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Life With Mother Superior

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  349 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
The book that "The Trouble with Angels" film was based upon, of Hayley Mills fame. A collection of vignettes based on Trahey's experiences within a Catholic girls' school, this book is a humorous look at boarding school life when nuns are added to the mix.
Hardcover, 210 pages
Published 1963 by Michael Joseph (first published 1962)
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Feb 20, 2011 Jim rated it liked it
One of my favorite comedies when I was a kid was The Trouble With Angels, about two rebellious high schoolers at a Catholic girls boarding school and their ongoing war against the formidable Reverend Mother. It wasn’t until recently that I learned the movie was actually based on a memoir by Jane Trahey, and many of the characters and incidents were real. So naturally I had to track down the book and get the true story.

The book itself is mostly written anecdotally. Each chapter tells a story of a
Aug 01, 2011 Lauren rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, favorites
One of my favorite books ever. This book, written by Jane Trahey, was loosely based on her high school experiences as well as her experiences at Mundelein College, a college for woman in Chicago. Having communicated with Trahey's friend and accomplice, "Mary" in real life, I learned tha the book is only very loosely based on Jane Trahey and Mary's real experiences, but it is still a delight to read. It is also the book upon which the movie "The Trouble With Angels" is based (Trahey's character ...more
Mar 31, 2009 Sharon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I sought this book out after seeing the charming and funny film 'The Trouble With Angels' on TV. You know what I found? An even more charming and funny book!

This book made ME (who has always referred to her Catholic School Days as "the worst 3 years of my life") feel a short desire for cleaning blackboards and singing alleluias in the choir. Trahey managed to capture the wit, the angst and loneliness that I felt at that time. A terrific coming of age story!”
Lisa Vegan
I read and reread this book when I was 12, 13, & up. I really enjoyed the high jinks of the 2 teenage friends in a Catholic girls’ boarding school. It’s great fun, and it made me both laugh and cry.
Mar 25, 2015 Stuart rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography-memoir
An entertaining memoir of a childhood spent in at Catholic boarding school. Lite reading, fun and enjoyable and a glimpse into life a couple generations back. Found out about this book after watching the movie The Trouble With Angels. The movie follows pretty closely to the book.
Feb 24, 2015 Celia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
favourite book as a teenager and ex convent girl!
Anna Allen
I read this over and over in my early teens. I really liked it. It's been years now since I picked it up.
Apr 17, 2013 Dana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has SUCH a twist ending! I never saw it coming. Perfect book for teenage girls everywhere.
For some reason, I find books about nuns and convents and boarding schools really interesting. Although I know that there are a few schools that still have nuns in habit as teachers, it's pretty rare—and in a decidedly different world than it used to be. So to me, stories like this are time capsules of an extinct environment in a bygone era. That, and the fact that I love the movie The Trouble with Angels , which was based on this book, are the reasons I picked this up.

There are a lot of simil
Aug 09, 2015 Vroom rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm giving this a 3-star "I liked it" although the book really only deserves a 2-star "it was okay" and that's mostly because the book inspired The Trouble with Angels movie, one of my favorite movies of all time. This slight memoir contains most of the seeds of the movie's plot but little of its heart, depth, and conviction. That's mostly because real life reflects what happens while storytelling offers what should happen, enabling filmmakers and authors to craft a coherent narrative. I'm not s ...more
Jeff Crosby
Feb 25, 2017 Jeff Crosby rated it really liked it
While I have read the source material for many of my favorite films, it was only with my most recent viewing of The Trouble With Angels that I took note of the book. Life With Mother Superior is an amusing and engaging story of four years in an all girls Catholic high school.

Each chapter is self contained, but told sequentially. I am amazed that someone saw this episodic book as good film material, but each succeeds on their own level. Interestingly, the film selects stories from the book, but d
Jan 25, 2017 Ashley rated it really liked it
My dad gets credit for finding the book The Trouble With Angels was based upon on Open Library. It meant I read it with a few pages missing, but it didn't make the read any less fun.

Being a fan of the movie first, there's a lot of fun about this book. First, I love that the story is at least semi-autobiographical and that Mary Clancy was in fact a real person. That makes her antics that much more enjoyable. The movie does not deviate much from the source material. In a few places the stories wer
Dec 04, 2010 stormhawk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes you accidentally come across a book that brings you delight. Life with Mother Superior certainly did that for me. It's not just growing up Catholic that does that for you ... in my case it's about a well-loved movie, The Trouble with Angels, and spending at least some of my childhood within a mile or three of locations where the film was shot. All of the adventures of the movie are here, and a few besides. My biggest surprise is that I only recently learned that the movie was based on ...more
I quite enjoyed this read. It read more like a young adult novel than a memoir. Granted, a 1960s young adult novel, but a young adult novel none-the-less. :) It was dated, obviously, and there were some things mentioned in the story that I had to look up, but that didn't detract from the stories she told.

It was fun to read about the mischief her and Mary got into, and see how nicely they transformed her stories to the film.
Kristin Lyon
This should actually be 3.5 stars. It's not a favorite or an excellent read, but it's fun. Especially for having been written in the 60s. If I would have read this as middle schooler or high schooler I would have loved it! I think their hi jinks is fun, I really enjoyed Mother Superior and I think thAt it would actually be a much better movie than a book! (Not often I say that)
Mar 24, 2009 Hilary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This humorous book, originally published under the title "Life With Mother Superior," is loosely based on the author's parochial school experiences. It is also the basis of the very funny Haley Mills film, "The Trouble With Angels," starring Rosalind Russell.
Apr 03, 2015 Lynda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always like memoirs about school days. Much better than the movie. Duh!
Oct 10, 2015 Barfoo is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
scathing brilliant idea.
K Martinez
Aug 01, 2013 K Martinez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
fun book enjoyable light hearted well written fun
Jul 24, 2011 Sadonna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book years and years ago. Hilarious - and then the movie with Hailey Mills I think? I'm sure I saw the movie on TV since the book came out the year I was born!
Jaime Contreras
This is a sweet coming of age in an all-girls Catholic high school comedy. Yes, it was the basis of the film, The Trouble With Angels.
This is the book the film "The Trouble with Angels" was based on. Anyone who had a catholic education by the "Sisters" can relate to this book. A fun look back at school days in the catholic tradition.
R. Honey
Jul 28, 2011 R. Honey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was right up my rebel without a cause alley self in the late 60 s!
Sharon Zink
Mar 01, 2012 Sharon Zink rated it liked it
Too bad she was so naughty. Well-written account of a girl attending a Catholic girls' school.
Feb 23, 2010 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this a long time ago. I remember it was very very funny!
Meghan rated it it was amazing
Jan 18, 2010
Linda rated it really liked it
Apr 03, 2015
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Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
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