Review | Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross

Pope JoanIn light of today’s announcement of a new pope, Pope Francis (Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina), I thought I’d share a book with you that I loved. If you’re into conspiracy theories, this is a book for you.

Pope Joan’s existence has been denied by the Catholic Church for hundreds and hundreds of years, but her legend continues to live on.  By some, it is believed that a ninth-century woman, disguised as a man, rose to become the only female ever to sit on the throne of St. Peter.

In the novel Pope Joan, Cross creates a plausible story for how a woman could have risen to the position of pope in the early 800s. At a time when women were repressed in almost every way, especially as it relates to their being educated, Joan longs for knowledge. When her brother is brutally killed during a Viking attack, an opportunity to learn and be safe in a monastery presents itself, but only if Joan can disguise herself and pass as her brother John.

Full of twists and turns, and a bit of romance, Pope Joan will have you wondering if there ever really was woman who sat on the Papal throne.


Overall Rating: 4 of 5 stars false