MY DEAREST DIETRICH by Amanda Barrett, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney and Winnie Thomas
"Always remember. It is only space that separates us."
It takes an extraordinary writer to pen a story whose ending is eternity and whose beginning brings it back to life for all the world to see. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who arguably possessed one of the most brilliant theological minds of the last century, fought bravely and loved deeply. Who knew? Through letters written back and forth to his young fiance, Maria von Wedemeyer, we glimpse Bonhoeffer's passionate faith, a faith that pervaded his very being and overflowed into his heart.
"What was faith if it was not living fully and completely in all of life - its joys and sorrows, burdens and blessings? . . . . . 'I have given you so little, but if my unending love is worth anything, then it is yours. Know that what ever comes, it is and always will be . . . yours.'"
Yes, this story is filled with times and places, events and circumstances; recounts of lives that were snuffed out prematurely at the whim of a diabolical regime, but mercifully it paints a picture of loveliness and light in the midst of darkness and inconceivable brutality, so that we may proclaim with boldness, "Auf Wiedersehen" our dearest Dietrich and Maria. "It is only space that separates us."
*I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. The opinions stated above are entirely my own.
Amanda Barratt’s beautifully penned love story based on the lives of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Maria von Wedemeyer is truly a work of art. Her impeccable and detailed research, combined with her gift of story, add up to an exquisite and heart-wrenching tale which is a must-read for historical fiction lovers. Because this story is based on actual people, and because history had already determined the ending, there is an added poignancy to it.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a brilliant theologian who could not compromise his beliefs in the face of Hitler’s Nazism. He and many others conspired against Hitler and his atrocities knowing that the tiniest hint of conspiracy could bring the ultimate sacrifice. My heart broke for him and Maria and their families that were torn apart by the war and “man’s inhumanity to man.” The letters written between the two give a glimpse of their lives and feelings during this bleak time in history. The characters, both main and secondary, are vividly drawn and come to life on the page.
The cover/book jacket is beautiful and striking and drew me in immediately. I enjoyed the author’s notes at the end of the book, which included updates on the lives of some of the characters and gave additional information on the book.
My Dearest Dietrich has easily made the list of my favorite reads of the year and is bound for my keeper shelf. I would highly recommend it to those who enjoy historical fiction based on fact.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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.
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