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The Story of the Trapp Family Singers

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  10,150 Ratings  ·  598 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.
Hardcover, 310 pages
Published 1949 by J.B. Lippincott
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Feb 25, 2008 Rachelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 13, 2015 Leona rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a powerful story and testament to a spirited woman, a gentle loving husband, and ten extraordinary children. This was our local library's July book selection. Even though I absolutely adore "The Sound of Music", I would never have read this book if it weren't for our book group. I am very glad that I did.

I don't have too much more to add to what other reviewers have already stated so well. Except, I do have a couple of points of reflection that I would like to share. I recognize that some
Oct 14, 2008 Tiffany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
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
Apr 29, 2012 Mom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Inés Izal
Nov 11, 2014 Inés Izal rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Meh, demasiado happy flower todo.
Jan 06, 2013 Angela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
To say I loved this book is an understatement - it was fabulous, moving, and even funnier than I imagined it would be! Of course I grew up watching the great film, Sound of Music, of which Maria's life was based from, but I'd never read the true story of her life. There was so much more to her life than was portrayed in the film, and it was exciting to really get to know her in her own words.

Maria von Trapp shares her life from convent to barroness to family singing group - from Austria to Ameri
Chica Sombra
Dec 14, 2016 Chica Sombra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vi la versión cinematográfica de "Sonrisas y lágrimas" cuando era una niña. Era la película favorita de mi madre y quiso compartirla conmigo. Recuerdo que me gustó mucho pero ahora, al leer el libro, he comprendido cosas de la trama que no entendí entonces por mi corta edad y mi inocencia.

Maria es una joven novicia que irrumpe como institutriz en la vida de los Von Trapp y acaba ganándose el corazón de los niños y también el de su padre. Todo se complica cuando Hitler empieza a ganar terreno y
May 04, 2015 Laura-Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, ww-ii, culture
The True Story that inspired the film/ play "Sound of Music". This book barely resembles the events of the film. However, that does not make it any less satisfying. This is truly one of the most interesting biographies you will ever be sucked into. Maria Trapp is able to laugh at herself but at the same time it feels like this book is deeply biased to her point of view. But that doesn't mean I didn't find a lot of entertainment in trying to read "between the lines" of what she was saying. It see ...more
Oct 20, 2014 Alyne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
I loved this book. After reading it, I find the musical pales in comparison - knowing the real trials and tribulations the family went through makes the whole thing seem almost a mockery to me. Anyway, the book is a great piece of history, and a must-read.
Jul 28, 2009 Lobstergirl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
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
As someone who's seen the Sound of Music dozens of times throughout my childhood, I was excited to read the real story. And for the most part, it delivered - an interesting, easy to read expansion on a familiar tale, that suffers a bit from a lack of depth.

By now, the basic story is probably familiar to most people - a young nun-to-be leaves her abbey to become a governess to a family of seven children. Fate intervenes and she marries into the family, before they all have to flee Europe to escap
Feb 28, 2014 Lori rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, historical
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
Oct 22, 2014 Roberta rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biografico
Just a tad bit long, the end is not as exciting as the beginning. The religious references, too, are quite repetitive in the end. It feels like reading about a whole family of Pollyannas: always happy, always positive, somewhat reckless.
You've seen the musical - The Sound of Music - or the movie of the same name. Maria, an aspiring nun, gets a job as a private teacher in the family of widowed naval commander Georg Johannes von Trapp. They end up married, touring the world as a musical choir, esc
Feb 28, 2014 Barb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Abigayle Claire
While this book is long and a slow read, I enjoyed learning the true details and misadventures of the von Trapp family. Throughout all the tumult and crazy ventures, it is obvious that God was always there for them, pulling them through circumstances that were unusual and would frighten most people ... but not Maria von Trapp. Their determination to remain true to themselves and God instead of meeting the whims of their financial backers is what helped them remain original and unique to their au ...more
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
Jun 18, 2014 Shark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Jan 30, 2009 Tiffany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 05, 2014 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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?
Katrina Zartman
Mar 04, 2014 Katrina Zartman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable. Humor, seriousness, things familiar and foreign.
Feb 27, 2017 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I think I expected this book to mirror the musical with Julie Andrews .... for the first 1/3 of the book, it was a good peek into their lives in Austria. What I wasn't expecting was the rest of the book - which really was a story of refugees and trying to find a new home in America. All-in-all, I enjoyed both portions of the story - although I liked the first part a bit more.
Feb 15, 2017 Sherry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, this is a true classic, a hidden gem that I can't believe I hadn't read before. There is so much to ponder and inspire in here. What an amazing family with an incredible story!
Nov 03, 2014 Walter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fans of "The Sound of Music" will appreciate that the hit musical was actually based on a book, written by none other than Maria Von Trapp herself. "Sound of Music" fans may also be surprised to find out that the Von Trapp family were intensely devout and practicing Catholics. In this book, which is a must read for anyone who enjoyed "The Sound of Music", the reader will embark on a journey that is just as much about faith as it is about music.

The book actually covers much more ground than the m
Feb 15, 2014 Carina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
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
Elsa K
Apr 26, 2017 Elsa K rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was so good. I was surprised. I thought it would be a nice story explaining more the family behind "The Sound Of Music." But as a Christian, I was challenged spiritually. I found it an inspirational story of trusting God and His provision. I would like to learn more about the family. I would also like to visit the Bed and Breakfast they run!
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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
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“Music- what a powerful instrument, what a mighty weapon!” 43 likes
“Our age has become so mechanical that this has also affected our recreation. People have gotten used to sitting down and watching a movie, a ball game, a television set. It may be good once in a while, but it certainly is not good all the time. Our own faculties, our imagination, our memory, the ability to do things with our mind and our hands–they need to be exercised. If we become too passive, we get dissatisfied.” 5 likes
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