Pope Joan (Ballantine Reader's Circle)

by Donna Woolfolk Cross | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0345416260 Global Overview for this book
Registered by alsomama of Seattle, Washington USA on 3/27/2003
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5 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by alsomama from Seattle, Washington USA on Thursday, March 27, 2003
Was there really a female pope? Hard to imagine, still it makes for intriguing historical fiction. The story is based on the controversial concept that there actually was a Pope Joan, and that she lived and ruled in the early 9th century at a time when most women were forbidden to read, much less study at a religious school. Joan is determined to further her learning and manages eventually to reach Rome and become Pope. In an age full of Saracen attacks, evil archbishops and constant warfare, it is hard to imagine that Joan would succeed, but the story is so lively and fast-moving that you probably won't care. An engaging book.

Released on Thursday, March 27, 2003 at Sleepers In Seattle in Seattle, Washington USA.

Leaving this one at Sleepers In Seattle for tamarabk.

Journal Entry 3 by tamarabk from Lynnwood, Washington USA on Saturday, March 29, 2003
Alsomama sent me a couple of emails and sold me on this book. I am looking forward to reading it and I will be sending it to lucycat when I am through on alsomama's behalf.

Journal Entry 4 by tamarabk from Lynnwood, Washington USA on Wednesday, April 09, 2003
Alright. Alsomama got me back for The Virgin Suicides, a book I loved and she hated. This book was a real chore to work through because it read as though it was written in the wooden prose of a high school english student. If I wanted to read writing at this level I would have become a teacher.
It is an interesting idea for a book, but I read a book at least as much for the writing as for what the writing is about. Perhaps someone will come along later on and do it better.
I am sending this tomorrow to lucycat in the UK, hopefully she'll like it more than I did.

Journal Entry 5 by lucycat from Hull, East Yorkshire United Kingdom on Friday, May 23, 2003
Thanks so much to Alsomama and Tamarabk for passing this one along to me, it's very much appreciated.

Reading the journal entries above though, it's tough to work out whether it'll be my cup of tea or not...I loved 'Virgin Suicides', like Tamarabk did, and I sent Alsomama 'Death of Vishnu', which she and I both enjoyed, so I have 'books in common' with both of them...I guess only time and a good reading session will tell. ;O)

Update 15/4/04

Will be reading this one in the next month, after which it'll be headed to LeighBCD down in the smoke...

Later that month...

This really didn't do anything for me at all, so much so that I'm afraid I only made it about seventy pages in before I called it a day. As I've said before, this wouldn't be one of my normal choices but I'd had it recommended to me so many times that I thought I'd give it a go...I think in the end it's downfall was probably that I read it on the back of 'Pillars of the Earth' by Ken Follett, which is set in a similar period and which absolutely blew my socks off. :O)

Sorry for the delayed update on the journallling, everyone!

(P.S. The one-star rating is nothing to do with the quality of the writing in the book, it's just reflection of the fact that I didn't like it enough to finish it.)

Journal Entry 6 by LeighBCD on Thursday, May 27, 2004
Received in the mail today from lucycat... thank you so much for sending this to me. I have always thought the story of Pope Joan was intriguing so I am looking forward to reading this fictional account of her life. I hope it is good!

Journal Entry 7 by LeighBCD on Saturday, June 19, 2004
OK... well I really liked this book, I read it very quickly. It probably helps that I have just come back from Rome and I had taken the book with me to read while I was there. I agree that the author's writing technique is not the greatest but I thought the plot was very interesting. The best part of the novel, in fact, is the end when the author puts forth the historical case FOR the existence of a female pope. I think the author makes a valid argument that knowledge is power and that societies where women are suppressed, it is their right to an education which is one of the first things that is taken away from them. While I do not think this is a feminist novel that is worthy of comparison to, say, The Handmaid' Tale by Margaret Atwood, I think nevertheless that the message of this story is a very important one.

I will probably release this in trade to another bookcrosser - watch this space!! Thanks again lucycat for sending this to me.

Released 15 yrs ago (9/1/2004 UTC) at -- Controlled Release in -- By post or by hand --, Greater London United Kingdom



sent as part of a bookray... enjoy!

Journal Entry 9 by Jaelle from Brooklyn, New York USA on Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Got it, can't wait to get started.

Journal Entry 10 by Jaelle from Brooklyn, New York USA on Saturday, January 22, 2005
I found this a very intriguing idea. I enjoyed the authors exploration of this idea whether it is true or not. On whether it's true or not, I can definately see why a woman of that era might think that the life of a man was preferable.

Journal Entry 11 by Jaelle from Brooklyn, New York USA on Friday, June 24, 2005
I sent this to a friend in Mass. Hope she likes it.

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