Book Review: Luther and Katharina, by Jody Hedlund


I was a little worried when I saw the long list of characters at the beginning of Luther and Katharina that I wouldn’t be able to keep everybody straight (this is one of the reasons I avoid reading fantasy and science fiction–I don’t like having to work hard to keep track of dozens of characters with funny names!). However, I had no trouble following along with the characters or the plot of this book. I think Jody Hedlund is an amazing researcher who has the ability to simplify complicated historical situations, making them understandable and relatable. The story is fascinating and fast-paced (I read the whole book in about four hours), with plenty of romantic tension and political danger. Before reading this book, I don’t think I ever grasped the magnitude and horror of the Peasants’ Revolt, which coincided with, and was probably partially fueled by, Luther’s petitions for religious reformation.

Hedlund does a good job of highlighting the courage, faith, wisdom, and determination (a.k.a. stubbornness) possessed by both Martin Luther and Katharina von Bora, which made them well-suited for each other.

I am marking Luther and Katharina off as “A book by or about Martin Luther” for the #VTReadingChallenge.


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