I rounded off my summer reading with the historical-fiction, Katharina: Deliverance by one of my favourite modern Christian authors, Margaret Skea. This is the first book in Skea’s new series set during the turbulent time of religious reform in 16th century Germany. As I
patiently wait for more of Skea’s brilliant Scottish Munro series, I was excited to start this new one.
In the beginning of this new tale, Skea magically transports us to rural Germany in 1505, where we meet the then five-year-old Katharina von Bora, who following the tragic death of her mother and her father’s remarriage, finds herself carted off to the convent at Brehna. Never to be recollected and never to see her father again. It is a heart-breaking start to life and one apparently lived by many children across Germany at this time.
We watch over the years as Katharina lives and grows – first at Brehna and then at a subsequently smaller, poorer convent in Nimbschen, run by her aunt – into a brave, intelligent and opinionated young woman. And while she comes to find some comfort, solace and friendship with her aunt and fellow sister nuns, deep in her heart of hearts she knows this is not the life she would have chosen for herself. That’s when revolutionary stirrings from the outside world start to filter into their quiet lives, giving Katharina and the other young nuns hope things could change for them.
These stirrings began some sixty-five miles away, at Erfurt in Thuringia, where a promising young law student, Martin Luther forsakes all that to become a monk, as he is appalled at what the Catholic Church has become. This of course leads to his famous Ninety-Five Theses in 1517. It is Luther’s passionate sermons and radical teachings, that finally give Katharina and eleven of her sister nuns the courage to runaway from their convent and, with Luther’s aid, find refuge in Wittenberg. It is there, on Easter Sunday 1523, Luther and Katharina will meet, and that meeting will reverberate down the centuries and throughout the Christian world.
Oh I simply loved being swept along by Katharina: Deliverance, which is a compelling and often sad portrayal of the young life of Katharina von Bora, all set against the turmoil of the Peasant’s War and the German Reformation … and the controversial priest at its heart. This book might have a nice sedate pace to it, but I was gripped from page one! I can’t wait to read more from this series. ⭐⭐⭐ Great read.
(Thank you to the author for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion)
I’d love to hear your thoughts: Have you read this? Have you read other books by Margaret Skea or about Katharina von Bora?