Thursday, June 27, 2019

My Story BEFORE The Story ~ Maria von Wedemeyer ~ My Dearest Dietrich

My name is Maria von Wedemeyer. I was born in 1924 at Pätzig Estate in Pomerania. I’m the third of seven children. Growing up, I was blessed to be a part of a loving and supportive family. I’ve always been especially close to my vater, Hans von Wedemeyer. He taught me how to ride a horse, how to appreciate nature. Together, along with my dear brother Max, we would spend hours on horseback, touring the estate and stopping to chat with our tenant farmhands. Rarely have I felt freer than in those moments.

Our extended family is also close, and I share a special relationship with my maternal grossmutter, Ruth von Kleist. She taught her grandchildren the piano, and her home was always open to our visits. One Sunday morning when I and some of my siblings were staying at her home, she announced we would be attending church at a chapel run by a group of seminarians who were studying in the area. Due to Hitler’s restrictions on the church, pastors who wished to be trained independently of the Reich had to do so in secret. My highly-opinionated grossmutter would not be told what to do by anyone, least of all Adolf Hitler, and she pledged her full support to this group of seminarians and their leader. That morning, I met him for the first name. His name was Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I found myself awed by him, and moved by his sermon. As a young person growing up in 1930s Germany, it was difficult to know whom to look to for guidance, whom one could trust was truly doing the will of God. Our family found such a person in Dietrich.

I attended boarding school at Wieblingen Academy. The leader of the school was Elisabeth von Thadden. We students recognized right away that our fiery teacher wasn’t about to bow to the Nazis, nor teach us to do so. Even in the way she gave the Hitler salute—compulsory at the start of morning classes—she showed her dislike by limply raising her arm as if swatting a fly. I dearly loved that school and graduated with honors, especially in mathematics.

After graduation in 1942, I embarked upon a round of visits to friends and family before beginning my compulsory term of national service. Foremost among these was a stay with my grossmutter. It was there, on a sunlit June evening, that I was reunited with Dietrich Bonhoeffer again. After that evening, nothing in my life would ever again be the same.

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My Story Title:  My Dearest Dietrich:
A Novel of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Lost Love

My Story Genre:  Historical Fiction

My Story Released:   June 09, 2019

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The Author of My Story: 

Amanda Barratt is the ECPA best-selling author of several novels and novellas, including My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a two-time FHL Reader's Choice Award finalist. She and her family live in northern Michigan.

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  Get Connected:

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WHERE can the book be purchased?

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Amanda Barratt will be honored to gift a winner a signed copy of
My Dearest Dietrich
Be sure to leave a comment to be entered into the drawing!


  1. I've always loved the cover since it first appeared on social media. Now I want to fall in love with the characters

  2. I'm impressed. I'd love to read more of the story than this glimpse.

  3. Great interview. I've been looking forward to reading this book. Amanda Barratt is a very gifted author, I've loved all of her novels : )

  4. Amanda Barratt and I go back... a WAYS... well before she was agented and published.

    IT THRILLS ME to see how God is working in her life, directing her career and the stories He has had her write.

    I have been amazed by the maturity of her writing, well before anything was picked up. Her novellas and her novels have drawn me in from first sentence each time - so so excited to see her heart's desire answered by the publication of her novel!

    I AM BEYOND PROUD TO BE ABLE TO HOST HER and HER CHARACTER, MARIA this week on journeystojoy.

    Thank you for coming, for allowing Maria to tell her story BEFORE the story, Amanda.

    I pray your week here is BLESSED!

    Much love and Many prayers, dear friend!

  5. I love this post and can't wait to read the book!

  6. Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance to win.

  7. I so want to read this book. I’ve heard amazing things about it, thank you for the chance,


    Without full names, I have no way of getting a hold of you should your name be drawn - your email does NOT show up on my list - only NOREPLY BLOGGER - therefore, if you WANT to win a book, I need at the very least your full name and an email address would certainly grant better ease of finding you with your gift!


  9. WE HAVE A WINNER - WED - JULY 3, 2019


    Congrat-YOU-lations, Stacy Simmons!

    Will get your book to you ASAP


Your Joyful response is not required, but boy, would I like to read what you think about the journey this writer is taking toward joy. Thank you.