Luther and Katharina grabbed my attention from the start with Katharina’s escape from the convent and kept me reading as I desired to learn more about the customs of the day and her love for Luther. (One custom of the day I found intriguing was that of the betrothal night!). I did not want this book to end!
“She was a nun of noble birth. He, a heretic, a reformer…an outlaw of the Holy Roman Empire.”
In the 16th century, nun Katharina von Bora’s fate fell no further than the Abbey. Until she read the writings of Martin Luther.
His sweeping Catholic church reformation—condemning a cloistered life and promoting the goodness of marriage—awakened her desire for everything she’d been forbidden. Including Martin Luther himself.
Despite the fact that the attraction and tension between them is undeniable, Luther holds fast to his convictions and remains isolated, refusing to risk anyone’s life but his own. And Katharina longs for love, but is strong-willed. She clings proudly to her class distinction, pining for nobility over the heart of a reformer. They couldn’t be more different.
But as the world comes tumbling down around them, and with Luther’s threatened life a constant strain, these unlikely allies forge an unexpected bond of understanding, support and love.
Together, they will alter the religious landscape forever.
I had read of how Martin Luther, a monk, had married a nun – but I had never read their story. I was delighted to not only read their love story but also to get some real historical perspective of the great and grave difficulties they faced! The author skillfully wove true quotes from Luther as she brought to life the spiritual and physical battles the reformers fought. What we take for granted came at great cost! We have Bibles we can read in our language, we don’t spend much of our hard earned money on indulgences so we can make it to heaven, we don’t sacrifice our children at young ages to be sent to the monastery or convent (Katharina was 5) and we have no class system that we must marry within! All of these and more are woven into Ms. Hedlund’s amazing novel.
However, as I read this book I wondered how much of the story was true and I was glad to read the author’s note:
“After reading a book like this, you may be wondering how much of the story is true to history and how much I added for interest. In any work of historical fiction, a writer must start with the framework of facts then add many more details to bring about an enjoyable, entertaining story. So what really happened? Most of it!”
She goes on to tell which parts and characters are known and which are not. Her desire is to have Katharina’s story “encourage and inspire you to treasure those God has given you” as you read a book with suspense, intrigue, villains, and romance!
I found this book fascinating and I highly recommend it – I even recommended it to my husband, which I don’t do very often! One thing that did puzzle me as I read was what Obstwasser was since Martin Luther liked it and drank it often in this novel. Google to the rescue! It is a fruit schnapps – now you know as you read! Luther and Katharina comes out on October 6, 2015. Click here to find out more I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.