This is my debut review on The Book Book and my hands are sweating like the Niagara... so I'll try to keep this short.
Like a lot of girls in the ninth century Catholic world, Joan is not allowed to read or even to learn to read. However, like any feisty heroin, this does not stop her. Her scholarly abilities open new doors for her but not all of them lead to a happy place.
When her brother dies in a Viking attack and she barely manages to escape, Joan makes a decision that will keep her alive but forever disguised. So disguised that she manages to become Pope.
Great idea for a story, eh?
Well, it is, maybe, probably true.
According to the author, the Vatican denies this story as an “unsubstantiated legend” but they seem to be disregarding “more than 500 ancient manuscripts containing accounts of Joan’s papacy.”
The author takes what little she has found and weaves out a fine story.
This is a novel about family, honor, religion, and what is all that without a bit of romance?
(While reading the book I could see the scenes clearly, I also had a soundtrack in my head complete with the sound effects of my rapidly beating heart. I am not surprised that this book is going to be a movie.)
It's a light read considering the issues the story raises. I really enjoyed reading the book and was a bit sad that it had to end...but I will happily end my review here because I am still scared silly about posting among such great writers...