Loving Luther
Germany, 1505In 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.

Loving Luther Details

TitleLoving Luther
Author
ReleaseSep 1st, 2017
PublisherTyndale House Publishers
ISBN-139781414390451
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Christian, Christian Fiction, Romance, Medieval

Loving Luther Review

  • Megan
    January 1, 1970
    "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 "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; RomanceI 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.
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  • Hayden
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsI'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 ev 3.5 starsI'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.
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    The start of this book was pretty slow moving for me but still held my interest. Things got a lot more interesting further along and as the characters changed settings. I think Allison Pittman did a good job on portraying this story though I would like to do more research on the history. I thought the difference in a trust/relationship with God vs. following orders and rituals was important. Just by following traditions doesn't mean you have a relationship with Christ.There were some great thoug The start of this book was pretty slow moving for me but still held my interest. Things got a lot more interesting further along and as the characters changed settings. I think Allison Pittman did a good job on portraying this story though I would like to do more research on the history. I thought the difference in a trust/relationship with God vs. following orders and rituals was important. Just by following traditions doesn't mean you have a relationship with Christ.There were some great thought provoking conversations and overall this book held my interest. Thanks to Tyndale for offering me a free copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    Loving Luther was a good read. I've been looking forward to reading a book about Martin Luther and Katharina, so I was excited to get started on this book. While the romance did take a long time to get going, I understand why that was. The story made me see Martin Luther in a slightly different light, just because I now think I understand him and the time in which he lived better. I also got to learn about Katharina and her life, which was fascinating to read!I really liked the writing style and Loving Luther was a good read. I've been looking forward to reading a book about Martin Luther and Katharina, so I was excited to get started on this book. While the romance did take a long time to get going, I understand why that was. The story made me see Martin Luther in a slightly different light, just because I now think I understand him and the time in which he lived better. I also got to learn about Katharina and her life, which was fascinating to read!I really liked the writing style and the characters felt real (which is a good thing, considering it is based on historical figures). I truly enjoyed reading the story and I definitely recommend it.*I received a complimentary eBook copy of this book for my honest review. As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*
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  • Nadine Keels
    January 1, 1970
    As a young woman who's been raised in a convent, Katharina von Bora takes her vows to become a nun for practical reasons. But she desires something more for her future as she begins reading the words of an excommunicated priest: one Martin Luther. Pondering Luther’s teachings about freedom in Christ, Katharina plans a risky escape from her cloistered life in Loving Luther, a novel by author Allison Pittman.Now, this love story isn’t a romance, as much of the novel is (wisely) given to painting a As a young woman who's been raised in a convent, Katharina von Bora takes her vows to become a nun for practical reasons. But she desires something more for her future as she begins reading the words of an excommunicated priest: one Martin Luther. Pondering Luther’s teachings about freedom in Christ, Katharina plans a risky escape from her cloistered life in Loving Luther, a novel by author Allison Pittman.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.
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  • Vera Godley
    January 1, 1970
    The year 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and specifically the year 1517 when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door taking his stand against teachings prevalent in the Catholic church.In that same period a child was dropped at the door of a Catholic Nunnery. She was five years old. Her name was Katharina von Bora. While of a prestigious family (in name, at least), there was not fortune. So opens the story as told by Allison Pittman in Loving Luther. A young girl enter The year 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and specifically the year 1517 when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door taking his stand against teachings prevalent in the Catholic church.In that same period a child was dropped at the door of a Catholic Nunnery. She was five years old. Her name was Katharina von Bora. While of a prestigious family (in name, at least), there was not fortune. So opens the story as told by Allison Pittman in Loving Luther. A young girl enters the shadowy and harsh life of the convent and eventually takes her vows to become a nun.The author presents Katharina as a precocious and highly intelligent young girl who carried her thinking capabilities into her adult life enabling her to critique life in the convent, smuggled in bits of information relative to the ensuring reformation movement, and later piquing the interest and conversations of Martin Luther.Through her years in the convent, she begins to doubt and question and then perchance comes upon smuggled scraps of parchment that contain verses from Scripture, that she has never been allowed to read, and snatches of the forbidden writings of a defrocked monk, Martin Luther.About midway the book, Katharina von Bora and a few other nuns are smuggled out of the convent and taken to safekeeping provided by Martin Luther who has searched out potential suitors to marry the nuns. This is in keeping with society of the 1500s when women were either married and under the protection of a husband, still in the keeping of a father, cloistered in a nunnery, or living as a woman of ill repute. Luther ensconced Katharina in the home of a wealthy nobleman where she received the attention of a potential husband, Jerome, though she did not marry him.As we know from historical fact, Katharina did eventually marry Martin Luther. Her story is not complete in the telling by Allison Pittman but the author gives a good accounting of Katharina's life leading up to her marriage and the events and people who shaped her into the woman that loved Martin Luther.DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from the Tyndale Blog Network on behalf of the author and Tyndale House Publishers to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and freely given.
