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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational!
`The Story Of The Trapp Family Singers' spans roughly the quarter century from the mid 1920s up to the end of the 1940s and is divided into 2 parts. Part 1 [the first 110 pages or so] roughly covers the period between Maria leaving Nonnberg monastery to join the Trapp family and closing with the momentous decision to leave Austria at the outbreak of war, incorporating her...
Published on 15 Jan 2009 by Joolz

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Uplifting and heartwarming.
I found this book so heart warming and lovingly crafted. It is a definite feel good book. There are occasional moments which are a little tedious but this is easily dismissed by the wonderful passages. This book made me laugh and cry and made me feel so blessed in life! Deserves to be read -all the more wonderful because it is a true story!
Published 22 months ago by Hermione


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational!, 15 Jan 2009
By 
Joolz (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Story of the Trapp Family Singers (Paperback)
`The Story Of The Trapp Family Singers' spans roughly the quarter century from the mid 1920s up to the end of the 1940s and is divided into 2 parts. Part 1 [the first 110 pages or so] roughly covers the period between Maria leaving Nonnberg monastery to join the Trapp family and closing with the momentous decision to leave Austria at the outbreak of war, incorporating her marriage, the family's loss of fortune and the start of their singing career. Part 2 picks up the story as they approach New York and goes on to describe 10 years of their lives as a professional singing group, settling down in Vermont, the death of the captain and the establishment of what would become the Trapp Family Lodge ski resort.

It is probably reasonable to assume that almost anyone showing an interest in this book does so because of a desire to learn of the background to `The Sound Of Music`. In many ways the musical is faithful to the book, at least in essence, though don't be surprised to learn that a great deal of invention was employed, especially with the children who bear little relation to their real life counterparts. The main complaint is in the film's depiction of Georg as cold and aloof, something the family has been at pains to contradict ever since!

Much like the musical, the book has a high `feel good' factor: it is infused with a rosy glow of goodness and warmth in which there is little room for negativity, and even less for any complaint or criticism, despite sudden reverses of fortune. Don`t expect any dirty linen to be aired here! Maria's easy-going prose style is wonderfully fluid and accomplished: it gladdens, it saddens, and sometimes it amuses, but always it enchants.

Progressively, the reader becomes aware that the young free-spirited guitar-toting novitiate has become a strong and formidable woman capable of leading a large family, and perhaps dominating the captain who quickly recedes to a background role. It is clearly her drive and determination, and sheer force of character, that enabled the family to achieve almost the impossible, and was probably responsible for holding it together for so long.

The book is liberally festooned with descriptions of the family's religious rituals and Maria's own faith as a devout Catholic, which can appear `preachy` at times. Some readers may find these aspects a touch excessive, yet it is part-and-parcel of the lady's character, and as such this old sceptic found it acceptable.

The smaller Part 1 is the most relevant to `Sound Of Music' fans who will undoubtedly be entertained by scrutinising it in detail for similarities, discrepancies and surprising subtleties. Overall, it is an interesting and entertaining book that will handsomely reward both die-hard fan and casual reader alike.

Of course, there is more outside the scope of this book: for further information on Maria's life, see her autobiography Maria which describes her upbringing as well as later years in USA; the wonderful memoirs of eldest daughter Agathe von Trapp Memories Before and After The Sound of Music are extremely interesting and highly recommended, particularly for a description of the family's earlier years before Maria arrived.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Depth of Christian character in the Trapp family., 30 Jun 1998
By A Customer
This book is a refreshing view of family life that is exemplary. A great deal more of the spiritual character of Maria and the Trapps are seen in this book than was even hinted at during the movie. Throughout the book the reader can rejoice in the love and understanding of people that Maria von Trapp has. The Trapp children readily sacrifice and work to make it during the hard times. Maria says that the family that sings together, plays together, and prays together usually stays together.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough, honest, realistic, GREAT!, 5 Sep 1999
By A Customer
I wanted to cry after reading this, which is unusual for me. Maria Augusta's Trapp's honesty as she shares her struggles of adjusting to new social groups is amazing. This book offers insights into what culture shock is truly like; so it would be great for the social sciences, especially multicultural educatiion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Uplifting and heartwarming., 28 Oct 2012
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I found this book so heart warming and lovingly crafted. It is a definite feel good book. There are occasional moments which are a little tedious but this is easily dismissed by the wonderful passages. This book made me laugh and cry and made me feel so blessed in life! Deserves to be read -all the more wonderful because it is a true story!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspiring adventure- better than the movie!, 26 Mar 1997
By A Customer
This adventure is full of human laughter, tradition, and inspiration. The true story greatly surpasses "The Sound of Music" in humor, candor, and joy. You also get the rest of the story: after they flee Nazi Austria, they come to the United States to share their traditions and song, and it would inspire anyone to read how they survive through financial struggles, tour the nation singing, set up a humanitarian organization to aid severely depressed Europe at the end of WWII, and start music camps in Vermont. This is one of my three favorite books.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I cried my heart out, Laughed my tears out, 8 May 1999
By A Customer
I was so suprised when I discoverd a tatterd copy on my mothers shelf. The movie is so diffrent from the story. I liked the movie but Johannes,Lorli, and Rosemary were forgotten. When they decide to hold the music camp, I coud just picture little Maria teaching her little students the recorder. Also why leave out the true names of all besides Maria and Georg? What happend to Johanna, Martina,Hedwig,Agathe,Rupert, Werner,and Maria? Over all this was a 10 star book. I reccomend it to ages 11-?
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3.0 out of 5 stars want the whole story, 19 May 2014
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A good story but so different in time scale and many other aspects. I understand poetic licence in the movies but this is totally different and gives so much more background
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4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly engaging and enjoyable, 15 May 2014
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This review is from: The Story of the Trapp Family Singers (Paperback)
I bought this book for my wife at her request: it's not really my thing at all. In fact, the sort of book that ordinarily I'd run from - a worse prospect for a dreary afternoon than sweeping wet leaves. But I picked it up out of mild, cynical curiosity, expecting just to confirm my prejudices about how awful, saccharine and predictable (after all, I saw the film...) it would be. But to my surprise, the book engaged and entertained me from the first couple of pages on. The story of the family is well told, and - of course - goes far beyond the Hollywood-ised version that we remember from years ago. It's a genuinely interesting story and one that can hold the attention even of an old cynic like me. The characters are almost too good and perfect to be true, and one has to accept that this is probably a sanitised version of the true life of the Trapps. But so long as one accepts that, the underlying tale is enjoyable. The author is a deeply religious Catholic and the book is unashamedly preachy about religion, but the sincerity and simplicity with which the preachy passages are written makes them quite tolerable and actually helps contextualise the tale by giving insight into the the character and world-view (or, I suppose, weltanschauung in this context) of the author. Worth reading.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, 11 April 2014
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I enjoyed reading this book - it was nice to get the real story after years of watching the film.
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5.0 out of 5 stars true story, 4 April 2014
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This review is from: The Story of the Trapp Family Singers (Paperback)
just finished reading this book. what a lovely true story of the real von trapps family. i am off to austria shortly and i am staying in the original trapps family home. it is now a hotel and i can t wait to see it. bought a second copy for a friend who loves austria.
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The Story of the Trapp Family Singers
The Story of the Trapp Family Singers by Maria Augusta Trapp (Paperback - 9 May 2002)
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