Monday, July 2, 2012

Carnival Girl
Searching for God in the Aftermath of War
By Sonja Herbert

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.

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. You can find more about her unusual life at

I felt drawn to this story because I come from similar roots. I have Polish ancestry as does Sonja, and my grandmother spent time in a German orphanage just like Sonja. My grandmother had funny little nicknames for all her children just as Sonja’s mother did. I love reading memoirs like this because they seem to fill in missing pieces of my family.

The reader watches Sonja grow from a toddler to a young adult who knows her own mind and what she wants out of life. Her mother consciously chose the exciting carnival life, but Sonja’s choice was a very different path than her mother’s. Sonja seems to be born with a testimony of Heavenly Father, and she began to recognize it even as a small child when she was taught to pray in the orphanage. Even though Sonja’s family rejected God, she found comfort in her constant belief in a Divine Being, which ultimately led her to the gospel’s light and love. Thank you, Sonja, for sharing yourself in this heart-warming story.

This is a great read! Take time to enjoy it this summer.


  1. Wow, it sounds like a book I would love to read; thanks for the review.
    I always love a good novel.

  2. Thanks, LeAnn! It is a good story, and it is true. It's actually a memoir, but it reads like a novel. Let me know how you like it!

    Sonja Herbert

  3. Thanks, Christy, for the great review!