as Ms. Cross sites references and proofs of the reality of a female Pope and what the Catholic Church has done in the years since to bury the evidence that it truly happened.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

Thanks for reviewing the book! I enjoyed hearing your take first hand, I'll have to check it out!