The kids are grown, now what?: Guest Post by Sonja Herbert Author of Carnival Girl

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Guest Post by Sonja Herbert Author of Carnival Girl

When I was a little girl, traveling in our small carnival caravan, I often listened to my mother talking
about how she used to be a model in Berlin, the greatest city of Europe, and how she had to leave and
hire on with the circus in order to stay ahead of the Nazis.

During the few times we carnival children attended school, I once received an A for a story about a
Greek myth I had written, and on that day I decided to write about my mother’s life when I grew up.

All through the time I raised my six children here in the U.S.A., this thought was with me, and when the
younger ones were a bit older, I started on my mother’s story. As the story unfolded, I realized that it
would not be complete unless I also told my own story, the story of my childhood and my life with my

And that’s how Carnival Girl began. I originally called it Conversations with Margot (my mother’s first
name), but since the novel I wrote about her life isn’t quite finished yet, I decided to re-name the
memoir and publish it first.

As I wrote the memoir and remembered the things that happened in my early life, old feelings returned,
and I had to confront the childish assumptions of my younger self. Now, as a grown woman, I am able
to see things I had not seen as a little girl, and when my memoir was finished, I had a new insight and
understanding for my mother, who had suffered so much and still came out ahead.

My mother, Margot, is now ninety-one years old. She lives in Stuttgart, Germany, and is still going

Thank you Mutti, for everything you have taught me!


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