October 22, 2015 4 Comments

‘LUTHER AND KATHARINA,’ BY JODY HEDLUND. A historical fiction biography chronicles the life of Martin Luther. All text © Rissi JC

I’ve never been what someone would call an avid reader about historical figures. Any kind of historical “biography” type story kind of scares me off. Those I do experience are exclusive to the silver screen, which we all know is often misleading for entertainment purposes. This is also where anything I know about Martin Luther comes from. When I learned Jody Hedlund was tackling the iconic figure, I confess my reaction was one of neutrality. However, it’s safe to posit I have a different opinion now I’ve actually read this nearly 400-page tome.

This primarily follows, Martin Luther. But Katharina, the woman who would later become his wife, also enjoys a primary role in the story as it switches off perspectives between the two. The book covers Katharina’s escape from the convent; Luther’s fits with illness and battles he fights for the right to freely worship God; their relationship as well as intertwining fictional story threads, to add more layers to an already complex novel.  


What a life Martin Luther lived. In coming to the end of this book, I don’t think a person can have any other reaction save that. His crusade to do right by God, his conscious and what’s right is incredible. Nearly every move he made was met with opposition, sometimes even in his counsel. It’s his persistence and belief in what he cannot see that sets him up as being a person to admire. We should all strive to be as bold as he was. He never wavers no matter how bleak, and is as trustworthy as is the gospel he shares.

The surprising thing about this novel was how romantic it is. True it’s not ideally romantic in the same way as Jody’s historical romance novels (Bethany House) are, but it’s definitely more than I’d anticipate. The story is as much Katharina’s as it is Martin’s.

They each have separate things to work through emotionally and survive (including illness, kidnappings and general persecution), but the sparks between them is really, quite intriguing.  Their marriage begins in misunderstandings and yet, beautifully, they still find a way to each other. In any fiction novel, there is likely some creative license, but I feel confident Jody does her research. With that in mind, Luther and Katharina is a delightful story of romance, tragedy and perseverance we can all learn something from.  

About the Book:

(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)

Author: Jody Hedlund
Publisher: Waterbrook
Source: Author (Publisher) Provided
Publication Date: 2015
Find the Review elsewhere: Amazon ǀ Goodreads
Shop the Book: Bookshop.org ǀ Goodreads
Genre: Fiction; Historical (Biography), Romance
Rating:  5 out of 5

Sincere thanks to the author, Jody and publisher for providing a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes.

About Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

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  • Jamie Lapeyrolerie October 22, 2015 at 2:39 PM

    Great review friend! So glad you enjoyed it!

    • Rissi October 22, 2015 at 11:17 PM

      I did indeed enjoy this one, Jamie; more than I anticipated. Those are the best kind of reads! Thanks so much for visiting and reading. Always glad to have you stop by. :)

  • Lientjie Human October 30, 2015 at 11:45 PM

    I have read so many great reviews about this book, I can't wait to read it for myself.

    • Rissi October 31, 2015 at 4:44 PM

      It's worth all of those great reviews, Lientjie. Happy reading. :)

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