About the Book
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 and including photos from both Maria’s and Dietrich’s lives, this is a true love story at once beautiful and heartrending. My Dearest Dietrich sheds new light on a world-famous theologian . . . and the woman who changed his life.
In My Opinion
A couple days after finishing this book, I am still wrecked. Words cannot do this novel justice because it’s such a heart-level story, but I’m going to try anyway.
As someone who grew up in the church, I knew of Dietrich Bonhoeffer as well as bits and pieces of his life and death. But in My Dearest Dietrich, Amanda Barratt’s immaculate research and stunning prose puts skin on this man, this paragon of faith. Seriously, how can an author write such a beautifully moving novel at twenty-three?
I admit, it’s hard to start a book when you already know there will be no happily ever after—at least not until eternity. But, as someone who would also never pick up a 600 page non-fiction tome about the man, this was an excellent education into the life of Dietrich—his faith, his family, his work in the resistance movement to rid Germany of Hitler and his tyranny, and his romance with young Maria von Wedemeyer. And don’t the people who sacrificed everything—those they loved most, their hopes and dreams of a future, their lives—deserve to have their stories told as much as, maybe even more than, those who survived?
Yes, I realize I am sharing very little about the actual content of this novel. One, because it’s one you have to savor, to experience, and to reflect on where your own heart and faith stand. It’s a book that will make you question if you would put everything on the line for the lives of others who have had their voices stolen away.
Do yourself a favor and block out an afternoon or evening to sit down with Dietrich and Maria because you will come out the other side with a full heart. And, like me, your list of people you hope to meet in heaven may grow by at least two (mine grew to include the entire Bonhoeffer and von Wedemeyer families).
I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
And check out Amanda Barratt’s interview with Eric Metaxas