Loving Luther

Loving Luther

by Allison Pittman

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Overview

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781414390451
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Publication date: 09/01/2017
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 768,526
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt

Loving Luther


By Allison Pittman, Sarah Mason Rische

Tyndale House Publishers

Copyright © 2017 Allison Pittman
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4143-9045-1


CHAPTER 1

MY father always told me if I never took a sip of wine, I'd never shed a single tear. One begat the other, and only the common cup in the hands of a priest, the blessed wine of the sacrament, could offer peace. Only the blood of Christ could offer life. Any other was nothing more than ruin, a sinner's way of washing sin.

And yet he drank. Every night, the flames of our small fire danced in the cut glass of his goblet.

It seemed a silly warning, but for all of my brief childhood at home, I had only two sips of wine. The first over a year ago when, at the age of five, I begged for a taste at the grand table. The other just months ago, in the feast following Mother's funeral. Then, true to my father's prophecy, tears streamed down my face.

So, too, as I stood in his embrace, the cold wind of November whipping all around us. Ice like pinpricks upon my cheeks. Perhaps I'd taken in a sufficient amount from the constant scent of wine on his breath, and from the traces left on his lips when he kissed me.

"My Katharina." He stretched my name, and I imagined it pouring out in a stream mixed with tears and wine. He knelt before me, the patched fabric of his breeches touching the last bit of unsanctified ground.

"Papa? Where are we?"

To answer, he took me by my shoulders and turned me to look at the foreboding stone structure on the other side of the iron gate. "A church, kitten. A house of God."

That much I assumed from the tall, arched windows and the lingering echo of the bell that had been tolling upon our approach. Six rings, and the sun nearly set. A new sound emerged in the wake of the bells. Footsteps, strident and rhythmic, displacing the tiny stones on the path beyond the gate. They carried what looked like a shadow — tall and black and fluttering.

Frightened, I twisted back in my father's embrace. "Papa?"

"Be strong, my girl."

Before I could say another word, I heard the screech of metal and a voice that matched its tone in every way. "Katharina von Bora?"

"Papa?" I clung to him, even as he stood tall and away.

"Ja. This is my daughter."

A heavy hand fell on my shoulder. "Say good-bye to your papa, little one."

Good-bye?

Two days before, when Papa told me to pack a few things — extra stockings and my sleeping cap — into a small drawstring bag, he'd said nothing about leaving me at a church to say good-bye. In all our travel, the miles riding in the back of farm carts, the night spent among strangers at the small, damp inn, he answered my questions with platitudes about what a fine, strong girl I was, and how it was good to get away, just the two of us.

"Is it because of the new mama?" The woman loomed large, even with two days' distance between us. Her stern commands, her wooden spoon ever at the ready to correct a sullen temper, her furrowed brow as she counted the meager coins in the little wooden box above the stove. "I can be good, Papa. I will work harder and speak to her more sweetly. I'll be a good girl. I promise. Papa — please!"

I grasped his hand, repeating my promises, feeling victorious when he scooped me up off the ground. I tried to bury my face in his neck, but he jostled me and gripped my chin in his fingers.

"Ruhig sein." His voice and eyes were stern. "Hush, I say. You are Katharina von Bora. Do you know what that means?" "Ja, Papa." I touched my hand against his grizzled whiskers. "Bearer of a great and proper name."

"Very old, and very great." He was whispering now, his back turned to the shadowy figure. From this height, looking down over Papa's shoulder, I could clearly see that it was only a nun. A soft, pale face peered from behind a veil, while long black sleeves fluttered around clasped hands. A tunic over a plain black dress bore an embroidered cross, and in many ways she was not unlike the nuns I knew from our church back home. So why had Papa brought me here, so far away?

"But I don't want to stay here, Papa." I had to look down into his face, and it made him seem so much smaller.

"Be a good girl." He set me back on my feet and bowed down to meet me eye to eye. "Grow up to be a strong, smart young lady. And do not cry."

"But —"

His admonishing finger, nail bitten to the quick and grimy from travel, staved off the prick of new tears. "Strong, I tell you."

"Are you coming back for me? After a time, after I've grown up a little? When I'm a lady?"

