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....
©1996 , 2009 Donna Woolfolk Cross; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC
"Whether or not one believes in Joan as Pope, this is a compelling story, filled with all kinds of lore: the brutishness of the Dark Ages, Vatican intrigue, politics and favoritism and most of all, the place of women in the Church and in the world." (Amazon.com review)
"In this colorful, richly imagined novel, Cross ably inspires a suspension of disbelief, pulling off the improbable feat of writing a romance starring a pregnant pope." (Publishers Weekly)
Pope Joan is a very good book. I couldn't stop listening to it, and after I finished- I thought more about the carichtors. After a very shocking trauma, Joan chose to live in 2 worlds: One in which she is almost a man, a priest who does many almost unbelievable things. In the other, she is a woman who does the most womanly things. The only link between her 2 worlds is her love to Jerald. If you are in the search for a provoking and enjoyable listening, I recommend you to buy this book.
Donna Cross leaves no cliche uncoined in this overlong and faintly ridiculous attempt at the legend of a medieval female pope. There are numerous anachronisms, and the turgid prose, predictable plot make it very difficult for Barbara Rosenblat to give it a convincing reading. After her exceptional reading of the Amelia Peabody novels, I had hoped for much more from her. The yawn factor was very high for me with this book. I'm being generous with 3 stars.
I had heard a lot of good buzz about this novel and was looking forward to it. In the end, while it kept my attention, it was just OK. Cross relied too heavily on clich??s, and the book would have been better without shoving in the mushy romance. So is the moral of the story that women should be treated as individuals and judged according to their abilities--or is it that women, in the end, really are creatures ruled by their passions and need a man to control them?
I'm a country potter, gardener, flute player and tin tinker living with my husband, an electrical engineer & cabinet maker.
Since trying Pillars of the Earth after seeing the high rating from Audible members I've been leery of any books. I found Follet's writing of poor quality with repetitious and excessive wording. A good story but at least 100 pages longer than needed.
Pope Joan deserve high marks for historical fiction, quality writing, a well crafted story and it's all delivered in marvelous narration. Well worth the listen.
Loved the story, just enough detail, and great plot.
Loved the interaction with all of the characters, but really admired Joan.
I like Barbara Rosenblat. She's very good as she tells stories and her narration does not get in the way of the story.
Her character---she was brilliant, honest and true to her values despite what wrath that would bring down on her.
It gave a very honest potrayal of the dysfunction of the Church in the treatment of women, the cruel punishments inflicted on its members and the blatant hypocrisy of the hierarchy.
Her narration was excellent! You could tell exactly which characters she was portraying by the changes in her voice. I love the audio books because I load them on my ipod and I can listen to them when I go walking or when I'm doing boring household tasks. I have a busy life and don't have time to sit and read a book.
My heart went out to the child Joan when she was so savagelly beaten by her wicked father just because she wanted to read. Also when the monks were beaten mercilessly because they would fall asleep during their reading of the scriptures. All of this in the name of religion was appalling to me.
I loved listening to this book. Makes you wonder! The reader was perfect for this book - I could picture the scenes in my head as she painted the story. This book is definitely a Catholic conspiracy theory - and true or not it is very entertaining.
I love Barbara Rosenblat, so I'm bias.
Too many to count.
They were all preformed very well.
It made me think.
This was an epic tale made more tantalizing by historians who agree that Pope Joan did indeed exist. Though it was a very lengthy book, (19 hrs) it was the perfect travel companion on a long trip, with tales of love, war, triumph and tragedy.
I have two rescue dogs. One Scottish born husband. And a love of books that goes back to childhood and bookmobiles!
i first read this book when it came out and was so excited, i had to get it to a catholic friend of mine. the only thing missing from the audio was after the close of the book where the author disclosed where she got the idea and showed a picture of the chair with the hole in it that appeared after pope joan died. recently there was a release of the movie on reels tv. something seemed amiss and i wanted to check it out. as it was available here (and i do so love to listen to books), I used one of my credits on it. Why? Because I love audio books that don't take up space in my house.
now if i've purchased a book twice and watch the movie version as well, this has to be a book that i found well above average. i think you will as well enjoy this woman's journey. you might even find you have to invite your best friend over so you can listen to again as you share it.
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