My Dearest Dietrich by Amanda Barratt – A beautiful and sorrowful love story during a pivotal time in history

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.

 

Control Girl by Shannon Popkin – A Painfully Good Book – It’s a Keeper

control-girl-by-shannon-popkinNot that I would like to admit that I’m controlling, but when I saw Shannon Popkin’s new book Control Girl – Lessons on Surrendering Your Burden of Control from Seven Women in the Bible, I knew I wanted to read it.  Perhaps the Lord had something He wanted to me learn about being controlling.

How come it’s always easier to see a behavior, attitude or action as sinful and wrong in someone else’s life but be oblivious to it in my own life?  I guess in some respects I let my sin blind me to the reality that being a control freak is not good and may be downright sinful.  God used Control Girl to make me more aware of my sinful propensity to be controlling.

In this book, Shannon does an excellent job unveiling the tendency in some women to be controlling.  She does this by being open and transparent with her own life and shares the negative and hurtful consequences of being controlling.  More importantly, she takes the reader to examples from the Bible of real women, that lived in a different day and age, who also had inner control girl issues.  Through Scripture she shows examples from the lives of Eve, Sarah, Hagar, Rebakah, Leah, Rachel and Miriam on why and how our control girl may spring into action and how it effects our relationships.  Being a control freak may not be conducive to our own happiness and reflects and impacts our relationship with God.

This is an excellent book to help people who struggle with control issues to see it for what it is.  Being a controlling person is sinful and not something we should leave unexamined and unfettered.  But we can have victory when we repent, trust God and surrender control to Him.

I found this book to be painful as I recalled examples from my own life of being a control girl.  Things that as I look back on, make me want to cringe.  How in the world did I not see that as wrong back in the day?

Warning…you may find this book to be painful and direct in confronting sinful controlling tendencies.  But Shannon manages to it with tenderness and grace and from the vantage point of someone who has addressed the issue in her own life.  This is also an encouraging book to help us walk in a manner that honors and glorifies God, trust Him and help us to treat people with loving respect.

I highly recommend Control Girl.  If you think you have control issues, read this book.  If you have a loved one who struggles with control, you may want to read this book to better understand what may be going on beneath the surface that rears its ugly head as being controlling.  This book is a keeper, you may want to reread it and make notes as you go along.

I would like to thank the people at Litfuse and Kregel Publications for the opportunity to read Shannon Popkin’s new book Control Girl.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.