When I first saw that there was an opportunity to read My Dearest Dietrich: A Novel of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Lost Love by author Amanda Barratt, I wasn’t interested. Mostly because this novel would be hard to read emotionally and learn more about the evils that happened during World War II. But I’m so glad I took a second look and decided to read it.
Before I read My Dearest Dietrich, I had basic knowledge of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, that he was a Christian pastor and had participated in a plot to have Adolph Hitler assassinated and that he was executed for his part in that conspiracy. But other than that, I didn’t know the details.
This book is wonderful. I learned about Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s life, family and his beloved fiancée Maria von Wedemeyer. How decent, God-fearing Germans citizens were impacted by what Hitler was doing. While not everyone was able to personally fight the evil things they saw happening, so many citizens were gravely impacted by the maniacal and brutal dictator and were just trying to survive. It was heartening to learn of the Bonhoeffer family, their friends and many others who sought, albeit unsuccessfully, to put an end to Hitler’s reign of evil.
In Dietrich and Maria’s story, I saw that love must be brave. It was inspiring and touching to see how Maria sought to be there for Dietrich, breathe life and hope into their future, even if it meant risking her own life. They managed to deepen and grow their relationship through letters and monthly one-hour visits at Tegel prison under the watchful eye of the guards. Dietrich, in turn, sought to protect Maria and his family and accepted the severe consequences of his actions.
I took my time reading My Dearest Dietrich because I didn’t want to rush by and miss some of the treasures contained therein. This is a beautiful love story between two very different, but uniquely suited, people during a pivotal time in history. Amanda Barratt did a wonderful job in writing this true and fictionalized, account of Dietrich and Maria’s love story.
I would like to thank Kregel Publications and NetGalley for a complimentary of the book and the opportunity to read My Dearest Dietrich by Amanda Barratt. It’s a love story to remember. I was no obligation to give a favorable review.