Monday, September 13, 2010
Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross
FTC Disclosure: bought from Barnes and Noble
This book is based on the myth of a woman pope who reigned for a few years in the early Middle Ages. Cross found what she could on this legendary character and weaved a beautiful story around her. What were her origins? How did she get her learning since females weren't allowed to learn much if anything? How did she rise to the position of the pope? These are many of the questions that she answers.
I loved reading about Joan. She's a strong female character, one that stands up against any age. She grows from a small girl who is abused by her horrible father and escapes with her learning, falls in love with her care taker, and eventually disguises herself as a man.
Cross really knows how to tell a story. I was enthralled and horrified from page one. The last 1/4 of the book slows down a bit, but that's to be expected.
The parts that really spoke to me were Joan's ability to think rationally as possible and sort through problems and come up with solutions, especially in a time so full of superstition. She had doubts about God and her faith and that was OK. The way she handles what life has to throw at her is something, I think, we can all aspire to.