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.
I'm not sure what it is about the Luthers that inspires romance novels, but I've seen at least three of them that exist- and have read two of them. Loving Luther is the second in that number, and overall, I liked it.
I can't help but admit that the middle part dragged a little for me--I think partly because there was a section that focused on Katharina's relationship with another man that, while founded in historical accuracy, we know she doesn't end up with, so it feels pointless and even frustrating from a reader's point of view (however realistic it may be). However, while this book is a bit more slow-moving, I still enjoyed it. As I previously said, this isn't the first fictionalized story about the Luthers that I've read; I picked up Jody Hedlund's Luther and Katharina a couple years ago. I actually preferred this one, I think because Loving Luther, despite it's somewhat regrettable title, is much less of a romance novel. There will always be a slight un-comfortableness for me in fictionalizing the stories of real people, but this one had much less of that because it did not seem as romanticized as the other novel about them that I read. But for those looking specifically for romance, you won't find it so much here; most of the book is more of a fictionalized biography of Katharina's early years, and while I greatly enjoyed the growing relationship between her and her future husband, founded on friendship, it was really only the last 1/3 of the book. However, for anyone who enjoys the history surrounding a truly remarkable woman, Loving Luther is worth a try.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.