About the book: (from the publisher) Germany, 1505. In the dark of night, Katharina von Bora says the bravest good-bye a six-year-old can muster and walks away as the heavy convent gate closes behind her.
Though the cold walls offer no comfort, Katharina soon finds herself calling the convent her home. God, her father. This, her life. She takes her vows―a choice more practical than pious―but in time, a seed of discontent is planted by the smuggled writings of a rebellious excommunicated priest named Martin Luther. Their message? That Katharina is subject to God, and no one else. Could the Lord truly desire more for her than this life of servitude?
In her first true step of faith, Katharina leaves the only life she has ever known. But the freedom she has craved comes with a price, and she finds she has traded one life of isolation for another. Without the security of the convent walls or a family of her own, Katharina must trust in both the God who saved her and the man who paved a way for rescue. Luther’s friends are quick to offer shelter, but Katharina longs for all Luther has promised: a home, a husband, perhaps even the chance to fall in love.
About the author: Allison Pittman is the author of more than a dozen critically acclaimed novels and a three-time Christy finalist—twice for her Sister Wife series and once for All for a Story from her take on the Roaring Twenties. She lives in San Antonio, Texas, blissfully sharing an empty nest with her husband, Mike.
Genre: Fiction/Historical Fiction/Christian HistoricalAn intriguing, imagined look of one of the great couples of the Christian church… Click To Tweet
My take: Allison Pittman picked a fascinating person about whom to write her book (or her agent did, according to what she says in Acknowledgements). Given Katharina’s era, her personal story, and her connection to one of the most influential thinker/activists in the history of Christianity, Katharina von Bora makes for a fascinating main character. And Pittman takes full advantage in bringing her to vivid life.
What struck me most pleasantly was the author’s knack for making all of her characters multidimensional. Each of them came stocked with surprises, no character wholly good or bad but rather a very human (and believable) mixture of both. I also liked her development of the premise itself, as given in this line from the synopsis: “In her first true step of faith…” There’s a lot of scope for story in that beginning.
While every page was packed with interesting details, I did feel the heart of the story didn’t begin to beat until the introduction of Luther a fair ways in. That is, after all, when the sparks begin to fly, and I wouldn’t have minded getting there more quickly.
That said, those with interest in historical fiction in general — and Katharina’s (and, of course, Luther’s) tale in particular — will likely find much to draw them to this fictionalization of one of the great couples of the Church.
Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for providing me this book free of charge. All opinions are mine.
After words: What historical fiction are you reading these days?