A weak smile played across his lips, and he cast a quick, nervous glace up to the nun. "Child," he said, gripping my shoulders, "I am delivering you into the hands of God, the same God who once gave you to me. Could you ask for anything better than to be in his loving care?"

I knew, instantly, how I should answer. Thinking back to our small, dark home, with rooms shut away to ward off the chill. My three older brothers crowded around the table, squabbling for the last bowl of stew, and taking mine when there wasn't enough. Now, with me gone, there would be more for everybody else. Not enough, but more. Maybe the new mama would smile a bit and not stomp through the kitchen rattling pots like a thunderstorm. Maybe my brothers would stop stealing bread and making their papa lie to the red-faced baker when he came pounding on the door. There would be one less body to soak up the heat from the fire, and more space in the crowded bed.

I stood up straight and wiped my nose on my sleeve. "I'm ready now, Papa."

"That's my good girl." He kissed my forehead, my cheeks, then briefly, my lips. One kiss, he said, for each of my brothers, and one final from Mother watching from heaven. The nun kept her own silent watch until the end, when Papa handed me the small bundle he'd been carrying over his shoulder for the last mile of our walk.

"No." The sister's sturdy hand stretched from within the long black sleeve. "She comes with nothing."

"Please, Sister —"

"Sister Odile, reverend mother of the convent of Brehna." "It's just a nightcap," Papa said, not mentioning that it was the cap Mama — my mama — had stitched with small purple flowers. "And clean stockings and an apron."

"Nothing." Sister Odile tightened her grip and dragged me to her side.

Head low, Papa shouldered the bag once again, saying, "As it should be, I suppose."

I noticed the quiver in his chin and knew it was one of those times when I would have to be strong in his place. I needed to stand straighter, fix my eyes above, and set my mind in obedience. A pinpoint of cold pierced my shoulder where the gold band on Sister Odile's finger touched my flesh. Ignoring the growing grayness of the sky and the imminent demise of Papa's resolve, I took a deep, cleansing breath.

"You should start for home, Papa. It will be dark soon."

"Yes," he said. And that was all. In the next instant, I was turned toward the gate, then marched through it. Sister Odile's robes flapped against her, an irregular rhythm in the growing wind. For all I knew, Papa remained behind the iron bars, watching every step. Counting them, maybe, as I did.

I listened for his voice, waiting for him to call me back, but if he did, the words were lost to the crunching of the stones beneath Sister Odile's bearlike feet. I myself felt each one through the thin, patched leather of my shoes. When we came to a turn in the path, one sharp enough to afford a glance out of the corner of my eye, I saw the gate, with Papa nowhere to be found.

Then came the rush of tears.

"Stop that, now."

To emphasize her command, Sister Odile stopped in the middle of the path, leaving me no choice but to do the same.

I scrunched my face, calculating the distance between the looming church and the empty gate. Both were within a few easy, running steps. And I was fast — faster than any other girl on my street, and some of the boys, too. I could outrun my brothers when I needed to avoid one of their senseless poundings, and I could cover the distance from our front door to the top of the street before Papa could finish calling out my name in the evenings when he came home before dark. In an instant I could be free, back at the gate, squeezed through, and in Papa's arms before the nun would even realize I'd escaped. Or I could fly, straight and fast, right up the path to the looming church. Surely Sister Odile's cloddish feet and flapping sleeves would make her lag in pursuit. The height and breadth of the outer stone walls promised a labyrinth of dark corridors and twisting halls within. I could run away, hide away, lose myself in the shadows until morning, when the clouds might disperse and reveal a shining sun to direct me home.

Labyrinth. It was a word Papa taught me, reading from a big book of ancient stories. A monster lived in its midst — half man, half bull. Minotaur. I mouthed the word, feeling the dryness of my chapped lips at the silent m, and reached a tentative hand out to Sister Odile's skirt, wondering if the voluminous fabric might not be hiding such a creature within.

"Hör auf." Sister Odile slapped my hand away and resumed our journey, doing nothing to allay my fear that I might well be in the custody of a monster. The size of the feet alone promised supernatural proportions, and now the woman's breath came in snorts and puffs like some great-chested beast.

"You want to run, don't you, girl?"

"No." The lie didn't bother me one bit.

