Book Review: Hedlund crafts this story so masterfully; the reader loses all sense of the 21st century.


Luther and Katharina : A Novel of Love and Rebellion
By Jody Hedlund

Behind every great man is an even greater woman or something like that as the cliché goes. In this case perhaps they were equally great as author Jody Hedlund brings these historical figures to the 21st century. Take a leap back in time to the 16th century as Martin Luther starts a rebellion against the corruption of the Church and falls in love as he said he would never do. Sometimes the heart will over-rule making an influential person even greater.

We are introduced to Katharina von Bora when she is 24 yeas old living in the Marienthron convent where her father traded her when she was only 5. Knowing no other way of life she awakens after hearing Luther’s rebellious words against the religious order she’s been oppressed in.

Katharina dreamt of a normal life with a marriage and children which is in direct opposition of the vows she took under duress to become a nun. The reader learns this was a common occurrence as fathers were indebted to the Roman church and would give over their daughters to release them from that debt or more horrifically as a way to buy their own entrance into heaven.

Katharina’s father is a knight down on his luck and low in funds, however he does have a title of nobility. Katharina clings to her noble status even in the convent and has to learn an important lesson of humility that she is not above others because of her name.

After an adventure of escaping the corrupt Abbot Baltazar, who runs the convent, Katharina’s dream just might come true. She finally meets the excommunicated Augustinian monk, Martin Luther who takes in the group of nuns Katharina has helped escape the servitude of the convent. Abbot Baltazar will stop at nothing to have his nuns returned and becomes a formidable adversary throughout the novel.

More to the story than just church corruption is the persecution Luther and his followers must endure as politics join the church in trying to suppress Luther and his rebellion. The Princes of Germany are entreated to extradite Luther into the hands of Roman authorities. Luther walks a fine line between keeping in the good graces of the Princes and teaching the peasants his rebellious message.

Author Jody Hedlund has taken the reader by the hand into a world so different than our modern day. This is more than a historical novel; it is a brilliant time travel machine to live beside Katharina and Luther; to feel the ebb and flow of their emotions; to feel their fears and triumphs.  It is so much more than a historical romance; it is a piece in time brought to life today.

This truly is a wonderful work of fiction based upon historical figures with as much accuracy that the story would allow. Hedlund has worked her writing magic in bringing the lives of Luther and Katharina to readers today and we are so much the better for it. To learn what they went through began the steps to freedoms we have today and we should all be ever so grateful. A truly wonderful, uplifting story of passion and inspiration!

To learn more about author Jody Hedlund visit her website at:

Or see her author page at the publisher’s website:

FTC Disclaimer: I was given an ARC of this title by Water brook publishing for review purposes only. No other compensation was awarded.


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