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The Story of the Trapp Family Singers
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The Story of the Trapp Family Singers

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  7,705 ratings  ·  442 reviews
In her own, beautiful, simple words, the Baroness Maria Augusta Trapp tells the dramatic story that inspired the classic American musical The Sound of Music.
Paperback, 312 pages
Published June 1st 1990 by Image (first published 1949)
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Rachelle
The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, is a “must-read” for every family attempting to incorporate Thomas Jefferson Education in their home.
I say this because among many others, the following lessons are taught in this book:
1) Trust in God
2) Work together for the good of ourselves and others
3) Education can happen outside of a school

I pulled this book off the shelf for the second time because I was feeling rather discouraged and knew it was just what I needed to get me back on track.
Like Jo...more
Tiffany
This was such a great book written by Maria herself!! I could hear Julie Andrews' voice through the whole thing. The movie really captured my impression of Maria's real personality, at least according to this book. I always wondered what happened to them after leaving Austria--now I know! She was so optimistic about everything. She said at one point that she was happy that they lost all their money because it gave the children an opportunity to let their true characters shine through--and they w...more
Virginia
I happened to catch the Sound of Music on television the other day -- one of my favorite movies -- and decided to pick up the book. It's always interesting to see how reality inspires fiction.

In this case, I discovered that the fictional account bears almost no resemblance to reality. A few elements were accurately reflected in the play/movie: Maria was in the convent preparing to be a nun. She was a tomboyish young woman who was always in trouble for un-nun-like behavior. The Captain did have...more
Mom
Maria Augusta Trapp, what a wonderful inspiration to women everywhere! Reading the story of her life has made me in awe of her. She persevered through every tribulation possible, and remained strong in her faith to God and relied on that faith to endure. Her writing is so beautiful, her descriptions are so rich that you feel you are there with her experiencing it all over again with her. This is true to the end and I caution you that the two final chapters require several boxes of Kleenexes to m...more
Freyja Vanadis
For pure sentimental reasons I loved it, but if it wasn't for The Sound Of Music this would be just another mediocre book. It was published in 1949 so the style of Maria's writing is archaic and old-fashioned; people don't talk like they did 60 years ago, even if English wasn't their first language. So that was kind of annoying and hard to get past. It was good to read how the family's story actually happened, though, and not the whitewashed version of TSOM. However, it would've been nice if she...more
Shark
Pretty interesting read. I went into it knowing that it would differ from the movie, but I was still surprised at how little of the actual story involved Nazis. A very large chunk deals more with their journey to becoming Americans. The term "Trapp Family Singers" ends up serving as a label for their time as refugees seeking a home.

While I may have initially felt disappointed by the lack of WWII excitement, this sentiment was soon buried by my intrigue in Maria's spiritual insights. Her faith an...more
Lori
I would give this a *3.5* this book by Maria von Trapp. writes of the famous Trapp family Singers. She takes her memoir for 1926-to about 1947. anyone who has seen the Sound Of Music may find this book interesting. Maria von Trapp gives an honest depiction of her meeting the family when she is hired a a teacher for the daughter also named Maria who was in poor health. she soon becomes close to all the children. she actually does teach them how to sing and blend their voices. within a year Captai...more
Lobstergirl
I'd been wanting to read this for awhile, as The Sound of Music is one of my favorite movies - Maria's boundless optimism, youthful energy, can-do attitude, and bottomless faith, combined with Captain von Trapp's worldliness and stern yet vaguely faggy swashbuckling are, for me, a match made in heaven and I never tire of watching these two fall for each other onscreen. How did the movie match up with the reality, I wondered? More than I thought they would, actually. Although the courtship and ma...more
Barb
I saw the movie "The Sound of Music" in its entirety for the first time last year and loved it. When I saw this book available written by Maria Von Trapp, I decided to read it and I am glad I did!!
The book tells the story of the Von Trapp Family and goes beyond where the movie ends, to their life in the United States after they had to leave Austria during WWII. The book was written in 1949 by Maria Von Trapp (played by Julie Andrews in the movie) and conveys her boundless optimism, energy, can-d...more
Lilisa
The story that inspired one of my favorite movies and several versions of the musical - The Sound of Music - was one that I'd always been interested in learning about. Not surprisingly Maria seemed to have been a delightful and scrappy individual, imbued with a steadfast belief in God, a genuine goodness, a "can do" attitude and a definite sense of humor. She certainly was the driving force in the family as they transformed a singing hobby into a successful business, although it had its ups and...more
Kathryn
I read this back in the '90's and was surprised to find that the film got so many of the biographical facts right (I mean, there really WAS a baroness!).

