Nonfiction Book Award Status: GOLD


In Meant to Be: A True Story of Might, Miracles and Triumph of the Human Spirit, author Roslyn Franken reveals the unforgettable true story of her parents, John and Sonja Franken – two unlikely survivors of World War II. While John, a young Dutch naval recruit in the Dutch East Indies, is captured at sea by the Japanese and must fight for his life as a POW, Sonja is taken by the Nazis from her home in The Netherlands to endure the horrors of Auschwitz and a series of other Holocaust concentration camps. Remarkably, John survives the Nagasaki atomic bomb and miraculously, Sonja escapes death in the gas chambers on three separate occasions.

After suffering endless tests of faith and fortitude at the hands of their brutal captors, the war ends and the two are brought together in the most extraordinary of circumstances to rebuild their lives as one based on love, trust and commitment.

When Sonja is diagnosed with cancer and John is struck with a massive heart attack, they triumph once again by calling on the same daring and determination that allowed them to survive the war. Diagnosed with cancer at 29, Roslyn turns to her parents’ perseverance and positivity as inspiration in her own fight to beat cancer and become a proud survivor.

How did they survive all their hardships? How did John and Sonja meet? What did Roslyn learn from her parents that we can all learn from? The answers to these questions and more are what make up the powerful story of MEANT TO BE.

MEANT TO BE will capture your heart, uplift your spirit and open you up to new possibilities, leaving you both spellbound and wonderfully inspired with personal wisdom and practical insights for how to live a better life.


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Author Bio

Roslyn Franken is an internationally acclaimed author and speaker dedicated to educating and inspiring people with her books and dynamic author presentations. She is best known for her latest book entitled, Meant to Be, about her parents’ amazing survival, love and triumph over tragedy as Holocaust and atomic bomb survivors who eventually meet, marry and make a beautiful life together against all odds.

As a professional speaker, Roslyn has taken her book from the page to the stage with multimedia presentations she delivers to diverse groups across North America. Now she is taking her book, Meant to Be, from the stage to the screen with a feature film adaptation currently in development for production. She also coaches aspiring authors who are eager and ready to get their inspirational stories out of their head, onto the page, and out to the world, once and for all.


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