Sister Odile let out a laugh deep enough to lift the cross off her frock. "Back out the gate, wouldn't you? And what if I told you to go ahead? You're little enough to squeeze right through, aren't you? You want to chase down your papa? Do you even know which way he went? Up the road or down?"

Every word in every question climbed a scale, ending in a high, gasping wheeze.

"If I did run, you'd never catch me. I'd disappear like a shadow." It's what I did at home, on nights when Papa wasn't there. I'd fold myself into the corners, away from the reach of the new mama's spoon.

"Not even a shadow can escape the wolves," Sister Odile said, her grip softening a little. "And hear me when I tell you this, my girl. That is all that waits for you outside these walls. Wolves ready to tear little girls into scraps for their pups."

This, I knew, held some truth, as Papa had often said the same thing. Still, my trust faltered. "And what is inside the walls?" Sister Odile laughed again, but this time the sound rumbled in her throat, like the comfort of long-off thunder. "Great mysteries and secrets. The kind that most little girls will never learn."

"Like in books?"

"In the greatest book of all. And sacred language."

Our steps fell into a common pace, with mine trotting two to every one of Sister Odile's.

"I can read a little already," I said, my words warm with pride. "Papa taught me. I can read better than my brother, and he's eleven."

"Then your father has done a very good and unselfish thing, allowing you to come here. Let your Dummkopf brother fend for himself."

I stopped my laughter with the back of my hand. Fabian was an idiot, by all measures. Cruel and thick and lazy. He was the closest to me in age, and therefore the most likely to deliver abuse. Clemens was thirteen, and Hans a full-grown man, almost, and I wondered if they would even notice my absence. Our sister, Maria, had been gone for nearly a year, married to a solicitor's clerk, and had rarely been mentioned since.

"You can find peace here," Sister Odile was saying, "because we work to keep the darkness of the world away."

We'd come to a heavy wooden door with an iron ring fastened so high, Sister Odile had to stretch up on her toes to reach it.

Thud. Thud. Thud.

"There is another door on the other side of the building," Sister Odile said, "open to all who seek sanctuary. This one is just for us."

Us. I repeated the word.

"The sisters. And the girls. Other little girls, just like you. And bigger, too. We don't lock the door until after supper, and then don't open it at all after dark. You got here just in time."

The mention of the word supper brought my stomach rumbling to life, as loud as the sound of the sliding bolt and creaking hinges. Whatever hunger I felt, however, knotted itself into pure fear at the image in the open doorway. No amount of black fabric could shroud the twisted figure of the old woman who stood, leaning heavily on a thick walking stick, on the other side. A stub of candle illuminated a face the likes of which I had never seen before. One eye clouded with blindness, thin lips mismatched to each other, and a cascade of fleshy pink-tinged boils dripping like wax down one side. In stature, she was not much taller than I, and I stood silent and still as a post under the woman's studious gaze. Then the single squinted eye was aimed up at Sister Odile, and a voice squawked, "She's too late."

"Sister Gerda." Sister Odile spoke soothingly as both greeting and introduction. "This is our newest charge, Katharina." "Supper's over and cleaned up." Her lips moved like waves, producing a spittle that dripped unchecked down her chin. "Thought you made it clear to have her here by three o'clock."

"So are we to stay out here until morning?" Sister Odile brought me close to her side. "Or will you kindly allow us to come in?"

Sister Gerda muttered as she scuttled backward, opening the door wide enough for a full view of the entry, where another door — equally impressive — dominated the facing wall. The long, narrow room was lined with two wooden benches. Above each hung a tapestry, but the light was too dim to make out the images.

"Go and fetch her a cup of water," Sister Odile said, leading me to sit on one of the benches. "And some bread, too.

I'm sure you're hungry, aren't you?"

I nodded, then said, "Yes, ma'am," in case it was too dark for a silent response. An invisible prod from Papa prompted me to add, "Thank you, ma'am."

"Kitchen's closed up," Sister Gerda said with a sniff. "Cleaned up, too. It's nearly seven."

"This wouldn't be the first time somebody crept into the kitchen for a slice of bread after dark. Would our Lord not bid us to share what we have? Does our obedience to him snuff out with the sun? You're a quick, silent little one, Sister Gerda. No doubt you can be there and back before the hour tolls. And should anyone comment, tell them you are there on my errand. Schnell! Before the poor girl collapses from hunger."