Of course, the film ends halfway through the story, the kids had completely different names, and the von Trapp's had a couple of their own kids before fleeing Austria, but as a life-long fan of the film, I found this a very enjoyable read.
Paul Juma
Inspirational.
Bad to worse to good to better. These were the transitions in the Trapp family life. At some point in the book, things were really looking up and I couldn't help but hold my breath and pray that it remains that way.
A good wife comes from God! How true, the Baroness, Augusta Trapp had a lot in her: hope, faith and love. These she generously propagated to those around her.
I would gladly say that the singing idea and initiative was her own.
She couldn't have done it without her family...more
Carina
I decided to read this book, of course, because I love the movie The Sound of Music and I've always been curious about what happened to the Von Trapps after they crossed those mountains, and I've always wanted to know how their lives changed when they came to America.

The plot of the movie takes up only the first few chapters of the book and is, honestly, quite different in many respects. Maria, who is a teacher, is sent to tutor one of the Von Trapp children before taking her vows and becoming...more
Tiffany
I read this book years ago, but picked it up again after seeing my sister as Maria in "The Sound of Music." It's a great story (the play held true to the story, surprisingly), but goes way beyond where the musical left off. Makes me want to hie to the Austrian Alps, really.
Alyne
Such a great book. I wonder when she wrote it and what inspired her to do so? I'm wondering if she was offered a book deal or just did it of her own accord? I wonder how much of the book is straightforward truth and how much is a bit slanted to sound more positive? Just things I'm curious about!

An excellent autobiography, really encourages spiritual strength, focus, and positivity in the face of true adversity (war, poverty, miscarriages etc). Such an amazing story, they are a couple that has do...more
LemonLinda
I very much enjoyed reading the real story of what has always been a beloved story for me. I remember the excitement when I was ten at first seeing the movie, The Sound of Music. I was obsessed with the characters, the story and the music. I knew all of the lyrics to almost every one of the songs. I read this book as a teen, but as that was many years ago I thought a reread would be enjoyed and I was right.

The movie definitely blurred fact and fiction, but the real story as told by Maria sets th...more
Lii
Maria tells a seemingly light and optimistic story about the Trapp family life in Austria before the war and their immigration to the US during the war. She describes about her family learning English, trying to be part of a new country, their ups and downs with concerts. She talks about learning to survive during tough times when they didn’t have any concerts to play and about the many new friends they found in the USA.

Even with all the bad things that happen to them she was still able to descr...more
Angela
While I enjoyed reading this pleasant tale of an Austrian family emigrating to the USA and then setting down roots, I found it a bit exhausting to see Maria von Trapp's world through her nun-coloured glasses. Maria couldn't even say anything bad about Adolf Hitler, but to describe him as a bit rude. In fact, the worst thing she says about anybody, in the entire book, is to call a soldier's party girl a "bedbug".
The woman has put such a rosy gloss on everything, it becomes difficult to percieve...more
Nitya Sivasubramanian
I've always been a huge fan of the movie, The Sound of Music. As an only child, the idea of growing up in a sprawling country home with several siblings, no matter how dictatorial the father was, seemed to be a real dream. So when I ran across an article contrasting the movie to the real life story of the Trapp Family, I was intrigued.
Told by the righteous yet somehow endearing matriarch, Maria Augusta Trapp, the story details the life of the family as they went from baronetcy to poverty to fame...more
Susan
Jun 30, 2009 Susan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christians, People with large families
This book brought to life all the best bits of the film "The Sound of Music" whilst removing the added for film aspects, for instance the Baron was not a hard unloving character and although the Princess told Maria that the Baron was in love with her it was not done in a nasty way like it was in the film by the Baroness.

