Katharina: Deliverance by Margaret Skea

Katharina: Deliverance, the first installment of the fictionalized story of Katharina von Bora, the wife of Martin Luther, focuses on her childhood and early adult years. 

Katharina comes from a moderately well-to-do family from Saxony and is only five years old when her mother dies, leaving her and her brothers in the care of a father who is not up to the task. He quickly remarries, and the new stepmother promptly packs the girl off to a convent at Brehna.

But the early decades of the 16th century are a time of social and religious upheaval in the German lands as the opposition to the corruption and worldliness of the Catholic Church gathers momentum under the leadership of fiery preacher Martin Luther. Centuries-old traditions come under fire, including the practice of shutting young women in convents even when they lack the vocation for the religious life. In time, reform ideas reach Katherina’s convent as well and find fertile ground in the minds of several residents there. 

After a daring escape, Katharina finds shelter in the house of famous painter Lucas Cranach and his wife Barbara in Wittemberg, a town that becomes the center of the Lutheran movement. One by one, her friends, all former nuns, find husbands and settle into their new lives, but after a romantic disappointment it seems that Katharina will not be so lucky as to settle down in her own household. That is until she realizes that Luther, faced with growing attacks from all sides, may be in need of a partner and companion able and willing to share his burdens.

Katharina: Deliverance whetted my appetite for learning more about Luther’s courageous wife. The rest of her story that is told in the second installment of the series, Katharina: Fortitude.

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If you enjoy strong female characters in historical fiction, check out my novel The Greenest Branch, based on the life of Hildegard of Bingen, Germany’s first female physician. It is out now in ebook and paperback on Amazon US, Amazon UK, and several other Amazon marketplaces. It’s also FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

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