I listened, fascinated by the rise and fall of Sister Odile's tone. Demanding at first, then affectionate, authoritative, and almost playful at the end. Almost as if four different women spoke from within the habit, each spinning to show her face from behind the veil. This, I knew, was a woman to be respected, maybe even feared. While her size brought on a certain intimidation, a level of comfort came with it too. Stooping, she took the candle stub from Sister Gerda, touched it to a sconce on the wall, and handed it back with a sweetly whispered reminder to hurry. Then she went to one of the benches and settled her weight upon it, bringing out a creaking protest from the wood.

"Komm her. " She held out her hands, gold band winking in the candlelight. It was impossible to distinguish sleeves from shadow, but the face floating in the midst of the darkness was wide and smiling.

Without another thought, I took the few steps to cross the room and climbed up into the softness of Sister Odile. Arms wrapped around me, and I was absorbed in the deepest embrace I could remember since before Mama fell ill.

I pressed my face into the warm, worn wool and felt the rumbling of the sister's breath. Humming, now, a tune I did not recognize, but somehow knew to be ancient. Sacred. I closed my eyes, knowing it would be safe to cry now. The tears could flow into the wool, and as long as I did not sniffle, I could pour my fear and sadness into this woman. Instead, with each breath, I felt the block of fatigue from the journey begin to crumble, turning to little pebbles like those on the walkway, and finally to dust. I felt heavy, too heavy to cry.

Too heavy to lift my head and ask where I might go to sleep. Too heavy to close my lips when I felt its pull.