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    Allison Pittman's writing is always engaging. When Tyndale House offered me a free ARC to read, I accepted in exchange for an honest review. I've never read a book by Pittman that I didn't enjoy. I love how she puts you inside the head of - in this case - a young girl who was sent to the convent because her family couldn't afford to keep her. I related well to the young Katharina von Bora. I felt spiritually liberated along with Katie when she started reading the scriptures provided by Luther. B Allison Pittman's writing is always engaging. When Tyndale House offered me a free ARC to read, I accepted in exchange for an honest review. I've never read a book by Pittman that I didn't enjoy. I love how she puts you inside the head of - in this case - a young girl who was sent to the convent because her family couldn't afford to keep her. I related well to the young Katharina von Bora. I felt spiritually liberated along with Katie when she started reading the scriptures provided by Luther. Because they were written in her native tongue they were easily understood. Faith elements were seamlessly woven into the novel and felt natural to the time period. I loved reading about her new experiences that generated from her liberated life and the fresh perspective she found outside the convent walls. The expectation of her generation (1500s) was for her (the weaker sex) to marry. That way they would be under a husband's protection, which weighed heavily on her heart. Finding the right husband was no simple matter. Luther trying to set her up with eligible men didn't help.I loved how the author made me care about Katie's first experience with what she thought was "love." Her sense of abandonment when her prospective husband didn't follow through after initiating a tender romance and many kisses devastates her... at first. Katie is not one to give up, and on good days she's typically very polite and controlled.This story had some believable conflict sprinkled throughout. It held my attention and I finished it. The best part was their mutual attraction and the fact that they both liked each other but neither considered the other as a potential candidate. At least not at first. Anyway, great story!
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  • Tanya
    January 1, 1970
    In reality, we know very little about Katharina von Bora, Martin Luther's wife but this book offers an interesting spin on her life and cloister background. It reads more as historic fiction with a lot of adventure, soul seeking and some romance, than anything deeply theological, however, there is just enough of it to have something to think about. It reminded me contemporary reality shows about young Mennonites that leave their religious communities. So did Katharina, who had grown up very shel In reality, we know very little about Katharina von Bora, Martin Luther's wife but this book offers an interesting spin on her life and cloister background. It reads more as historic fiction with a lot of adventure, soul seeking and some romance, than anything deeply theological, however, there is just enough of it to have something to think about. It reminded me contemporary reality shows about young Mennonites that leave their religious communities. So did Katharina, who had grown up very sheltered in a cloister since she was about five years old. She was very bright and had leadership qualities which was on par with Martin Luther.It was a fun read, the book is big but it does not feel that way, because the author is brilliant!
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  • Raul M
    January 1, 1970
    Allison Pittman is an author who was unfamiliar to me until I read an advance copy of her release for September 1, 2017. Now I can attest to her talent to wield an engaging narrative, with an editing team that reliably ensured no glaring errors in the text. Despite the title, I was surprised this tale did not focus so much on theology, but indeed came across more like a romance novel. The evangelistic activities of Protestant reformer Martin Luther were mentioned but kept in the background to wh Allison Pittman is an author who was unfamiliar to me until I read an advance copy of her release for September 1, 2017. Now I can attest to her talent to wield an engaging narrative, with an editing team that reliably ensured no glaring errors in the text. Despite the title, I was surprised this tale did not focus so much on theology, but indeed came across more like a romance novel. The evangelistic activities of Protestant reformer Martin Luther were mentioned but kept in the background to what is truly the story of Katharina, the nun who would later marry him.Early on, the book explored Kath's cloistered life spanning her childhood and teen years, plus the bonds she formed with fellow Sisters. This leads to my only critique: I would've imagined far more time and inward conflict involved in Kath even fathoming a break from her vows -- although I'll grant that her exposure to Luther's translation of Scripture in the common tongue (rather than Latin) undoubtedly wielded a powerful influence in itself. I appreciated how two leading nuns in Kath's convent were portrayed with personalities that broke any one-dimensional expectations. I relished how Kath's past tied into later events, and how both supporters and detractors of Kath (some likely entirely fictional) were described and given believable dialogue. The novel glossed over more controversial aspects of Luther himself, but still showed the man as down-to-earth and flawed, to the point that he was hilariously insufferable and exasperating! A few German words were untranslated, but that was easily resolved via an online app. Lastly, I suspect my own fascination with Christianity's history explains why the book's 400 pages felt like a breeze to me.
