On 31st October 1517, Martin Luther pinned ninety-five theses on the Castle Church door, Wittenberg, criticizing the Church of Rome; they were printed and published by Lucas Cranach and caused a storm. Nine young nuns, intoxicated by Luther's subversive writings, became restless and longed to leave their convent. On Good Friday 1523 a haulier smuggled them out hidden in empty herring barrels. Five of them settled in Wittenberg, the very eye of the storm, and one of them - Katharina von Bora - scandalised the world by marrying the revolutionary former monk. Following a near miscarriage, she is confined to her bed to await the birth of their first child; during this time, she sets down her own story. Against a backdrop of 16th Century Europe this vivid account of Katharina von Bora's early life brings to the spotlight this spirited and courageous woman.
This is the third fictional account I have read about Katharina von Bora and, despite knowing her life quite well do I never get tired of reading about her life. I find it interesting to see how different authors will retell her life and I think that having Katharina write down her life as she is bedridden awaiting her first child was a wonderful idea. Yes, this means that the story will not retell her whole life, but you do get a wonderfully vivid account of her growing up, her life as a nun, and the time after she left the convent, and her new life with Martin.
I especially liked how Katharina von Bora life as a nun was described, and how the impact Luther's pamphlets had on her and the other nuns. For many women was becoming a nun nothing they have decided for themselves instead it was often their parents' decision and having to sacrifice the chance for a family of one's own was not an easy thing. Nevertheless, it was not an easy thing to leave the convent, to not be a nun anymore. Another thing I liked about the story was that the author did not portray Katharina and Martin as a couple
in love. He did really propose to her fellow nun Ava first and he never claimed to be in love with her. However, I loved the scene when he told her that he is not in love with her, but he thinks that love will grow between them. That I think was such a perfect way of describing their life together. They grew to love each other.
I liked this book very much, I would have loved to read more about their lives together. However, it was quite logical to end the book with the birth of their first child. I also liked that his was really Katharina von Bora story, Martin Luther is as well a very interesting character, but I love reading books from women's perspective of a relationship, especially famous relationship.