Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

Friday, September 11, 2015

Luther and Katharina Book Review

A Novel of Love and Rebellion

SUMMARY:  She was a nun of noble birth.  He, a heretic, a reformer . . . an outlaw of the Holy Roman Empire.
     In the sixteen 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.  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 the threat on Luther's life a constant strain, these unlikely allies forge an unexpected bond of understanding, support, and love.
     Together, they will alter the religious landscape forever.

REVIEW:  Having read many of Jody Hedlund's previous novels, my curiosity was peaked when I saw this one.  Martin Luther is someone I've only heard about in small instances so I was curious about he and his wife and how this author would interpret their relationship.  I really enjoyed it immensely!!!  The characters and dialogue are well-written and the story keeps the reader turning pages.  
     The struggle Martin Luther and his followers faced is described, showing just how difficult it was to shake off the bond of Roman Catholicism and, basically, the rule of the land.  As a nun who was brought to the abbey at age 5, Katharina struggles with living outside the abbey walls, the frustrations of not having a marketable skill and the hardships that come with leaving everything you ever knew.  
      While Luther is surrounded with people who support him and are concerned for him, he struggles with major health issues.  He also gives everything he has to anyone in need, often leaving himself in want of food and money.  Probably Luther's biggest concern, though, is getting the princes in power around Germany and the peasants to fully understand that they are to love one another and not persecute each other for their beliefs.
     Ms. Hedlund does not mince words when it comes to the cruelty of those who are against change, whether for Catholicism or Reformation, but she also doesn't go into too much graphic detail, only what is necessary.  The author does take some liberties with added characters and circumstances, but they are things that very well could have happened to Luther and company.
     This is a wonderful novel about the "founders" of Protestantism and the Reformation and the love they shared.  

This Advanced Reader Copy was provided by 
Waterbrook Multnomah/Blogging for Books 
for review without compensation.
Jody Hedlund is a CBA best-selling author of nearly a dozen books.  Her novel, A Noble Groom, has won the Carol Award and the INSPYs.  Hedlund revels in bringing forgotten historic women to life and can usually be found with a book, a cup of coffee, and a piece of chocolate.  She lives in Midland, Michigan, with her husband and children.

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