Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Cedar Fort Blog Tour: Carnival Girl by Sonja Herbert Book Review

Carnival Girl is the 1st book for Sonja Herbert’s. This memoir chronicles the events of Sonja Herbert’s real childhood in postwar Germany, this incredible, true story is beautifully written and full of heart—A powerful reminder for readers everywhere how much God loves each one of us and how his strength can make dreams come true. 

About the Book

The only life Sonja has ever known was on the road. Now she must choose between the carnival and her convictions, between her family and her faith. This beautifully written memoir of growing up in post-war Germany and meeting the Mormon missionaries will remind you of how much God loves each one of us and how his power can make anything possible.

Carnival Girl: Searching for God in the Aftermath of WarCarnival Girl: Searching for God in the Aftermath of War by Sonja Herbert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a interesting, easy-to-read, historical novel about a time period and place about which I knew very little.  I have read a lot about WWII, but this novel dealt with Germany in the aftermath of WWII.  Furthermore, I was introduced to the plight of a half-Jew who hid in the circus to escape Hitler's wrath during the War.  I also knew nothing of Mormonism in Europe at this time.

I truly appreciated the style in which Sonja Herbert wrote this book.  She began nearly each chapter with a conversation between her and her aged but sharp mother.  As they visited, Sonja found herself going back to her childhood.  Some stories made me smile, but the vast majority of them were hard to read.  All poor Sonja wanted was her mother's acceptance and someone to love.  And all too often, she did not receive that.  Living the transient life of a carnival owner/worker was not easy, and she always seemed to walk a different path from the rest of the family.

I was so glad that there was no profanity or sex--always a plus for me.  And although I am not a Mormon, the religious faith espoused in the book was simple and sensible.  Snoja's spiritual journey made perfect sense within the story, and the reader understood that it was only by God's grace that she was who she has become today.

While I did not touch me deeply as some books do, this was a fine book that gave me insights into a difficult time period of history.  I would recommend this book to historical and religious enthusiasts alike.

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.  I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

View all my reviews

Meet the Author

Sonja Herbert and her five siblings were raised in a caravan, traveling the carnival circuit from town to town in post-World War II Germany.
Sonja converted to the LDS Church, later married, and immigrated to the United States, where she received a bachelor of arts degree at Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah, and a master of arts degree from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. She also raised six children, taught school and ESL, and is now a freelance writer.
Besides her childhood memoir, Sonja has also written many autobiographical stories, which have been published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and other anthologies. A biographical novel about her half-Jewish mother’s experiences in Nazi Germany is almost finished.
Sonja lives in Provo with her husband and cat. You can find more about her unusual life at


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