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Forever Liesl

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  899 Ratings  ·  128 Reviews
The magic of The Sound of Music lives on in the minds and hearts of everyone it has touched. Now, Charmian Carr, who in 1965 captivated moviegoers as Liesl "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" von Trapp, tells what it was like to be a part of the film that has become a cultural phenomenon. It's all here: from how she got the role (and why she almost didn't) to romances on the set ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 1st 2001 by Penguin Books (first published 2000)
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The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne FrankThe Glass Castle by Jeannette WallsNight by Elie WieselAngela's Ashes by Frank McCourtEat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Best Memoir / Biography / Autobiography
474th out of 3,395 books — 3,913 voters
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne FrankThe Glass Castle by Jeannette WallsI Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya AngelouEat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth GilbertPersepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Memoirs by Women
302nd out of 1,743 books — 2,093 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,038)
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Jul 23, 2012 Jennifer rated it really liked it
A quick, easy, and heartwarming read. It was so thoughtful of Charmian to share her memories of The Sound of Music with its many fans around the world. Despite some hardships in her life, she seems like a positive, grateful, and down-to-earth person. You should read this if you're a fan of the movie!
Feb 23, 2015 John rated it really liked it
Critics say "The Sound of Music" is schmaltzy, overly sentimental and corny. All of which is true. It's also one of my favorite movies.
Charmian Carr's "Forever Liesl," has some of the same qualities as the movie, and for someone who's a fan of the movie it's great fun. Carr played the part of Liesl, the oldest of the von Trapp family children, in the movie. She was 21, not 16 going on 17, when she played the part. About half of this short memoir focuses on the process of making the movie, the re
Apr 08, 2012 Mom rated it it was amazing
I just loved reading this book! It was fun not only reading about Charmian's life, but also all the little bits of information that she includes about the other actors/actresses she worked with. Charmian shares the whole experience and impact that The Sound of Music had on her life. After finishing this book, I want to put the movie in right now and watch it!!

Tonks Orey
Aug 21, 2011 Tonks Orey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful book full of information I never knew! Not only does it go into detail about Charmian's own life, but it takes you behind the scenes of the making of the movie. It grips you and makes you want to watch the movie all over again. I was a true fan of the movie and now after reading this book I am even more so a fan. If you haven't read it and loved the movie I suggest you read it!
Jul 20, 2016 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Picked up this book from the library on a whim and enjoyed it very much. I was not a hard-core fan of The Sound of Music, but seeing the movie with my mother in Quebec is a good memory from my childhood. I especially enjoyed the early part of the book about the making of the movie. Amazing that all seven of the actors who played the von Trapp children got along so well and have kept in touch. I enjoyed the stories from hard-core fans interspersed throughout the book and it was interesting to rea ...more
Bookworm LLC
Mar 26, 2016 Bookworm LLC rated it really liked it
When the opening strains of “My Favorite Things” or “Sixteen going on Seventeen”, I fondly remember the last time I watched The Sound of Music. Just a couple of months ago. I am a huge fan of The Sound of Music, and watch it yearly with all my children. When I saw that Charmian, known to most as Liesl, the oldest of the VanTrapp family wrote her memoir, I was excited to read it. This autobiographical recount of Liesl’s experience on such an epic journey with this movie is well written. I enjoyed ...more
Apr 10, 2014 Felicity rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book off Amazon as I'd wanted to read it for several years. I'm so glad I did. This book is about Charmian Carr's experience of playing Liesl in The Sound of Music and also about her life before and after the film. She manages to write a memoir which isn't in chronological order successfully which is no mean feat. The book is full of warmth and amusing anecdotes about herself and other cast members during filming The Sound of Music. She also talks about the real Von Trapp family an ...more
Jun 07, 2015 Michelle rated it really liked it
The Sound of Music is one of my very favorite movies, and I recently had the pleasure of seeing it on the big screen for the first time. I adored this memoir. It was heartwarming and an excellent balance among the author's personal life, movie behind the scenes facts and updates on the other cast and crew. I highly recommend this book for anyone who loved The Sound of Music.
Apr 09, 2008 Estella rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: auto-biography
This auto-biography was very well-written. I am a Sound of Music fan, although not quite to the degree my Aunt Anne was, who went to the movie theater innumerable times to see it when it first came out. (No DVD's or Tivo in those days, kids!) Charmain Carr does a very creditable job of sharing her memories of those bygone days. It was fun to get an insider's view of the cast and some of the adventures on the set while the movie was being filmed. I enjoyed the book very much, and recommend it to ...more
Sep 01, 2015 Erin rated it it was amazing
"The Sound of Music" has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. I recall watching it with cousins and friends on different occasions before I was 10 years old. I love the songs and the story and the scenery and the sets. This year "The Sound of Music" celebrated the 50th anniversary of its theatrical release, and in April my sister and I were able to see it on the big screen - a most delightful experience that made the film come alive in new ways.