It was great to read all about the family's life in America especially the amusing stories of Maria learning to speak English. As you read more and more it is hard not to get the...more
Christy
If you are one of those people who get totally hung on the real story and the movie only remotely resembling each other, then move along, nothing to see here. I am one of those from time to time, but I didn't mind it at all with the movie and this autobiography; I love them both. I would have liked to give this 4 1/2 stars.

If you ever wanted to know the rest of the story, what happens after they hike over Alps to escape, I mean drive by car to the train station, then you will want to read this....more
Katie
If you have any interest at all in the Sound of Music, this book will appeal to you. It was fascinating to hear all of the details regarding the courtship of Maria and the Baron, about their difficult journeys to America, and their success here! Who knew?
Teresa B
Jan 29, 2010 Teresa B rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the Sound of Music, history buffs
Recommended to Teresa by: homeschool curriculum referral
This true account primarily tells what happened AFTER the events of the famous Sound of Music movie. It will give you a better understanding of the struggles of refugees immigrating to America in the earlier half of the 1900's. I read this aloud with my three daughters (then around ages 6, 10, and 14) who each found themselves enthralled by the story.


Even if it is difficult to find a copy of this, it will be worth the effort for you to track it down and read it!
Melissa
I read this once before, when I was about 14. All I remembered was the scene where they each pray for an hour at a time. At 14 I couldn't imagine doing that!

I really enjoyed reading this again. Anyone who loves music, or family, or God, or any combination of these would like this book, even if you've never seen "The Sound of Music."

The main theme of the book is how the Trapp family always tried to follow God's will, and then explaining how that worked out in their lives. However, it's not an ove...more
Heather
I have always enjoyed the movie. However.

I'm so glad I decided to read the REAL story told by the real-life lady herself. I had no idea of the hardships that the family Trapp encountered, their transient lifestyle, their determination and persistence to survive. Oddly enough I finished this book on the day that the younger Maria von Trapp died. This made me feel so sad, as she was the last surviving member of the family.

Maria's words just brought to life the innocence and sometimes naievity that...more
Lwf
Mar 18, 2014 Lwf rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
For anyone who loves the movie, "The Sound of Music", this book should be on your must read list. You will see how different the actually lives of the Von Trapp Family were from the movie family.
Maria married the Captain and they remained in Austria for a few years before they went to Italy to escape the Nazi invasion of Austria. The family did not walk over any mountains by foot to escape nor did they sing on stage and walk off one by on as in the movie.
The Trapp family endured losing everyt...more
Jenifer
Wow! fascinating read. what a devout woman and family. My favorite quote was "God's will has no why." they really did live that.
Deanne
I don't know what I was expecting when I purchased this book. Maybe some "behind-the-scenes" information or simply a different perspective on the Sound of Music movie, which happens to be one of my all time favorites. I'm evidently in the minority, since this book has gotten so many good reviews. There was certainly a lot of information presented here, but I have to say that while Maria had a great many talents, storytelling wasn't one of them. I found myself skimming pages at the time to get th...more
Rachel
Read for a book club. Interesting how movies dramatize things more than they are. I still like the movie though :) I didn't get to finish it b/c I was just borrowing it and someone else needed it. I am impressed and sometimes baffled at this woman's faith in God providing for her and her family.
Felicity
I picked this book up when I was staying with a friend and had to buy a copy after I'd read 40 pages! I was curious to read the book that the famous film/musical version was based on. It was completely different but that's no surprise!

I preferred the book because it was more realistic and I learned much more about the Trapp family and their adventures beyond leaving Austria. Maria von Trapp has a natural intimate writing style and is very religious and spiritual. As an atheist I found this inte...more
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Baroness Maria Augusta von Trapp was the stepmother and matriarch of the Trapp Family Singers. Her story served as the inspiration for a 1956 German film that in turn inspired the Broadway musical The Sound of Music.—Source
More about Maria von Trapp...
Maria A Family on Wheels: Further Adventures of the Trapp Family Yesterday, Today & Forever Around the Year with the Trapp Family: Keeping the Feasts and Seasons of the Christian Year The Sound of Music

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“Music- what a powerful instrument, what a mighty weapon!” 37 likes
“We learned the shocking truth that "home" isn't necessarily a certain spot on earth. It must be a place where you can "feel" at home, which means "free" to us.” 3 likes
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