Ruth Knutson
“On the Other Side
Of the Ocean”

Ruth Knutson could be called a born storyteller. She enthralled her grandchildren, Savannah and Branden, with stories of her early years living in Switzerland. The kids loved to hear about her quaint village of Dornach, and the beautiful mountains and valleys that surrounded it. They especially enjoyed hearing of the funny things she did as a child.
“I was a holy terror,” Ruth admitted.

But when it was time to put all her thoughts on paper for posterity, Ruth realized she had to tell not only the bright side of living at the time, but the difficult experiences as well. It took over three years to complete her 320 page memoir, “On the Other Side of the Ocean.”

The book focuses primarily on Ruth’s early life. She reveals how it felt to live close to the German border during World War II, what kind of clothes they wore, what types of food they ate, and the interesting schools they attended.

Besides the delightful stories, there are also heartrending accounts of homesickness, embarrassment and loss.

Ruth grew up with an alcoholic father in a three-generation household that was so closely knit, that everyone knew everything about each other.

Ruth first worked as a window dresser, both in Switzerland, and then later in Minnesota when she moved to the United States. She had planned to come to the U.S. for one year, but wound up staying there for four decades.

After a divorce, Ruth attended St. Mary’s Nursing School and worked in  homes until her retirement in 1998. Once retired, her new career as a writer began. Since she did not know how to type, she wrote her whole book in long hand, finishing the 468 page in less than a year. She hired a typist and an editor and then found Shawn McCann, a freelance artist and graphic designer to illustrate her book. She published it herself, and of course, the first three  copies were given to her daughter, Sylvie, and her grandchildren, Savannah and Branden.

“On The Other Side of the Ocean” is a descriptive look at a time that was a lot simpler and a fascinating introduction into another culture. Ruth manages to bring this period back to life in an entertaining way.  The people and places are shown with all their good traits as well as bad ones. It is an honest depiction of what it is like growing up with an alcoholic father. Thanks to Ruth’s strong spirit, she has always been able to look at her father with love and understanding.

Stacey Miller of Miller Commmunications has said of the book “The stories were so comforting and reminded me of a number of classics, especially “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” one of my all time favorites.”

Ruth’s memoir is not just written for her family, but it is now available for all the world to read. For more information about “On The Other Side of the Ocean,”  please write to Ruth Knutson, 1929 Pleasant Street, St. Paul, MN 55113, or send an e-mail to It retails for $23.95 and is also available through