I had the pleasure of meeting author Marianne Smith on Oak Island at the Senior Recreation Center. She gave a wonderful talk about her life and the novel On the Other Side, which she wrote for her grandchildren. Marianne grew up in Germany during World War Two facing the dangers of war, bombings, hunger, and life without a father. The story is based on facts, events, and real life experiences. At the author talk Marianne Smith stated that “Everything in this book is real. I couldn’t write a book like this and imagine these things.”
Marianne admitted that it wasn’t easy putting on paper many of these painful teenage memories, but they defined the person that she became. And they show what it was like to come of age in Germany during war-torn times on the other side. Our teens need to text less and read more books like Marianne’s masterpiece.
After meeting and talking with Marianne, I felt like I made a new friend. As a poet and a essayist, I feel like I can't write about anything unless it's true. All of my poems, stories, and essays are brimming over with real life experiences. I have three books in the works, and whom did I write them for? My grandkids.