When Jody Hedlund writes a novel about real people, I sit up and take notice. I've had her latest such offering on my TBR pile for a while and decided I needed to get to it. That was my best choice. Luther and Katharina is so good that I didn't turn on the tv today until I finished it.
Katharina has been living at the Marienthron Convent since she was five years old. Two of her aunts also live there, but after reading some of Martin Luther's tracts on salvation by grace alone, Katharina has become rather discontent with the living conditions at the convent, with the single life, and with the thought of never having children. In a daring move, she escapes from the convent with several other nuns who have come to the same conclusions. By escaping, she has placed herself in the protection of Martin Luther, the reformer himself. In the initial meeting, sparks fly between both of them and everyone around them notices. Luther has no desire to marry and enjoys his sparring with Katharina, calling her a hissing Katzen.
Luther made it his career to rescue nuns and monks from their cloisters and to show them that grace is the source of salvation at a time when the Pope and the Vatican officials held the world in their hands and controlled the governments from their lofty, ivory towers. Luther's proclamations served to anger the Catholic officials to the point they wanted his life.
Katharina was taught the healing arts of herbal medicines and used them quite often to help anyone around her who needed it. At least once her healing abilities were called on to help with Luther before their marriage. Luther had friends who didn't trust her but when they saw how gentle she was and how much she actually helped him, they began to see her in a different light altogether--not just as a healer but as Luther's wife.
The time period this book encompasses is one of social and political unrest, spiritual rebellion, and general chaos. Jody has done a masterful job of portraying the issues along with the interactions of Luther and Katharina. I wish I could give more than five stars, but that's all they allow. Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a healing herbal remedy.
My thanks to Waterbrook Multnomah for allowing me to read and review this book. I was not required to give a good review, only an honest one.