- *I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. Please see disclosure below for more details.*
Earlier this month when I shared about what I had read this summer, I did not tell you about this fun book that I had a chance to review. I was privileged to receive a copy of Letters From Katie Luther by Shirley Casemier, which I read and then passed along to my twelve year old daughter.
While I know and understand the basics of the life of Martin Luther, I had never really considered his wife. I loved that this book provided more information about her as well as a different perspective on his life. The book is written as a series of letters from Martin’s wife Katie to her friend Ave.
The story begins while they are still in a convent, shares their escape, tells of how Martin Luther helped them, and then goes on to share about Katie’s marriage to Martin, how they raised their children, his work and ministry, and eventually their deaths. While there was a lot of heart ache and tragedy in their lives (the death of children, plagues, persecution), there was also much to be thankful for. The book read in such a way as to deal with those tragedies without being overly morose or sad.
The way the book was written in letters really helped to make the people ‘come alive’ in my mind. It is easy to read facts in biographies and yet not connect with their stories. However, by writing it as a series of letters and including family information, I felt like I was viewing Katie not just as the wife of Martin Luther, but as a mother, a friend, and a fellow sister in Christ.
“I really liked the way it described Katie Luther life in letters with her best friend that was a great way and easy to keep track of what was going on.” Elizabeth, age 12
At the end of the book the author provides a section of information that lets you know which parts of the book were non-fiction and which parts were fictionalized. I really appreciated that section. While I understand why the author took some creative liberty, I think it was important to understand the differences in the book and real life. For example, a few of the names were changed in the story for clarity, some of the ages were different, and the friend with whom the letters were exchanged actually died before Katie, but the author had her die later so she could finish the story with the letters. The author also includes a list of some of the books and resources she used for the factual components of this fictionalized biography.
Overall, we really enjoyed this book. I would recommend it for ages 12+ or possibly as a family read aloud. There is a lot of great information in an easy to understand format. It could work well to supplement a Reformation Day study or as an introduction to Martin Luther. You can find out more or purchase your own copy at Reformed Free Publishing Association or from Amazon.
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