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on 4 March 2017
If the movie was a favorite, then give yourself a real treat with the full story. So much more engaging than the airbrushed Hollywood version.
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on 19 August 2017
very good great thank you
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on 28 October 2012
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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on 15 January 2009
`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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on 30 June 1998
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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on 24 May 1999
It's been a while since I've read this book, and I realize now that Maria Von Trapp wrote it in the style of an earlier time in which the main characters look unfailingly noble. While we can admire the family's stand against the Nazis, the details that have been left out, which were recently revealed by A&E's "Biography" make them more human and realistic. For in reality, we learn that Maria was the stern, tempermental, dictatorial one and the Captain the more mild mannered one, and that it was against Maria whom the children had to fight for their independance when they wanted lives outside the singing group. The A&E version also gives a more detailed account of Maria's harsh childhood, that she hadn't always been so religious and in fact had been an atheist at one point, her stepchildren's true feelings about accepting her into the family, and the way Maria took her husband for granted. Her account of their lives resulted in one of the world's greatest musicals, and is a clear monument to virtue in the world, but as part of a modern audience, I don't mind a touch more reality and humanness to such stories. Without it, they seem a little too lofty and untouchable.
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on 5 September 1999
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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I had waited to read this book for several years and was overjoyed to finally get a copy. This book is inspirational, well written, funny but conveys such a depth of examplary living that I felt humbled but at the same time priveldged to have read this book.

The writing style is witty with several anecdotes that will leave you in stitches. This book is better than both movies that it inspired - 'The Von Trapp family and The Von trapp in America', the original German film and the universally acclaimed best musical 'The Sound of Music'. Maria Von Trapp was an exceptional and inspirational human being whose unwavering trust in the Almighty God, shone through like a beacon of hope for all around her. Recognising that our task as human beings dwelling far away from our origin is to find out the Will of God and to do it wholeheartedly; bound by their fervent trust in God, the Von Trapps led a life of implicit trust in the Almighty Father and his laws; Especially at the most trying times in their earthly experiences, irrespective of what difficulties they faced, even when they did not know where their next meal will come from, their childlike trust in the Will of God and their striving to do that know that Will and to do it wholeheartedly saw them through everything. I found the accounts of their lives, joyful, inspiring and exemplary. As the saying goes, 'The family that prays together stays together.' Their family had the best foundation, any wonder that they took the world by storm, inspiring so many with their music? I am so glad to have finally read this book and would recommend it in a heart beat as one of the best inspirational books of our time.
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on 20 September 2016
Anyone looking for this biography to be exactly like the film will be disappointed. I wasn't. I came across this book by chance and got it more out of curiosity than any thing else. I liked the film both as a child and as an adult but was happy to learn the true story
Some commentators have said the book is a bit too religious and they could do without all that. If someone's faith is the basis for all their life decisions then there faith is an integral part of
their story.
I enjoyed reading the life of an always positive and energetic person. She tells the reason why they left Austria and that the journey on the ship was 6 weeks to the States but
leaves out all the details of how they left Europe which is disappointing. No singing while climbing over any mountains!
There's little mention of her husband. It seems he was a very reserved person and didn't get on stage to sing with his family but was either in the audience or at home.
I mostly liked her always positive attitude. She didn't seem daunted by many things and it's this that brought them finally to the position of owning a farm while becoming respected in the classical and traditional music world.
This book is probably too nice for modern tastes. And it's necessarily one sided. We don't hear the thoughts or opinions of her husband and children though Maria tells there was always prayers and family gathering before all major decisions. This book was published in 1949. A time when the world was different in many ways. I like that simplicity. Where they heroic? If so Maria played that down. She herself would have said there lives where more because of prayers answered and hard work. We could say about most lives. But most didn't have a film made about them.
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on 24 November 2013
We loved the film but this true story, written by Maria herself, is even more interesting. Written before Hollywood virtually stole the rights to this very book, Maria's true account reads poignantly,like scenes from the screen we remember. She speaks with greater clarity though about the life she and her adopted children faced....actually seeing Hitler boasting in cafes in town and the children bringing trouble through refusing to say "Heil Hitler" in school. Maria was an exceptional young woman, clever and strong.
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