Friday, September 19, 2008
My Review: Pope John Paul II, An Intimate Life
This is a fascinating book about the Papacy, but I don't think it lived up to its subtitle "The Pope I Knew So Well". I was expecting a book that told me about who John Paul II was, what made him tick, what he liked, what he didn't like, what kind of jokes he told, or laughed at. Since the subtile said the author knew him well, I expected stories he told her, advice he gave her, snippets of conversation between them or copies of letters. In short, I thought that I would have a better feel for who JPII was, but while I picked up a few interesting tidbits, for the most part, what I have is a book about how JPII's papacy worked. We learn about who his advisors were, the names of the nuns who kept house for him, and about the logistical nightmares his world tours caused. We learn that papal visits are expensive, and that corporations often picked up most of the tab. We learn how the author, a journalist, worked her way into the circle that had access to the Pope. We learn of the Pope's daily routine and what he did when he vacationed. I just wish we learned more about the Holy Father himself.