As y’all know, Jody Hedlund is one of my favorite and go-to authors. Not only for the awesome stories she writes, but for the history she tells. She has an incredible way of bringing the past to life. Luther and Katharina: A Novel of Love and Rebellion is her first published historical and y’all it’s fascinating!
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.
This was such an interesting read. Not only for the pieces of history of the Reformation we see, but seeing what it was like for those leading the reformation. I knew it was messy, but I didn’t know a lot of the details. My appreciation for Luther’s leadership and the brave folks who followed has risen immensely. Jody doesn’t shy away from showing all that Luther went through and dealt with personally – from the constant death threats, the spiritual attacks and physically attacks. I can understand why he was stubborn about staying single for so long. He carried heavy burdens; the burdens of leading such a movement that would change history and the pressure of knowing what you started would cause people to lose their lives.
I knew next to nothing about Katharina before reading this book, only that she was once a nun and married Luther (saw the movie). After this book, I think I’ll have to read more about her. Her story is not only encouraging, but inspiring because she had a lot to work though in her life – like letting go of expectations that weren’t in God’s plan. I’m glad I’m not the only one in the history of the world who has dealt with this ;).
“They need encouragement. They need to know that the death of the martyrs wasn’t a defeat but rather a confirmation that the gospel is good and worth dying for.”
What I loved most about this book was the encouragement from both their lives. That following God’s plan often looks different from what we imagine and there’s no promise it’ll be easy or safe, but it will always be worth it.
Oh and my favorite character? Jonas.
Our final read for the Hedlund Challenge 2015 is this wonderful book, so I hope you’ll stop by next month right here for some discussions, interviews and other fun!
(Thank you to Blogging For Books for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)