It's been a long time hasn't it? I won't get into the why in this post though because this post is all about my book review!
"Luther and Katharina" is a historical/religious fiction novel written by Jody Hedlund. Basically, it's a novel about Martin Luther, the founder of Lutheranism and Katharina, a runaway nun. I'll be honest, I don't know much about Lutheranism or Martin Luther. I only briefly studied it in class two semesters ago. And I wasn't totally sold on the idea of reading a historical fiction, this really was one of my firsts. It's not something I normally gravitate towards. That being said, I thought this book was fantastic!
The story is set in the earlier 16th century in Germany, which is part of the Holy Roman Empire. Martin Luther, with the help of his trusted advisers are moving forward with the reform of the Catholic Church. Katharina is a nun born of noble blood who is inspired by the teaching of Martin Luther. She, along with a small group of nuns, escape their convent and wind up in Luther's monastery.
The story is told through split views, part by Katharina and part by Martin Luther. I think this added such a great element to the overall story because you witness different events unfolding through two different eyes and two different views. It also helped keep the story very interesting, especially when it came to the romantic aspects of the novel.
I will be honest, it took me quite a while to finish this book. I think it really took me a while to get into more so than finish it because once I was about halfway through I didn't want to put it down. I think it was hard for me to get into it though simply because I'm not used to reading historical fictions. But seriously, once I got into it it was so hard to put down. I relate a lot to Katharina, in the way she thinks and her certain attitude. I think that made it really fun to read because I felt just like her.
I think the book was laid out beautifully. In the front of the book before the story begins, there was a list of main characters and who they were. I found it so helpful for the first 30 pages or so because you get introduced to a lot of people. It was really smart putting a list of characters in the book. In the beck of the book Jody Hedlund also placed an author's note. The first half of it spoke about Martin and Katharina's life after the stories ends, which was so nice to have! Many times with books that don't have sequels you want just a little bit more and her author;s note was perfect for providing that. The second half of the note talks about the authenticity of the book and I was so pleasantly surprised that most everything she wrote about was real. It's so easy to get caught up in the story and forget that these were real people. She only added a few minor characters to the story and I think she did great telling it.
I was never one to be big on historical fictions that were simply historical fictions. Normally, if I were to read a historical fiction it would have some element of fantasy involved. But I really liked this book a lot. I loved the way Jody Hedlund wrote it and I was so excited to see that she's written other historical fictions! I being so serious when I say I think I added all of her books to my 'to-be-read" shelf on Goodreads! You can find out more about her and her books by clinking her name, Jody Hedlund. (PS. On her website she has a link to her Pintrest which has boards that are dedicated to each of her novels. How cool?!)
Overall I would give this book 4 1/2 stars out of 5.
I thought I'd end this review with my favourite quotes from the book. I'm sorry I don't have the page numbers that go with the quotes, I'll do better with that next time! (PS. you can follow me and my book adventure on Goodreads. Just click on link and it'll take you there!)
"I'm well aware of my age. I would thank you not to say anything more regarding it." ~Katharina
"He was a complex man with a depth of emotion that was hard to ignore, especially when that emotion was directed at her."
"Perhaps that's why God created women in the first place," she jested in return. "Without women to direct the male species and keep them in line, men are all too apt to wander in their own foolishness." ~Katharina
"The man is boar when it comes to knowing anything about personal grooming." ~Barbara Cranach
"For once, the man who'd changed the Holy Roman Empire with his words was speechless."
"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."