Regular price: $38.49

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

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....

©1996 , 2009 Donna Woolfolk Cross (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    287
  • 4 Stars
    171
  • 3 Stars
    55
  • 2 Stars
    30
  • 1 Stars
    15

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    253
  • 4 Stars
    128
  • 3 Stars
    43
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    5

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    237
  • 4 Stars
    123
  • 3 Stars
    46
  • 2 Stars
    16
  • 1 Stars
    11
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

WOW!!!

This book is wonderfully written. The performance was just so great. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Lady Pope

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.

10 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Silly Woman!

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.

15 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Cariola
  • Chambersburg, PA USA
  • 07-19-11

Disappointing

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?

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • MW
  • POWELL, OH, US
  • 07-10-18

Medtechgma1

I really enjoyed this historical fiction based on a whole lot of fact. The dark ages was such an interesting time to live. It was so difficult for women and all people of all ages, but particularly women. I found it enlightening as to the difficulties experienced In the Catholic Church. It best to keep Church and state separate.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Love this book

This is a great listen if you're interested in historical fiction. The story was compelling, the characters sympathetic and the narration flawless.
I will be listening to this one again at some point. Fantastic!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

I love historical fiction. I found this book most interesting. Very well worth the listening.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Tedious soap opera in historical setting

As someone who enjoys historical fiction, I was incredibly disappointed with Pope Joan. Every aspect of the drama was so overdone and exaggerated that I felt myself rolling my eyes and groaning throughout. The last quarter of the book was actually painful with the tawdry romance outweighing anything else in the story. I only finished this because it was our book club’s selection, but I would not recommend wasting your time unless you are a soap opera/romance novel fan, as the history takes such a backseat that it’s hardly noticed.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

exceptional in historical content and storyline<br />

this author was exceptional in historical content accuracy and storyline. It was clear to see that much investigation and historical background had been researched in order to complete this entertaining and well-written book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sandy
  • San Francisco, CA United States
  • 11-11-17

Fabulous and interesting story

Could she have been pope. Most certainly! This is very thought provoking. The Catholic Church offers much good....except in the treatment of women at the top: it is time to let reason rule tradition. I️ can see this book as great mini series....Netflix take note. This would be a winner! By the way, I️ loved the reader’s voice. I️ could sit for hours letter her tell me stories.