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My Dearest Dietrich by Amanda Barratt

Dietrich Bonhoeffer is well-known as a pastor who defied the Nazis and joined the resistance against Hitler. But a lesser-known aspect of this man’s life is his romance with Maria von Wedemeyer.

In My Dearest Dietrich, Amanda Barratt brings their love to life through fiction.

At nineteen, spirited Maria von Wedemeyer is devoted to her family. While visiting her beloved grandmother, she meets Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a family friend almost two decades older than she. The two are drawn to each other and bring out the best in each other. However, Bonhoeffer works in the resistance, and the Gestapo is determined and thorough. When the worst happens, their young love is tested at the deepest level – and holds true.

This is a difficult novel, but beautiful and ultimately inspiring. Amanda Barratt brings these two historical figures to life in truly lovely prose, and the description of life in Nazi Germany is well-researched and harrowing, highlighting the heartrending choices faced by people of conscience. If you’re already familiar with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the novel will illuminate a soft side of this greater-than-life man. And if you aren’t, you’ll want to learn more. Either way, don’t miss it. This is a powerful novel, and I highly recommend it.