If you want to know about a man’s accomplishments you ask the man. If you want to know his heart, you ask his wife. Such were the thoughts I had as I read Luther in Love by Douglas Bond. The story opens in November 1545 with Katie (Katherine von Bora) and Martin Luther enjoying a peaceful rainy evening alone in their cloister. In these opening scenes, readers learn how Katie has been secretly penning a memoir about Luther by questioning him about his life prior to their union. What follows is largely Martin recounting the details with brief interjections by Katie. Roughly two-thirds of the way through the book, Katie escapes from the nunnery and becomes the primary storyteller.
As a woman, I marvel at a male author’s ability to capture a woman’s perspective so effectively, such as how we confide in one another about fears for our husbands’ safety or jesting about their aversion to soiled diapers. Including little details like these in Katie’s musings, while respectful, make her husband human. Yes, he was a man of great convictions who took bold stands against the corruptions he perceived in the church, but he was not without faults and I really appreciate how the author presents a rounded view of Luther.
The writing is very immersive, giving readers a real sense of the debauchery that was taking place in Rome. It’s no wonder Martin’s teachings were so well received by the common people. I came away with a new appreciation for Elector Frederick and the political maneuvering he devised to safeguard his favorite doctor of theology. Apart from relating the history of the period, Bond’s writing style often left me wondering where Martin Luther ended and Douglas Bond began. This will require additional research which I am now thrilled to undertake. I highly recommend Luther in Love to church history enthusiasts, book clubs, and even homeschool students (ages 15+).
**I received a complimentary copy of this title from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”