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  • Lori Parrish
    January 1, 1970
    Allison, a fabulous read!! Jody and Allison have both done an awesome job with the different versions of this story about Luther and Katharina. I enjoyed Katharina's sneakiness, steady and reliable sense of adventure along with Girt and Hans.I felt that this story was mostly adventure. I also liked that this book was told in 1st person my fave genre. I felt like I was more connected to the main character. I did feel that it was unfair the way that her family treated her but at least her father d Allison, a fabulous read!! Jody and Allison have both done an awesome job with the different versions of this story about Luther and Katharina. I enjoyed Katharina's sneakiness, steady and reliable sense of adventure along with Girt and Hans.I felt that this story was mostly adventure. I also liked that this book was told in 1st person my fave genre. I felt like I was more connected to the main character. I did feel that it was unfair the way that her family treated her but at least her father did make sure his daughter was safe. (I'm glad I was a married woman when my dad up and done that because I didn't like my step mother at all! She took what was rightfully mine).There were some favorite scenes of mine but I don't want to give anything away!!I think I'd go stir crazy in some parts of the book esespecially since I'm claustrophobic. I don't like small spaces!!I like this book too because I love reading historical fiction and they have the ability to take me on adventure and time travel without having to pat anything lol!!I think that Allison has done a great job in her research of this particular subject. Her style of writing is awesome!!Thank you Netgalley for letting me read and review your books!! No compensations were received. All words are my own!!
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  • Kelly Bridgewater
    January 1, 1970
    Loving Luther by Allison Pittman was a joy to read. Historical fiction might not be my go-to genre, but once in a while, a topic captures my attention and makes me want to read the novel. With Pittman's book, I never knew that Luther was ever in love with someone. Being a monk, I didn't think they could marry, but as the story shows, he left the monk life when he decided to read the Bible for himself. When I read a historical novel, I want the characters to be real and intertwine with the resea Loving Luther by Allison Pittman was a joy to read. Historical fiction might not be my go-to genre, but once in a while, a topic captures my attention and makes me want to read the novel. With Pittman's book, I never knew that Luther was ever in love with someone. Being a monk, I didn't think they could marry, but as the story shows, he left the monk life when he decided to read the Bible for himself. When I read a historical novel, I want the characters to be real and intertwine with the research so well that I don't know I'm actually reading a fictionalized story of a real person's life.The writing is clear and concise. We stayed in Katharina's perspective the entire time. Since the story is told from her point of view, I watched as she interacted with the world and saw her feelings and words about certain topics. As for the research, it flowed nicely. I never once thought that Pittman was giving me a history lesson on Luther and what he accomplished. It was hinted at, but most readers should be familiar with what he accomplished with his theses. The setting came to life. I could feel the cold and taste the thin broth the poor ladies had to endure.The romance really wasn't the focus of the story like I thought it was going to be. With a title like Loving Luther, I thought the story would be more about Katharina and Luther's love story. Yes, it is there toward the end of the novel, but the story focused more on Katharina's upbringing and her failed love to another man. Plus, this love to another man, I still don't understand what happened. Katharina was in love with him, and he appeared to be in love with her. Then he went away, never to talk to her again. It wasn't said what happened or why. I kept waiting for Pittman to tell me what happened, but she never does.The spiritual element is important in this novel, as it should be because Pittman is discussing Luther and the whole Catholic church. I enjoyed how she allowed Katharina to make the discussion that she doesn't have to live in solitude to talk with God. She can still be a wife and a mother and talk with God. This is important, and the Catholic church still needs to hear this today.Overall, the research and the setting stand out in my mind. While the title suggests a love story, it is more about Katharina's journey to discovering her love in Luther while maintaining her love for God. Loving Luther is a good book and taught me a lot, so I recommend this book to fellow readers who enjoy being taught things while they read. It was nice to uncover a part of Luther's life that I didn't know existed.I received a complimentary copy of Loving Luther by Allison Pittman from Tyndale Publishing, and the opinions stated are all my own
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  • Rebekah Love Dorris
    January 1, 1970
