An appealing tale: "Loving Luther" by Allison Pittman
about the book...
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.
With beautiful prose and an intriguing plot, Allison Pittman has succeeded at bringing to life the historical story of Katharina von Bora. I approached the novel knowing little about the love story between Luther and Katharina, and I found her circumstances truly absorbing to read about. As a father myself, I simply cannot imagine dropping off my daughter at a convent and then never really having contact with her again after that time! It always amazes me to learn about the things that society thought was acceptable in the past, and trying to step into Katharina's shoes created deep empathy for her situation. She is truly a courageous woman, instigating a mini-rebellion in the convent, as she and a group of nuns escape the life they've been cast into by their families and seek to fulfill their longings for families and homes of their own. Pittman does a wonderful job at fleshing out Katharina's character in particular, as she discovers a world around her that she'd known little about while locked away in the convent. Reading about Luther's matchmaking attempt on Katharina's behalf were also quite something to read about! I did find that the latter half of the book was a little bit slower paced than I was expecting, and is the only reason I didn't give this book a full 5 out of 5 stars. All in all, however, there is much to enjoy and learn from Katharina's life and experiences, and I'm so grateful for Pittman's attention to detail, and for her gift of bringing to life important historical figures.
Readers longing to read an excellently written historical novel should plan on diving into this novel for themselves. Not only will you walk away with a greater understanding of who Luther and Katharina are, but you will feel inspired by these character's courageous obedience to God's calling in their lives. I award this novel 4 out of 5 stars.
An egalley has been provided courtesy of the publisher, Tyndale, for the purposes of this unbiased review.
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. Connect with her on Facebook (Allison Pittman Author), Twitter (@allisonkpittman) or her website, allisonkpittman.com.