A historical novel with characters who are brave, strong and willing to take chances in times of persecution. The plot is partially based on the teachings of Martin Luther, an excommunicated priest from 1500s Germany, and the many lives he changed, some for the better, some for the worse. Pittman is a talented author who touches on topics that have been debated over the decades and are still being talked about today.
In time for the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s challenge to the Catholic Church, Allison Pittman’s Loving Luther is a moving and rich historical romance based on Luther’s relationship with his wife, Katharina. In addition, it shows how their marriage was actually significant to the Lutheran faith.
Katharina von Bora expected to spend her life married to God. After taking vows in the convent where she was raised, though, she finds that her new relationship with God is different from that which the nuns raised her to have: “I was subject to God, and to no one else.”
Her sense of freedom and empowerment is tangible, and her inner fire is sparked again by a letter from Martin Luther, in whom she finds a spiritual partner. Soon, she’s embroiled in a crisis of faith that touches the very heart of the Reformation.
Loving Luther is a sophisticated, provocative novel. Instead of dwelling on the couple’s courtship, the story goes deep into the roots of the Reformation. Luther and Katharina interrogate their faith, living out their convictions in a way that is both inspiring and profoundly human.
Loving Luther is a novel with depth, and it is unexpectedly touching. Katherina and Luther, in search of a happy ending, find one another. Their love, Pittman shows, really did change the world.
Pittman (On Shifting Sand, 2015) pens an exquisite tale based on the limited historical sources about Katharina von Bora, capturing the emotions of a nun grappling with the idea of bondage to the church versus a new and unfamiliar freedom in faith. Simmering with the tension of Katharina’s discontent and longings, the novel undergoes a slow morphing that follows Katharina’s own personal transformation, from reverence to spirited determination in choosing her own way in the world.
Allison Pittman’s Loving Luther (Tyndale, 2017) is an engaging novel based on the life of Katharina von Bora, the nun who became Martin Luther’s wife. The story portrays Katharina as a smart and feisty girl who ends up in a nunnery when her father remarries. Years later, smuggled snippets of Luther’s teachings make their way into the monastery and lead Katharina along with 11 other nuns to escape. Eventually Luther’s and her intellectual sparring and friendship turn to love and marriage.
An original, carefully crafted, and absorbingly entertaining read from beginning to end, “Loving Luther” showcases author Allison Pittman’s genuine flair for compelling and memorable storytelling. . . . Very highly recommended.
Sent by her impecunious father and hostile stepmother to a convent at age six, Katharina von Bora, whose noble family has seen better days, overcomes her considerable doubts and takes her vows when she reaches the appropriate age. But Katharina’s fellow nun, Girt, has a secret suitor, Hans, who begins to slip the writings of the religious reformer Martin Luther into the convent. Slowly, Katharina is drawn to the message they represent—and, once she and eleven of her fellow nuns escape the cloister, to the reformer himself. It is the young student Jerome Baumgartner, however, who becomes Katharina’s first suitor. Although Pittman’s previous novels have been set in the United States, she feels quite at home in 16th-century Wittenberg. Her prose is engaging and her characters are well-drawn, reminding us that these towering religious figures were also human beings, with human foibles and human loves and losses. This novel should be of interest not only to readers of Christian fiction, but to readers of general historical fiction as well.
Katharina von Bora gave her heart to Martin Luther after reading his treatise, “The Freedom of a Christian.” Years later, she has an opportunity to meet the man whose words led to his excommunication by the pope from the Roman Catholic Church. Katharina is captivated by his fervor, and her expectations are only enhanced by their meeting. Luther is also enchanted but unwilling to foist his simple life as a clergyman upon a woman he feels deserves much more than he can give. As their friendship deepens, Luther realizes that his heart can hold two loves: God and Katharina. VERDICT Pittman’s (On Shifting Sand) beautifully rendered historical romance is told from the point of view of Katherina von Bora (1525–46), the wife of Luther, leader of the Protestant Reformation. Accessible writing infused with romantic tension creates a provocative and heartwarming read.