Kitty, My Rib
Kitty, My Rib by E. Jane Mall
4 of 5 stars
A fictionalized biography of Katherine Luther, wife of the great Protestant reformer, Martin Luther.
Katherine had been an object of interest before to the citizens of Wittenberg. People had stopped and stared at the runaway nun but had soon accepted her and become used to her. Now she was again a special object of interest. She was the wife of the famous Dr. Martin Luther.
Katherine von Bora (Kitty Luther) is one historical character that has always been of special interest to me. This brisk biographical novel of her life was incredibly well-researched, and gives the reader a glimpse into the incredibly difficulties this pastor’s wife faced in her fascinating life. From escaping a convent to marrying the most well-known “heretic” of the time, dealing with the loss of two children, putting up with Luther’s idiosyncrasies and the pressures of his ministry, and finally struggling to make a living as a widow whom her husband’s followers seemed to forget about almost immediately after his death.
The writing style is a bit dated; I think a modern writer might try to get into Katherine’s head a bit more, whereas this seems to at times just jump from one event to the next without a lot of time for reflection in between. The author also assumes that the reader knows at least a bit about Reformation history and the history of the world at the time. Concepts such as indulgences, diets, electors, and other people and events in Reformation history are referred to, but not explained.
Overall: A touching (yes, even tear-jerking) story of Luther’s wife and helper and the daily life that they enjoyed together