    Loving Luther by Allison Pittman is the fascinating tale of Katharina von Bora, the nun who would become first lady of the Reformation.The story begins when six-year-old Katharina gets dumped at the local convent by her weak-willed, newly remarried father, who chokes up as Katharina bravely walks away dry-eyed, hoping to relieve his misery at watching her misery.The heartbreaking story plunges us into life in a cold stone pre-Reformation convent. We quake along with little Katharina at the fears Loving Luther by Allison Pittman is the fascinating tale of Katharina von Bora, the nun who would become first lady of the Reformation.The story begins when six-year-old Katharina gets dumped at the local convent by her weak-willed, newly remarried father, who chokes up as Katharina bravely walks away dry-eyed, hoping to relieve his misery at watching her misery.The heartbreaking story plunges us into life in a cold stone pre-Reformation convent. We quake along with little Katharina at the fearsome nuns, relax as she learns the ropes, and hunger with her for relief from her sufferings.I wasn’t familiar with this dark period in history, particularly in German history. The story weaves between fiction and history as we follow Katharina’s coming of age, causing me to look up biographical tidbits to see what was real.It turns out, Mrs. Pittman did an amazing job staying true to the story.Martin Luther loved his beer. I never knew that! In my own research inspired by reading this book, I read how heavily he relied on alcohol.Of course, back then beer and wine were widely consumed, which is why people were so dense and dull. When coffee conquered Europe, so did clear-headedness and progress.But I digress. Ah, coffee. Rather than focusing on Martin Luther, though, this is Katie’s story. It reads in parts like a romance novel. While I’m not a big romance novel consumer, the history and drama made up for the gushy parts.I guess the biggest thing I learned from this novel is that every age, and every great person, has their weaknesses. Of course! Why else would we need grace if any of us had it all together?While Luther loved the Scriptures and wanted them available to everyone, he obviously didn’t understand everything. I guess every age and group has its blind spots.This book didn’t touch on Luther’s antisemitism, and I’m glad since that happened in his senile, diseased years. In his younger, clearheaded days he was a friend to the Jews. “If I had been a Jew and had seen such dolts and blockheads govern and teach the Christian faith, I would sooner have become a hog than a Christian,” he wrote as a younger man. “They have dealt with the Jews as if they were dogs rather than human beings; they have done little else than deride them and seize their property.”Just goes to show we all need grace. Even in old age. Even the leaders of the leaders. We’re all standing in the need of prayer. Especially the leaders.Loving Luther skipped these controversial aspects of Martin Luther and instead focused on the dramatic life of his wife. I enjoyed this book, and I’m grateful to Tyndale House Publishers for providing me a free copy in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Tamara
    January 1, 1970
    Beautifully written, with memorable scenes and characters. Loving Luther is a literary treat that you'll want to savor in a scenic, relaxing spot like a porch swing, beach chair, or fireside sofa. It deserves a location where you can make the reading of it a special event. If you're looking for a novel that feels like a gift you've given yourself, this coming-of-age historical romance is it. I bought a hardbound copy for myself and will be purchasing more hardbound copies to give as Christmas gi Beautifully written, with memorable scenes and characters. Loving Luther is a literary treat that you'll want to savor in a scenic, relaxing spot like a porch swing, beach chair, or fireside sofa. It deserves a location where you can make the reading of it a special event. If you're looking for a novel that feels like a gift you've given yourself, this coming-of-age historical romance is it. I bought a hardbound copy for myself and will be purchasing more hardbound copies to give as Christmas gifts.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Loving Luther is the newest release by Allison Pittman. This book was just okay to me. I love to read about the love story between Katharina von Bora and Martin Luther. However, this version was a little too slow for me. The first two-thirds of the book was hard to get through but it finally picked up about the last third of it. I am glad I pushed myself to keep reading on as I did enjoy the ending.Three stars.I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
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  • Dani Munoz
    January 1, 1970
