Happy Saturday everyone! I know I’ve been a little scarce on here, and I apologize for that. I’m still battling some health issues, but even in that God is good! I think I just might be starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and hopefully in another month or so, I can go back to a normal life. In the meantime, I’m going to try to stay up to date on my reviews. The good thing about being physically weak all the time, is that it has allowed me to read a lot more than usual!! And Caitlin has been reading with me too, which just brings joy to my heart!
Okay….now to today’s review! For the record, if you haven’t put My Dearest Dietrich on your reading radar, you need to do so. NOW!
A staggering love illuminating the dark corners of a Nazi prison
Renowned German pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer is famous for his resistance to the Nazi regime and for his allegiance to God over government. But what few realize is that the last years of his life also held a love story that rivals any romance novel.
Maria von Wedemeyer knows the realities of war. Her beloved father and brother have both been killed on the battlefield. The last thing this spirited young woman needs is to fall for a man under constant surveillance by the Gestapo. How can she give another piece of her heart to a man so likely to share the same final fate? Yet when Dietrich Bonhoeffer, an old family friend, comes to comfort the von Wedemeyers after their losses, she discovers that love isn’t always logical.
Dietrich himself has determined to keep his distance from romantic attachments. There is too much work to be done for God, and his involvement in the conspiracy is far too important. But when he encounters a woman whose intelligence and conviction match his own, he’s unprepared for how easy it is to give away his heart.
With their deep love comes risk–and neither Dietrich nor Maria is prepared for just how great that risk soon becomes.
Based on detailed historical research, this true love story is at once beautiful and heartrending. My Dearest Dietrich sheds new light on a world-famous theologian . . . and the woman who changed his life.
Barratt has written a beautiful, poignant story about Dietrich Bonhoeffer. My first recommendation is to read it slow. I am usually a speed reader, but with this story I purposefully took my time. First of all, there is so much history to be learned. Barratt’s desire to stay true to history was so evident, and she packed in so much information that I wanted to make sure not to miss a thing. Don’t mistake that for a boring read – Barratt doesn’t info dump. No, instead she presents the facts methodically, perfectly and in a way that only enhances the story line.
War stories really intrigue me, but this was different than any I’ve ever read. No, you do not see Dietrich on the battle lines per se, but you do see his battles. When you think about the time of Hitler, it doesn’t too often cross your mind that just maybe some of the Germans were not on Hitler’s side. At least not me. But here was a man who was more concerned about what the Lord thought, then bowing down to Hitler who considered himself a god. What an example not only to the other characters, but to us as readers. Sometimes taking a stand has its consequences (as Dietrich learned in the latter part of the book), but that didn’t stop him. Nor should it stop us. As believers in Christ, we should not be afraid of the consequences of standing up for Christ, no matter what punishment the world offers.
Amongst the history, the emotions, the fear, is a love story that had my attention from the beginning. Maria is an extremely strong character. Not only because of enduring the long distance relationship (well, by the time they actually called it that), but because of the sacrifices she made as his girlfriend/fiance. She put herself in danger for him. She kept secrets for him. And although their time together was scarce, her love for him never wavered. I was not familiar with Dietrich’s story, so I was not really ready for the ending, (yes I had tears) but I was okay with it. Not all love stories have the ending we want. But they do have the ability to speak to our hearts, and stay with us for a very long time.
This book absolutely blew my socks off. It was everything I wanted and so much more. It exceeded the every single expectation I had for it. But again, take your time reading it. There is so much to be gained, and every single word is important to the story. I can see this book easily becoming a classic years from now. It’s a book I know I will revisit many times! I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
ECPA best-selling author Amanda Barratt fell in love with writing in grade school when she wrote her first story–a spinoff of Jane Eyre. Now, Amanda writes romantic, historical novels and novellas, penning stories of beauty and brokenness set against the backdrop of bygone eras not so very different from our own. Her novel My Dearest Dietrich: A Novel of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Lost Love, releases from Kregel Publications in June 2019.
She’s also the author of My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York: Adele’s Journey, as well as seven novellas with Barbour Publishing. Two of her novellas have been finalists in the FHL Reader’s Choice Awards.
Amanda lives in the woods of Michigan with her fabulous family, where she can be found reading way too many books, plotting her next novel, and jotting down imaginary travel itineraries for her dream vacation to Europe.
Connect with her on Facebook and visit her online at amandabarratt.net.
“We are not to question the sovereignty of His will, only to know and trust that it is sovereign.”
“I did what the Lord willed me to do, and I trust that His will shall continue to be done in future days.“
“Their lives, his life, were if God’s hands. And no one, even Adolf Hitler, had the power to snatch them from His grip.”
When was the last time you took the time to slowly read a book so you could savor every word?