Sixty-five miles away, at Erfurt in Thuringia, Martin Luder, a promising young law student, turns his back on a lucrative career in order to become a monk.
The consequences of their meeting in Wittenberg, on Easter Sunday 1523, will reverberate down the centuries and throughout the Christian world.
“Skea does a marvelous job of filling in the gaps in Katharina’s life – of which there are many – while working within the framework of known historical facts. It would have been tempting for an author to write Martin and Katharina’s story as more romantic than it truly was, but Skea does not give in to this temptation. Katharina makes a decision based on much more than passionate love, a type of decision that is rarely made in modern courtships, and this story is faithfully told.”
“Skea draws attention to the role of women in the sixteenth century in a refreshing way. Without creating an anachronistically modern heroine, she shows how Katharina (by speaking her mind in the company of men) flouted convention, providing a spirited picture of the young woman who would eventually become Luther’s “my lord Katie” and set the pattern for Protestant marriages.”
“Skea weaves historical facts with intriguing lore and spins it all into a richer women’s fiction historical novel aimed at adults. This is no mere historical romance or inspirational Christian saga. Instead Skea brings us deep into the issues of the Reformation and puts Katherina right in the heart of it.”
Author Note: Runner up Historical Novel Society New Novel Award 2018.
The unexpected marriage of Martin Luther to Katharina von Bora has no fairytale ending. A sign of apostasy to their enemies, and a source of consternation to their friends, it sends shock waves throughout Europe. Yet, as they face persecution, poverty, war, plague and family tragedy, Katharina’s resilience and strength of character shines through.
“Skea is that rare author who can be eloquent with what is not said. She can lead us quietly into a room, let us see and hear all that goes on, and make our own observations and draw our own conclusions. She respects her readers’ intelligence and never tells us what to think.”
“What I really love about this story is the way Martin is portrayed when not dealing with his ‘calling’. His tenderness, the joy he exhibits with his children, the way he gradually succumbs to Kat’s industriousness, and sharpness of mind. It is a captivating tale that reaches into your heart; an emotional journey of love and loss.”
“Margaret Skea does a fantastic job of humanizing both Luther and his wife Katerina. The history is spot on, and I suspect the characterization of Katerina is close to real life. Luther cannot have been an easy husband to manage. Skea shows him human, with clay feet, without diminishing the man that he was. Her depiction of the struggles, trials, and griefs of that time ring true – when it was so common to lose children, friends, husbands. For a ‘you are there’ experience at Table Talk and Lutherhouse, you have to get this book.”
Author Note: Wonderful 1000 mile solo research trip to Saxony (Germany) to walk where the main character walked, stand where she stood, touch things she touched in order to find a voice for someone who was one of history’s almost forgotten women (outside a fairly narrow church tradition).