    An avid reader of historical fiction, I appreciated Loving Luther’s delightfully detailed portrait of Katharina (“Katie”) von Bora, the wife of Martin Luther – a prominent leader in the Protestant Reformation. Despite the title, Loving Luther was less about Katie’s relationship with Martin, and more of a creative, coming-of-age autobiography.The actual love story was slowly-paced, but this makes sense considering there’s little historical evidence for the couple’s romance prior to being wed. Whi An avid reader of historical fiction, I appreciated Loving Luther’s delightfully detailed portrait of Katharina (“Katie”) von Bora, the wife of Martin Luther – a prominent leader in the Protestant Reformation. Despite the title, Loving Luther was less about Katie’s relationship with Martin, and more of a creative, coming-of-age autobiography.The actual love story was slowly-paced, but this makes sense considering there’s little historical evidence for the couple’s romance prior to being wed. While I’ve heard of the strong marriage between Katie and Luther, Mrs. Pittman provides a sweet picture of their possible friendship and short courtship beforehand.With that said, the novel has beautiful characterization, good spiritual lessons on freedom in Christ, and intriguing historical insights. I enjoyed seeing Katie’s background and personality brought to life, because I knew so little about her. We receive a thorough idea of Katie’s spunky, witty, and courageous nature, as well as a window into her emotional struggles.The inside look at life in the nunnery and the legalism of the church in that day was eye-opening, setting a backdrop for the reader about what Luther was facing during the Reformation era. I also appreciated Mrs. Pittman’s ability to sprinkle humor and sentimental details into Katie’s first-person perspective, using unspoken details to reveal the heart behind characters around her.An enjoyable read, overall I would recommend it but it may not be what you expect.Thank you Tyndale House Publishers for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Linda Davis
    January 1, 1970
    A masterful story. A fine work of art. Pittman's magnum opus. Bravo, Allison Pittman! Just bravo!
  • Nathan Albright
    January 1, 1970
    [Note:  This book was provided free of charge by Tyndale Blog Tours.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.]From time to time I read novels instead of my usual nonfiction from Tyndale [1], and in this particular case the book is a real gem.  I must admit that going into this book I did not know a huge amount about Katherine Van Dora, wife of famed Protestant reformer Martin Luther.  I knew that she had been a nun, that she escaped from her convent in an empty fish barrel, and that she was a stro [Note:  This book was provided free of charge by Tyndale Blog Tours.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.]From time to time I read novels instead of my usual nonfiction from Tyndale [1], and in this particular case the book is a real gem.  I must admit that going into this book I did not know a huge amount about Katherine Van Dora, wife of famed Protestant reformer Martin Luther.  I knew that she had been a nun, that she escaped from her convent in an empty fish barrel, and that she was a strong and capable woman whose relationship with Luther was loving but was not particularly romantic.  So, going into this four hundred page novel, I wasn't sure what to expect, not being familiar with the author's previous work.  Would this novel romanticize Martin Luther--who was nothing if not an anxious and mercurial man, or would it romanticize his wife, she of a fairly notorious strong personality?  Fortunately for the reader--and for this book's value as historical fiction--it did not take the angle of romance.  To be sure, this is a book about love, but it's a book about love between awkward people who struggle with intimacy, who are anxious and nervous in temperament, intelligent and somewhat fiercely witty.  It is, in other words, a very Nathanish sort of historical novel, and one that hits particularly close to home in its portrayal of Katherine Van Dora as a bright but deeply opinionated person whose romantic exploits border on the tragic.This novel takes place in several parts and covers the period from the Katherine's childhood, when her father gave her over with a small dowry to Christ as a child novice until her mid-twenties when Luther bluntly and somewhat awkwardly proposes marriage to her while she lives as a sort of house servant for some wealthy friends of Luther.  In between, we see over and over again that Katherine is deeply intelligent, has a real hunger for knowledge, and tends to rub people the wrong way.  She appears as a good friend but someone whose sharp tongue lands her in trouble.  Caught up in the search for freedom as a nun, after her escape she struggles to find a settled place and finds herself frustrated that Luther keeps on trying to set her up with inferior men when she finds herself captivated by Luther himself.  Rather than a romance novel, this book is set up as an education novel, on how a brave and unloved little girl becomes a bright and intelligent woman and how she learns to find love even when she does not always feel very lovable.As might be imagined, this is the sort of novel that hits really close to home for me.  While I am no Luther scholar myself and do not know exactly when and how Katherine van Dora found out about Luther's preaching and writing, this book makes an interesting case for a long connection between the two.  Luther's first appearance is one that might come as a surprise when as a young confessor he encourages Katherine about her eating biscuits at night by reminding her of the rules about not eating in bed because food and crumbs draw rats.  Through the way the book focuses on the perspective of Fraulein van Dora, the reader is led to a fairly natural conclusion that the two are meant for each other, and that neither one of them is conventional.  Why Martin Luther should have been so anxious and timid in matters of the heart is something that the book does not explain, although this book gives plenty of explanation why an attractive but strong-willed woman like Katherine would be less ideal as a wife than the rest of her fellow escaped nuns, who all find spouses for themselves pretty easily.  Some things haven't changed much since the 16th century, sadly, when it comes to the inverse relationship between a sharp wit and a clever mind and the ease of success in love and intimacy.[1] See, for example:https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2016...https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2014...https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2014...https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2013...https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2012...