The last thing I remembered was the coarseness of the cross on Sister Odile's breast pressed into my cheek, each stitch wrapped around the lullaby.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Loving Luther by Allison Pittman, Sarah Mason Rische. Copyright © 2017 Allison Pittman. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Loving Luther 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Faye_reviews More than 1 year ago
Loving Luther follows young six-year-old Katharina von Bora from the time she is left in the care of the church, to taking her vows, eventually leaving convent life, becoming the woman whom Martin Luther would one day call his wife. Told from Katharina's perspective, I liked how this book realistically showed her difficult situation and her sacrifices for her faith. Well researched, Ms. Pittman does an excellent job of capturing Katharina's experiences and imagining what it might have been like to face such uncertainty, yet still there is always flicker of hope that shines through. Katharina struggles to adjust to her new life and leaving the convent means for her faith and the choices that she must make. The book covers many years of her life, contrasting her years at the convent with her newfound freedom on the outside. Overall, a compelling read, based on the true story of Katharina von Bora the woman who would marry Martin Luther. I liked how it realistically showed the uncertainty of her future, and how she had risked much for her faith. Compelling, and filled with hope, a book that you won't soon forget. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Laundry_Whispers More than 1 year ago
I have no idea where I want to start this review. I actually finished the book yesterday and while I had time to write and schedule it I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to say. Guess what? 24 hours later I still don’t. Let’s say this: I’m very ignorant of the reformation period and Martian Luther. I mean I know it’s a thing but it’s not a thing I’ve ever studied about or learned about. I’ve picked up nuances here and there but that’s about it. I didn’t know when (like years) it all happened or even where (Europe anyone?). I just knew some guy decided that the Church was getting too big for it’s britches and he nailed a manifesto (of sorts) to the church door. That’s it. I didn’t know he was a former priest, I didn’t give any thought to his home life and spouse or lack there of and I’d never heard of Katharina von Bora. Honestly, when I read the synopsis of the book I was drawn to the idea of a historical novel, I didn’t even pick up on the name and realize this was real people. Not until partway through the book and I was like ‘wait, what? this sounds eerily familiar. Sorta.’ How many IQ points did you just take away from me? You know you did. Judge away, I’m good with that. This book had a lot going for it but there were a couple of drawbacks. The time jumps. Oh tomatoes and gravy, the time jumps. I mean, I understand the need to move the story forward and get to the heart of the matter but sometimes they felt abrupt. The other thing was the characters. There were so many different Sisters that after a fashion I gave up caring who was who and what and where and why. Even the nobles she met once she was free became overwhelming. I’m terrible with name so this is a legitimate thing that probably bothered no one but me. Starting the book not realizing this was about a legitimate, real life, once lived person I had begun to thing that this girl was going to pine away for Luther all her days. He, trying to set her up with men he deemed worthy and her rejecting them as they were not him. Sometimes being ignorant has it’s perks. I didn’t know the end of the story. Once I realized this book was about THE Martin Luther I didn’t go Googling the story or even reading other reviews of the book. I wanted to keep my innocence and carry forward. I think I got a better story because I didn’t know how it was supposed to end. I’m glad the synopsis spoke to me. I’m glad I requested to read this book. I’m glad I was ignorant. Without all of those things I would not have had the privilege to read this book with no preconceived notions. I was saved frustrations when, perhaps maybe, things didn’t follow history to the point. I wasn’t frustrated through her other relationships since I didn’t know the ending. I’ve never read Allison Pittman before and I can’t wait to read her again. I appreciate her writing style and I feel like she’s going to be an amazing fit for my future reading needs. I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by NetGalley. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.
Laundry_Whispers More than 1 year ago
I have no idea where I want to start this review. I actually finished the book yesterday and while I had time to write and schedule it I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to say. Guess what? 24 hours later I still don’t. Let’s say this: I’m very ignorant of the reformation period and Martian Luther. I mean I know it’s a thing but it’s not a thing I’ve ever studied about or learned about. I’ve picked up nuances here and there but that’s about it. I didn’t know when (like years) it all happened or even where (Europe anyone?). I just knew some guy decided that the Church was getting too big for it’s britches and he nailed a manifesto (of sorts) to the church door. That’s it. I didn’t know he was a former priest, I didn’t give any thought to his home life and spouse or lack there of and I’d never heard of Katharina von Bora. Honestly, when I read the synopsis of the book I was drawn to the idea of a historical novel, I didn’t even pick up on the name and realize this was real people. Not until partway through the book and I was like ‘wait, what? this sounds eerily familiar. Sorta.’ How many IQ points did you just take away from me? You know you did. Judge away, I’m good with that. This book had a lot going for it but there were a couple of drawbacks. The time jumps. Oh tomatoes and gravy, the time jumps. I mean, I understand the need to move the story forward and get to the heart of the matter but sometimes they felt abrupt. The other thing was the characters. There were so many different Sisters that after a fashion I gave up caring who was who and what and where and why. Even the nobles she met once she was free became overwhelming. I’m terrible with name so this is a legitimate thing that probably bothered no one but me. Starting the book not realizing this was about a legitimate, real life, once lived person I had begun to thing that this girl was going to pine away for Luther all her days. He, trying to set her up with men he deemed worthy and her rejecting them as they were not him. Sometimes being ignorant has it’s perks. I didn’t know the end of the story. Once I realized this book was about THE Martin Luther I didn’t go Googling the story or even reading other reviews of the book. I wanted to keep my innocence and carry forward. I think I got a better story because I didn’t know how it was supposed to end. I’m glad the synopsis spoke to me. I’m glad I requested to read this book. I’m glad I was ignorant. Without all of those things I would not have had the privilege to read this book with no preconceived notions. I was saved frustrations when, perhaps maybe, things didn’t follow history to the point. I wasn’t frustrated through her other relationships since I didn’t know the ending. I’ve never read Allison Pittman before and I can’t wait to read her again. I appreciate her writing style and I feel like she’s going to be an amazing fit for my future reading needs. I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by NetGalley. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
Loving Luther by Allison Pittman is the second story I have read about Martin Luther and his bride Katharina von Bora, and it was especially poignant as this is the 500 year anniversary of the Reformation. This story focuses more on Katharina, how she came to the convent, her growing up years and her decision to become a nun, to her escape on that fateful Easter when she meets Martin Luther face to face, and her ‘loves’ after. I really enjoyed the historical detail the author gave to Katharina, a woman who was to become Mrs. Luther and what type of person she may have been. We are given a very detailed account of the two years of her freedom from the convent and the patronage of the wealthy who hosted her. Martin Luther was a complex man it seems, and I liked how author Pittman portrayed him. A man powerfully used by God, hated by the Church, but yet undoubtedly a flawed human. From the beginning I knew he needed someone like Katharina by his side. This was an interesting period in history as not only was the world waking up from the medieval era, but also God’s people was waking up from the fierce and oftentimes corrupt rule of the Roman Catholic church. To read the Bible on your own in your own language, which we often take for granted, was quite a discovery and an enlightenment of that time. This was much more Katharina’s story than Luther’s; I only wish we could have seen more of the romance between the two of them. However given who they were in history I could see their romance progressing just as the author wrote it. And I do think she did them justice. I received a copy of this novel for free. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
ksnapier475 More than 1 year ago
Loving Luther by [Pittman, Allison]Katharina von Bora was raised in a convent. It was easy for her to call her father God, after all this was her life. Eventually she takes her vows but soon an uneasiness comes upon her when she finds the writings of Martin Luther. This led her to wonder if this is all that she is supposed to have. She leaves the convent but not the trust she found in God. She finds a shelter through Luther's friends, but still she craves more...a home and a husband. I have written works by Allison Pittman before and they have all been well-written. I found the research into the people to be well-done. I felt like I was living the life with Katherine. We find how she is shaped into the woman she becomes. I loved this story. I was given this book by Tyndale House in exchange for an honest review.
joyful334209 More than 1 year ago
Loving Luther is the true story of the love story of Katharina and Martin Luther. Katharine was left off as a child as a convent and raised there and talk to believe their way . Until she received a slip in contraband so-called, as it were as it were, in from Luther and then began the relationship and her questioning her beliefs also began. She also started to fall for the man as well , and eventually she ............Oh no I am not going to tell you the rest – it is heartstrings pulling, courageous, scary for her, faith standing, faith believing, faith following, and romantic. I received a copy of this book from the Publisher and Netgalley; all the opinions expressed in this review are all my own.
RuthieJonesTX More than 1 year ago
Where to begin? Let me start by telling you that I didn’t want this story to end. I want more. I want another 1,000 pages. I want the fairy tale. Oh wait. Loving Luther is a fairy tale but with a decidedly religious twist. The romance of Katherina von Bora and Martin Luther is most definitely a fairy tale love story for the ages. No matter your religious affiliation or beliefs, Loving Luther is a must read because it is a fictional telling of real people, real heartache, real life-changing decisions, and real love. I adore the way Allison Pittman methodically builds this story from the ground up. Rather than rushing headlong into Katherina von Bora loving Martin Luther, the author develops the characters, sets the stage, and presents the romantic outcome magnificently. Leaving the reader wanting to know more about the real people and events beyond the fictional account is the epitome of fabulous storytelling. Well done! I’m a devout cradle Catholic but have Lutheran affiliations, so I am doubly interested in this story. I’m grateful for Martin Luther for being one of the catalysts for positive changes in Christian religion as a whole. What I find most interesting about Loving Luther is that it allows me to see Martin Luther through a more sympathetic and understanding lens, and I’m encouraged to find out more about him and the most interesting Katherina. This duo came together against so many odds and through so many obstacles, even their own stubbornness in admitting their feelings for each other. In my humble opinion, the hallmark of a true love story is not that two people meet and fall in love but that two people find each other amidst controversy and dissonance and realize they are truly living God’s plan.
sesquius More than 1 year ago
