St. Peter's Square, Rome. White smoke signals that a new Pope has been chosen.
The world is watching as massive crowds gather in Rome, waiting for news of a new Pope. It's a turning point that could change the Catholic Church forever, as one of the rumoured candidates, Brigid Fitzgerald, would be the first female Pope in history. But Brigid has made a legion of powerful enemies and is a target for all those who fear that the church has lost its way - dangerous adversaries who won't accept challenges to tradition.
Locked in a deadly, high-stakes battle with forces determined to undermine her, Brigid must confront her enemies before she loses everything...including her life.
©2016 James Patterson (P)2016 Random House AudioBooks
I have been listening to this for the last few days and have just this minute finished, I feel the need to get my thoughts down straight away.
Being non religious I wasn't sure what way this story would go, given that it starts with the possibility of a woman becoming Pope. We are then thrown back in time by 20 years and meet Brigid Fitzgerald, a young doctor working in horrific conditions. We see how difficult it is living and working in a war zone, and hear how traumatic it is through the narrator's voice.
The story moves forward and shows us glimpses into the life of Brigid and those people she meets along the way. She is an amazing character who bonds with most she meets, forming strong friendships which last even to the end of the story. She suffers heartbreak on more than one occasion but always manages to find a way to continue on her path. She fights back after being injured and works hard to achieve the goals she has set herself.
The main point throughout the story is something which even I appreciated. There is a lot of religion, talk of outdated beliefs within the Catholic Church, and attempts to rid the world of those who go against the doctrine taught in mainstream churches. Even when faced with events which would have any normal person running for the hills, Brigid forces herself to move forward, her beliefs so strong that in her heart she knows what she is doing is the right thing.
The religious message is a strong one and is something which may well put some people off. But if you go into the story with an open mind, as I did, I think you will get something out of it which goes beyond it being a simple story.
Special mention should go to the narrator who put so much emotion into her performance I was finding it hard to hold the tears at bay on several occasions.
With the exception of chapter 1 - I didn't get beyond chapter 49 - this does not 'read' like a usual James Patterson novel. It certainly is no Woman's Murder Club. I got the impression that it was a cross between a Mother Theresa biography and Florence Nightingale's memoirs, and as I am no fan of biographies, I pressed on beyond my tolerance of the same, waiting for the main story to kick in. It took too long to do so for me, so I'm bailing, having invested a good few hours of my time.
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