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  • Gina Burgess
    January 1, 1970
    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 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?Well, we find out. I was amazed at how closely Pittman stayed to the historical facts, but filled in with era-accurate story. You really get to know Katharina and her friends in the convent, and your heart breaks with how these children are raised in the Catholic church. The characters are very 3 dimensional and so well crafted that you wonder how they'll handle what comes next after you turn out the lights. Just wonderful writing. You experience the intrigue and questions, worship by rote, and the courage and fear the nuns feel as they read the treasured words from the Bible in their own language and not Latin. You tremble at the thought of stepping outside a comfort zone that is not so comfortable in the cold, hard halls of the convent.Descriptions bring in all the senses. You feel the terrible cold to your bones, the bland food depresses appetite, the rough fabric scratches the skin, the needle pricks your finger as secret pockets are made. Excellent detail in story. The love interest of Katharina [spoiler]who rejects her because he was a weak person ruled by his mother and whom she does not end up with[/spoiler] gives a poignant reason for her attraction and true love for Martin Luther. If you do not know Katharina's and Martin's story, this would be an excellent book to read. Pittman does not delve into the reformation movement except for the intrigue in smuggling in the questions and Bible verses for the nuns to ponder. It's all told from Katharina's point of view, so we don't agonize with Luther over his reformation awakening or his excommunication. This is a tender and poignant story about a little girl growing up in a convent and a religion that could not answer her questions. It's how the answers she found gave her a maturity in God to be a truly helpful helpmeet for Martin Luther.Exquisite.
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  • Christian Fiction Addiction
    January 1, 1970
    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 t 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.
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  • Sherri Smith
    January 1, 1970
    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. 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.
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  • Elaine
    January 1, 1970
    Loving Luther is a historical novel, not a biography. It’s the book equivalent of “inspired by true events.” I think knowing this is crucial to enjoying the book. Pittman imagines what life would be like for Katharina in the convent and then later as she adjusts to living as a single woman. I appreciated her picture of the nuns’ lives in the convent and how respectful the author was of the different motivations they had for staying or leaving as the Reformation roiled around them. I hadn’t reali Loving Luther is a historical novel, not a biography. It’s the book equivalent of “inspired by true events.” I think knowing this is crucial to enjoying the book. Pittman imagines what life would be like for Katharina in the convent and then later as she adjusts to living as a single woman. I appreciated her picture of the nuns’ lives in the convent and how respectful the author was of the different motivations they had for staying or leaving as the Reformation roiled around them. I hadn’t realized the difficulties she faced once leaving convent life and the time it took to resolve the pressing question of who she would marry. Loving Luther is a good read! I finished it quickly and enjoyed every moment of reading it.However much I enjoyed reading this book, I feel like the author took too much liberty with certain aspects of the story. Very little is know about Katharina Von Bora’s life before she married Luther. (Spoiler alerts don’t count for historical events!) Pittman doesn’t contradict any of the known facts, but I think she plays fast and loose with a few of them. I find it hard to imagine that a devout woman raised in a convent would allow a man she wasn’t engaged to the liberty of kissing her in a dark garden. Perhaps I’m stuffy. (I know I’m stuffy.) It just didn’t ring true to me. I also think she glossed over the religious questions at the heart of the Reformation to the detriment of the story. I understand not wanting to get out in the theological weeds, but more details of the differences could have been incorporated.Tyndale House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.
