Reader reviews and comments on Pope Joan, plus links to write your own review.

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Aug 1996, 432 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 1997, 432 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

Page 1 of 1
There are currently 7 reader reviews for Pope Joan
Order Reviews by:

Write your own review!

Bobo Loco

Utter Speechlessness
When I think of the book "Pope Joan", written by the amazing writer Donna Cross, I am filled with awe and pride. I myself believe the book's contents to have historical accuracy. After having done some extensive research on the subject of a previous female pope, I have come to the conclusion that the character Pope Joan did exist. If not with the same name, definitely with the same courage, power, and cunning. This character has come to be one of my biggest heroines. And, I couldn't have come up with a better writer to have portrayed her greatness. I have recommended this book to countless of other friends. As is to be expected, every female reader that I have come across with has been absolutely fascinated with "Pope Joan." For the opposite sex, however, they seem to find the book to "dull" or "fictitious". Nevertheless, this book belongs in every shelf of a women who has a little self esteem.
A Bookshelf Monstrosity

John, meet Joan...
I've always been a big fan of historical fiction and Pope Joan definitely delivers. I mean, a story about a female pope who might have existed? Bring it on!

Joan is a very strong character. She is brave and educated in an age that saw an educated woman as unnatural and sinful. She also has a vast knowledge of medieval medicine which comes in handy later in the novel. The plot is action-filled; this is a book that sucks you in and can't be put down until it is done. Author notes in the back of the book are very informative about the Dark Ages and the church in Joan's time. I became so interested in the period while reading this book that I found myself researching the legend of Pope Joan...researching for fun! What is that?

One of the themes of the book is the idea of inner conflict, especially in regards to religious upbringing. Joan is the child of a pagan mother and a strict Christian father. She constantly struggles between faith and doubt and between her mind and heart.

The novel raises plenty of questions about women in the church both in the Dark Ages and today and whether Pope Joan even existed in the first place. I highly recommend this book for all historical fiction fans and those who enjoy a novel with a strong female protagonist.
Eklektica

An excellent book for a book discussion group. Lots of women's issues here and if you enjoy historical fiction this is perfect. Set in early medieval Europe and Italy the plot involves the legend of the first (and only) female pope. Did she really exist? A provocative question. The Catholic Church says no. What do you think?
GINNY

I couldn't put this book down. Have recommended it to all my friends. A great read.
tumblewind

Good history, poor writing
The possibility of an early female Pope is fascinating and well-supported in this well-researched novel. Unfortunately, while Cross provides richly-detailed insight into 9th century European life and Catholic politics, she is very weak in characterization and story.

I kept rolling my eyes at the cliches. Rather than showing characters through their actions, Cross would describe them for us using broad generalizations. One page had seven exclamation points in the dialogue from various church authorities. And how lame was it to have fortune-teller predict the fates of Joan and Gisla?

I felt like I was reading a second-rate romance novel interlaced with a rich historical nonfiction work. I would rather Cross had written a long magazine article about what her research had taught her about the possiblity of a female Pope.
R

So much sorrow!
This book made me regret reading it by chapter 6.
Anonymous

This story reads as though it could actually have been true.
And it keeps you interested the entire time because the woman
in the story could be any one of us, even now. Her determination
keeps the story on edge since you want to know what happens and how she is going to acheive it.
Very moving for me and I read alot of books. Some don't tell
as well of a story as this one.

Tina Nobile
Youngwood Pa
  • Page
  • 1

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Do Not Become Alarmed
    Do Not Become Alarmed
    by Maile Meloy
    Full disclosure: I've never had any desire to go on a cruise. I start getting antsy and ...
  • Book Jacket: Priestdaddy
    Priestdaddy
    by Patricia Lockwood
    Patricia Lockwood is a poet and the daughter of Greg Lockwood, a Catholic priest. While Catholic ...
  • Book Jacket: Before We Sleep
    Before We Sleep
    by Jeffrey Lent
    Katey Snow, aged seventeen, leaves home one night. "There was a void within her and one that could ...

Win this book!
Win News of the World

News of the World

A brilliant work of historical fiction that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.

Enter

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Gypsy Moth Summer
    by Julia Fierro

    One of the most anticipated books of 2017.
    Reader Reviews

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T's S I Numbers

and be entered to win..

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

A richly layered novel of hearts broken seemingly beyond repair and then bound by a stunning act of human devotion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.