I was at a used bookstore in early A
Mar 05, 2012 Tara rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Sound of Music Fans, Film Fans
Visited the Trapp Family Lodge and bought this book to get more background info on the Sound of Music. I couldn't put it down. The coauthor did a wonderful job editing it, and I loved the vignette letters the open the chapters. Inside info on behind the scenes, the actors, the filming, and her own voyage beyond the film. I think you have to be a fan of the movie/play to enjoy this, or of memoir and film. But I highly recommend it if you are. Fun!
Mar 02, 2009 Claire rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
The Hills are alive ....

There is no greater story of love than The Sound of Music. The story of the von Trapps and their love for family, for music, for life, and for their country, is one that resonates with souls worldwide. In Forever Leisl, Charmian Carr describes how the beloved movie came to be, and what it was like to be "16 going on 17," when she was actually 21.
Okay, we know I love entertainment bios and nonfiction books. And I love The Sound of Music. And I love Julie Andrews. And I love German things. These are all a few of my favorite things (I couldn’t resist). So this book brings it all together. Charmaine Carr was cast at Liesel (16, going on 17). This is her story. Also full of fun facts about the movie and its making (for example, did you know that Terri Garr tried out for Liesel? And Richard Dryfuss and Kurt Russell for Kurt?)(and did you know ...more
Aug 29, 2007 Betsy rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
I keep telling people that I don't like celebrity biographies and autobiographies, but every now and then one comes along that really holds my interest. This was one of them. I loved all the off-camera details and the stories about people who have been affected by the movie over the years.
Feb 24, 2014 Kath rated it really liked it
I must confess that I have always loved the Sound of Music' film so this behind the scenes account was interesting, as were the stories of people whose lives had been altered in some way by watching the film. It was written in a very saccharine fashion, so I could only read a few pages at any one time (perhaps it was targeted at an American audience), and Charmaine took herself very seriously, seeming to lose her own identity in that of her film role. She did mention some tragedies and difficult ...more
May 20, 2007 Jeb rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who have watched the movie "Sound of Music" more than twice
If you love (and I mean love) the Sound of Music movie, you should read this. It's an adorable and nostalgic account of the movie that warmed the hearts of generations.
Feb 05, 2014 Caitlin rated it really liked it
The quality of the writing is a little dubious - and sometimes Carr comes off sounding a little self-important... But the behind the scenes tidbits of the movie are still too fun to resist.

A few interesting bits about the filming:

Christopher Plummer showed up for his first dance lesson in tights and ballet shoes - classic! ----- "Uncle Max" also voiced the caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland?? ----- Christopher Plummer attempted to do his own singing but eventually conceded and let it be dubbed.
May 25, 2012 Cristy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Sound of Music fans
Recommended to Cristy by: My Family
I. Love. this. book. Charmain Carr's (pronounced Char-mee-an Car) memoir about filming the Sound of Music and how it has changed her life is amazing, in my opinion.
Stephanie Benton
Oct 04, 2015 Stephanie Benton rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction
A quick, easy and charming read any Sound of Music fan will enjoy. It is filled with fun facts about the movie and insights into Charmian's life.
Jan 11, 2016 Jekapner rated it really liked it
This is a fairly light, fun read. It gives insider information about the making of "the Sound of Music" and those involved with making it, as well as autobiographical information about Charmian Carr. The book is fairly well written, and between the chapters, there are stories of people who have been affected by the movie. It seems a bit biased toward how wonderful the movie is, reaching the point of being almost sickly-sweet. I recommend this for people who enjoyed "the Sound of Music" but don't ...more
Peter Pan
Jun 04, 2015 Peter Pan rated it it was amazing
This book was so heartwarming. It was so fun to learn all of the secrets behind the movie and what came after. I was Liesl myself in Backstory's Production last year, and it was my favorite role that I have yet to play. I was given this book for Christmas by the girl who played Maria in Backstory's Production of the Sound of Music. She is one of my dear friends, and I'm so glad that she gave me this. It made me remember when I was in the Sound of Music and the close relationship I formed with my ...more
Nov 17, 2014 Holly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I have been wanting to read this ever since I played Liesl my senior year of high school. I tried to model my character on the one Charmian Carr created, and I've always wanted to know what her experience was like. Liesl was one of three characters I always wanted to play if I ever got the chance.