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  • Michelle Kidwell
    January 1, 1970
    Loving Lutherby Allison PittmanTyndale House PublishersTyndale House Publishers, Inc.Christian , Historical FictionPub Date 01 Sep 2017 I am reviewing a copy of Loving Luther through Tyndale House Publishers and their partnership with Netgalley:At the age of six Katarina Van Bora is given to the church body and soul to help ease her families burden. At first and older girl name Terese starts to bully her. But Katarina soon learns that Terese lost her Mother, and that she didn’t have a Father, he Loving Lutherby Allison PittmanTyndale House PublishersTyndale House Publishers, Inc.Christian , Historical FictionPub Date 01 Sep 2017 I am reviewing a copy of Loving Luther through Tyndale House Publishers and their partnership with Netgalley:At the age of six Katarina Van Bora is given to the church body and soul to help ease her families burden. At first and older girl name Terese starts to bully her. But Katarina soon learns that Terese lost her Mother, and that she didn’t have a Father, her Mother had been a prostitute.Katarina is an intelligent young girl, who has a curiosity that sometimes gets her in trouble and as she grows older she doesn’t loose that curiosity, and it makes her question her calling in life. She begins reading Martin Luther’s passages which quickly lands her into trouble.Katarina soon realizes she must leave the convent, she must leave the Church. Her Faith is strong, but she no longer feels being a Nun is her calling. Katarina and some of her friends decide to leave the nunnery, and follow Luther’s teachings.Katarin Van Bora leaves the nunnery not knowing where her next meal will come from, where she will lay her head, but she feels this is what God is calling her to do, follow Luther’s teachings, more importantly Christ’s teachings.Soon she finds she can have a life for herself and still live for God, she discovers that it is okay to fall in love and get married. She discovers that being happy is not a sin.I give Loving Luther five out of five stars!Happy Reading!
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  • Grace
    January 1, 1970
    I developed an interest in Katharina von Bora’s life while I was in college. As I casually researched more about her, I realized that I’d stumbled upon a treasure. I even ended up writing a paper on her. So when I saw that a novel was being written about her specifically, I was intrigued. Would it stay somewhat close to the story? What sort of liberties would the author take—and would I agree? After all, it’s a great challenge to take the story of a notable person like this, who really has littl I developed an interest in Katharina von Bora’s life while I was in college. As I casually researched more about her, I realized that I’d stumbled upon a treasure. I even ended up writing a paper on her. So when I saw that a novel was being written about her specifically, I was intrigued. Would it stay somewhat close to the story? What sort of liberties would the author take—and would I agree? After all, it’s a great challenge to take the story of a notable person like this, who really has little information to draw on, and respectfully and as truthfully as possible, tell her story in an interesting way. The saying is true, that behind every great man, is a great woman. And Katharina von Bora was just such a woman.Allisson Pittman wove her way through what we know of Katharina’s story, adding some here, drawing on imagination there, in a way that read like history, but didn’t feel like a dusty old history tome. Katharina was a remarkable, though flawed, woman, just as her husband, Martin Luther, was. But these two flawed people were instrumental in drawing the Protestant church to where it is today.With the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation coming up in less than a month, I would recommend Loving Luther for those who wish to know a little more about these movers and shakers in an interesting, somewhat imaginative way.I was provided a copy of this book from the publisher. The opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Katherine Jones
    January 1, 1970
    Allison Pittman picked a fascinating person about whom to write her book (or her agent did, according to what she says in Acknowledgements). Given Katharina’s era, her personal story, and her connection to one of the most influential thinker/activists in the history of Christianity, Katharina von Bora makes for a fascinating main character. And Pittman takes full advantage in bringing her to vivid life.What struck me most pleasantly was the author’s knack for making all of her characters multidi Allison Pittman picked a fascinating person about whom to write her book (or her agent did, according to what she says in Acknowledgements). Given Katharina’s era, her personal story, and her connection to one of the most influential thinker/activists in the history of Christianity, Katharina von Bora makes for a fascinating main character. And Pittman takes full advantage in bringing her to vivid life.What struck me most pleasantly was the author’s knack for making all of her characters multidimensional. Each of them came stocked with surprises, no character wholly good or bad but rather a very human (and believable) mixture of both. I also liked her development of the premise itself, as given in this line from the synopsis: “In her first true step of faith…” There’s a lot of scope for story in that beginning.While every page was packed with interesting details, I did feel the heart of the story didn’t begin to beat until the introduction of Luther a fair ways in. That is, after all, when the sparks begin to fly, and I wouldn’t have minded getting there more quickly.That said, those with interest in historical fiction in general — and Katharina’s (and, of course, Luther’s) tale in particular — will likely find much to draw them to this fictionalization of one of the great couples of the Church.Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for providing me this book free of charge. All opinions are mine.
