Rosamunde: “So Goes the Life in America”
By: Catherine Sterzer Knett
This is the fascinating story of a sweet, young girl named Rosamunde who leaves her peaceful Alpine village and comes to New York through Ellis Island and the many hardships and challenges she faces in her new country. While only a short time here she finds herself, through difficult and heart-breaking circumstances, alone and abandoned on the streets of Manhattan with little knowledge of the English language. When she seeks refuge in a church, a kindly, old priest helps her to find her way in life. She marries, has a child and life is good but in a few years she finds herself struggling to keep a disastrous marriage together. When the tragic death of a loved one occurs, she holds an eerie Wake in her home. The aftermath of strange, unexplainable circumstances that arise take their toll on her already fragile nerves yet her mysterious attachment to the supernatural and a brief rest in a sanatorium, where she incredibly encounters the unexpected, help her to survive. She regains her strength during a visit back to her homeland but on her return to America she is involved in a near ocean liner catastrophe. Home again, she finally finds her niche of happiness but tragedy does not elude her for long when she receives an envelope with a black border around it. Yet she remains stoic and relies on her supernatural gift. “So goes the life in America” was her favorite expression whenever anything happened, either good or bad. Only a few words but it sums up an extraordinary lifetime that Rosamunde would like to share with you.
About the Author
Catherine Sterzer Knett was born in Brooklyn, NY and lived most of her life in Queens County, NY before moving to Virginia in 2016. Her parents emigrated from Europe and she is First Generation American of German and Slovak descent. Having travelled to Europe several times, she is fairly bi-lingual and attended Bishop McDonnell Memorial, a prestigious school. Writing was always her passion and she enjoyed writing little short stories. Inspired by her father whom she adored, she decided to write a “longer short story” as she put it and thus “Rosamunde” was born. “So goes the life in America” (“So geht das Leben in Amerika”) was a favorite expression of her father and she has given it to Rosamunde as well. Papa would be pleased.