And this book did a lot for me. Charmian talks a lot about the cast, the crew, and other behind the scenes info. Like how Christopher Plummer distanced himself from the kids. Or how Charmian almost didn
Mar 16, 2009 julia rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book--it is an autobiography, and I learned a a lot more about making movies in the 60's. This was also a story about families, those we are born into, and those that we create. It was a very easy read, I had it mostly finished on my flights home last week with just a couple more short chapters to finish once I returned. It made those who participated in one of my favorite movies (The Sound of Music) real to me--I suppose I just never updated my childhood assumption that they got ...more
May 31, 2011 Wendy rated it really liked it
I grew up watching the Sound of Music. It was my mother's favorite movie and one of my favorites. I still listen to the soundtrack. I visited many of the sites in Salzburg when I was little, but don't remember them. I enjoyed learning about the movie behind the scenes. I wish the book would have covered more of the making of Sound of Music. Only 1/3 of the book was dedicated to the actual making of the movie, the rest to its release, stories of how it affected others and then to the last 30+ yea ...more
Elisha Condie
Mar 22, 2009 Elisha Condie rated it liked it
This was a sweet little book, just what you would expect from Liesl...I mean Charmian. She writes about the things you want to know, going into detail about her time on the set of "The Sound of Music" and how it was to work with the other actors. Julie Andrews really was that nice, Christopher Plummer really that attractive, and the kids really that close. (....and I'm thinking "I KNEW it!")

She does talk a little bit about her life after the film, but it's interesting how none of the child actor
Jul 23, 2010 Brittany rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Sound of Music fans
Shelves: nonfiction, memoir, movie
How I Came To Read This Book: In the most roundabout way. I was looking up old promotions my work had done, and at one point apparently they brought in Charmian Carr to do a book signing for *this* book as well as aired singalong Sound of Music at the movie theatre. I looked it up and saw the book was relatively readily available. When Amazon choked on getting me my Mad Men calendar as an Xmas gift from my sister, I requested this as a replacement.

The Plot: This memoir is a look at Charmian Car
Aug 10, 2010 Anne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The stories and emotion and friendship and love in this book make it one of the best books I've read in a while. Memoirs tend to get bogged down with one rigid point of view but Charmian rounds this out by adding others' stories and memories of the some of the same moments so that everyone is included. Some of the stories are old, most are new, but all are told in a family story style so that you want to share with anyone who knows or loves the movie. :)

Here's my "Sound of Music" story:

It was t
Laurel Bradshaw
Jun 01, 2011 Laurel Bradshaw rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
I have been a fan of The Sound of Music ever since I first saw it at the age of 10 or so. I was already a fan of Julie Andrews who had starred in Mary Poppins, and songs from the movie had already made their way into the music curriculum at school. My sisters and I would sing along to the soundtrack recording, and we even used a couple of those songs in our own rendition of "Evelyn: The Musical" for my mother's 80th birthday party last year. I could also add my own tribute to those of fans inclu ...more
Susan O'Bryant
Feb 24, 2011 Susan O'Bryant rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
I'm certain I'm not the only little girl who, while watching The Sound of Music, hoped she would grow up to be as graceful and beautiful as Liesl. There was just something so feminine about her character, so delicate yet strong. So when I discovered this book, I had to see what the real woman behind Liesl was like.

Charmian (pronounced "Shar-mee-an") is gracious and thankful to have had the opportunity to play the role of Liesl in one of the world's most popular and beloved films. She was actuall
Sharon Neufer
Jul 19, 2015 Sharon Neufer rated it it was amazing
A very enjoyable book by an actor who played one of the von Trapp children in the film "The Sound of Music." Her memories of the making of the film and how people have responded to the film over the years is quite inspiring. I was fortunate to have just viewed the film again before reading the book and I would recommend that the book and the film be experienced together to get the most out of both.
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Goodreads Librari...: Title typo 2 147 Oct 04, 2012 06:21PM  
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Charmian Carr (born December 27, 1942) is an American actress and singer. She is mainly known for her role as Liesl, the eldest Von Trapp daughter in The Sound of Music where she starred with Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Nicholas Hammond, Heather Menzies, Duane Chase, Angela Cartwright, Debbie Turner, and Kym Karath.

Carr was born Charmian Farnon in Chicago, Illinois. She is the second child
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“Someone once told me that children are like kites. You struggle just to get them in the air; they crash; you add a longer tail. Then they get caught in a tree; you climb up and bring them down, and untangle the string; you run to get them aloft again. Finally, the kite is airborne, and it flies higher and higher, as you let out more string, until it's so high in the sky, it looks like a bird. And if the string snaps, and you've done your job right, the kite will continue to soar in the wind, all by itself.” 16 likes
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