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  • Debbie
    January 1, 1970
    "Loving Luther" is a Christian historical set in 1505 to 1525 in Germany. It's Katharina von Bora's story and started with her being left at a convent by her father as a young child. Not much is known about her life in the convents, so this is a fictional telling of what life might have been like for her (and nuns in general). More information is known about her life after she escaped the convent, but still not that much. The author explored what an adjustment it must have been for Kate using th "Loving Luther" is a Christian historical set in 1505 to 1525 in Germany. It's Katharina von Bora's story and started with her being left at a convent by her father as a young child. Not much is known about her life in the convents, so this is a fictional telling of what life might have been like for her (and nuns in general). More information is known about her life after she escaped the convent, but still not that much. The author explored what an adjustment it must have been for Kate using the framework of what is known about her life at that time.The author portrayed Martin Luther as caring toward Kate from the start (though it's my understanding that he didn't initially have a positive attitude toward her but that he did come to respect her before deciding to marry her). Anyway, the author showed them spending time together and becoming friends. After initially focusing her affection toward another man, Kate realized her love for Luther. It's an interesting look at what life might have been like for a woman in her situation. The story ended with Luther agreeing to marry Kate.There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable story.I received an ebook review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
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  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    As a fiction writer it's hard for me to lose myself in a novel because my internal editor is constantly critiquing the author's writing. This did not happen with Loving Luther. For the first time in a long time, I lost myself in the heroine's point of view. Allison Pittman does a beautiful job of taking the reader along when Katharina von Bora is left in a nunnery as a six-year-old by her father. Through pain-staking research and lyrical prose, Pittman re-creates for us Katharina's life as a you As a fiction writer it's hard for me to lose myself in a novel because my internal editor is constantly critiquing the author's writing. This did not happen with Loving Luther. For the first time in a long time, I lost myself in the heroine's point of view. Allison Pittman does a beautiful job of taking the reader along when Katharina von Bora is left in a nunnery as a six-year-old by her father. Through pain-staking research and lyrical prose, Pittman re-creates for us Katharina's life as a young girl who is most often cold, hungry, afraid, and in love with God. When she rebels, we follow her out into a man's world where she finds it's not easy for a poor, intelligent "older" woman to find a mate. We see the Protestant Reformation through the eyes of a girl who wants the freedom to read scripture in her own language and to talk to God directly. I cried with her when she was scorned and cheered for her when she doggedly made her own way. After reading the 400-page book in less than four days, I turned the last page, closed the book, and sighed. I wanted more, much more. Good job!
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  • Sarah Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed learning a bit about the woman Martin Luther eventually took as a wife and reading the historical fiction account of her life. I enjoyed the author's writing style and found myself easily able to picture the settings and people she was writing about. This was an easy, enjoyable read that I'd gladly recommend to a friend!I received an advance reader copy of the book from the publisher and NetGalley.
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  • Trish
    January 1, 1970
    (borrowed on Overdrive)Very interesting portrayal of Katherine's life before she became Mrs. Luther. It made me think about the reality of convent life and even single woman in the 1500s, but the story drug a bit at times.
  • Kate Campos
    January 1, 1970
    *I received a copy for review from the publisher through Booklist.
  • Kristin
    January 1, 1970
    review coming soon
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