Many years ago I had the opportunity to go on a Martin Luther Reformation tour in Europe. At the time, I knew about Martin Luther, but didn't really understand all that he accomplished. Reading this book, helped bring forth more of an understanding of Martin Luther and his accomplishments. This story, is focused on Katharina von Bora. While not much is known about her, Allison Pittman weaves a story about what might have happened with her during her childhood in the abby and then life afterwards. At a young age, Kathrina von Bora is dropped off at the convent by her father, never to hear from him again. Her stepmother doesn't want her around and her siblings don't care one way or another of her presence, other than she is one more mouth to be fed. With nowhere else to go, she commits her life to life in the convent. But she has questions and at some point, writings smuggled in from a excommunicated priest intrigues her. But it requires a step into faith that she's never experienced before. The book was interesting. I enjoyed reading about the part of solitude and the requirements necessary for those in the nunnery. Not sure if I could have lived a life of solitude like that, but it was interesting to plop myself, ever so briefly, into her life. While the book was interesting, there were areas where I wanted to read the book, but yet it seemed to go wearily too long. I'd set it down, only to pick it up again to find out the next direction. For me, I think I prefer reading true biography's about people, rather than a story of fiction about real life. Otherwise, I like to stay in the fiction realm for fictionalized people. However, what the book did succeed in doing, was make me curious about reading more about Katharine and Martin Luther. This review contains my own thoughts and opinions. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.
Faerytalemegan More than 1 year ago
"Loving Luther" by Allison Pittman is a captivating read about the woman behind (or should I say "next to") Martin Luther. The book is told from Katharina von Bora's perspective--the woman who eventually becomes the wife of the great Martin Luther (the author of the famous 95 Theses). But Katherina's tale is a little known, but fascinating story all in itself. This book is about this smart and witty woman and what her life is like leading up to her marriage to Luther. It starts from her girlhood in a convent and takes the reader on a journey of faith and growth alongside Katharina. Katharina is captivated by Luther's words and ideas and escapes a convent due to Luther's writings and influence. Katharina has to then go through her own journey to find her place in life as an unmarried woman without family to support her. She develops a relationship and friendship with Luther, but it is many years until she comes to realize that she has feelings for this man. Will he return her feelings? Allison Pittman's writing and storytelling ability in "Loving Luther" are superb! She draws the reader right into the story. I experienced many feelings while reading Katharina's story, from humor when reading the scenes of her as a girl interacting with her friends in the convent to fury as I read of the way she is treated by a superior (although not all her superiors in the convent were portrayed as evil). I rejoiced along with Katharina and the other nuns as they realized the truths of the Gospel through Martin Luther's writings. I enjoy the fact that Ms. Pittman starts the story from Katharina's girlhood and made it more Katharina's life story--not just a romance. Ms. Pittman did an amazing time transporting the reader back to the time of the Reformation. Katharina is a well written character and I love seeing the hunger she develops for God's Words, but also her struggles as she has to break free from the only life she has known. The witty exchanges between Katharina and Luther make me smile and it's a great relationship that slowly builds throughout the story. This is one of those books where you get to know the characters so well that you don't want to leave them at the end of it all. I still can't stop thinking about this beautifully written story. Content: When Katharina is in the convent, there is a scene where she is physically abused by a priest. There is mention of a girl's mother being a prostitute and how men would try to do things to the young girl. A character curses once, but the curse isn't actually written. Both Katharina and Luther get drunk. There are a few jokes and references to the marriage bed. Rating: I give this book 5 stars! Genre: Christian Historical Fiction; Medieval; Romance I want to thank Allison Pittman and Tyndale Blog Network for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.
Nicnac63 More than 1 year ago
The opening to the story is emotional and drew me in quite easily, beginning when Katharina is just a child. She is an interesting character, who questions her calling in life after learning of Martin Luther’s teachings. I love fictional stories that are based on true characters. I also enjoy books that teach me something, not only of history, but also of myself. Loving Luther is an interesting story by a gifted storyteller (Allison Pittman.) This is not a conventional romance, but it is about love. The middle of the book seemed a little slow, but overall, I enjoyed it. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Blog Network and NetGalley.
NadineTimes10 More than 1 year ago
Now, this love story isn’t a romance, as much of the novel is (wisely) given to painting a picture of Katharina’s years in the convent and her thoughts and questions about Christian life, with no love interest around. Neither is this a novel about the Protestant Reformation, as although it’s the obvious backdrop for Luther’s character, the ins and outs of the reformation aren’t the novel’s focus. Rather, this is the compelling story of a woman who loves God, longs for liberty, and faces a challenging life outside the convent walls. There’s a richness to Katharina’s character and experience. She’s flawed, unpredictable, and doesn’t always know how to feel in new situations. It would’ve been easy to spring for too much drama and overdone characters during such a tumultuous period in history. But instead, this novel’s style is nuanced, with emotion that isn’t flashy but runs deep. Now, I agonized through some of the waiting I had to endure during the reading. And after all of that agony, I was somewhat dissatisfied with where and how the story ends. Nevertheless, this is a substantive, poignant, beautiful read. I’d highly recommend it to fans of historical ChristFic—especially those who are already familiar with Katharina and Luther and who’d be interested in a different approach to their love story. ___________ Tyndale House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.