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Agathe Von Trapp: Memories Before and After the Sound of Music
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Agathe Von Trapp: Memories Before and After the Sound of Music

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  1,109 ratings  ·  148 reviews
In this compelling autobiography, Agathe von Trapp shares the true story behind the film legend, The Sound of Music. As the oldest van Trapp daughter, Agathe's impeccable recall of her child hood brings fresh life to the events that forged enduring bonds within her devoted family. Her memories of her idyllic Austrian home transport readers back to the time before the von ...more
Paperback, 212 pages
Published November 15th 2004 by Publish America (first published June 1st 2003)
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Average rating 3.63  · 
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 ·  1,109 ratings  ·  148 reviews

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2.5 stars.

Coming up against the end of the year with only 2 letters left for my A to Z Author Challenge, I decided to read this memoir by Agathe Von Trapp to fulfill the “V” entry on the list. As a long-time fan of the The Sound of Music, I had initially approached this book with some amount of excitement – after all, the title of the book draws a distinct connection to one of my favorite movies of all time! Now that I finished reading the book, I must say that I am quite disappointed, as this
The Library Lady
Oct 29, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: adult-biography
People who say that "The Sound of Music" was treacly would risk diabetic coma by reading this book. Agathe von Trapp is very anxious to let us all know that "The Sound of Music" wasn't the real story of the family, and to set the record straight. Unfortunately by doing so, she makes the true story so staid and sweet that you can understand why, as her stepmother Maria said in her own book "You must allow Hollywood a little Hollywooding".

Maria's own The Story of the Trapp Family Singers certainly
Mar 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Young girls
Shelves: moonreader
I have always been a fan of "The Sound of Music"...the stage musical, the Julie Andrews film, the soundtrack. I even watched the Carrie Underwood production on TV, certain that it would be embarrassingly bad (it was good!). Yes, I know that all productions were 'inspired' by the story of the Trapp Family Singers.

For those few of you who are perhaps unaware that productions tend to take license to greatly embellish the truth of the stories they are portraying, allow me to to recommend this memoir
Tirzah Eleora
Jun 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
All the other books about the von Trapp family that I've read were written by Maria (the mother, not the daughter) and it was very interesting to read about the family from Agatha's point of view. You get to learn more about the life of the family before the now-famous, wayward novice appeared on the scene. I really liked learning about life for the young Agatha is Austria during and after World War I. I recommend it to fellow fans of the von Trapps!
Several reviews that I read disliked this
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I usually don't read reviews before or while I'm reading a book but I wanted find out more of what this book was about, because I was really looking forward to reading it. I own and have read many books on the von Trapps' lives and the musical Sound of Music and I am always interested in reading more. This particular book, being written by one of the daughters, was very interesting to me. Some complaints about the book were that the author didn't write well. I feel you can overlook much in the ...more
Jan 13, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 an interesting story, but don’t read if you don’t want to know the truth behind the movie!
Feb 09, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Maybe...maybe diehard Sound of Music fans.
How I Came To Read This Book: My parents got it for me in the states - I believe there was some article in the paper because she had just passed away, so they read it and knowing I'm a huge fan of The Sound Of Music, got it for me.

The Plot: This is the autobiography of the eldest Von Trapp daughter - although not the eldest child, a departure from the play / film - Agathe, who would in theory be 'Liesl' in the fictionalized version of the Von Trapp family's lives. It details Agathe's family
Jenny Jaeckel
The eldest Von Trapp daughter recounts the true story behind the classic film, in a tender, charming, and vividly remembered memoir. Though we don't get to know any of the family members in great depth, including Agathe herself, readers do find a family portrait of life in a very different era, and a story that is decidedly unique and full of (sometimes harrowing) adventure. We even find a touch of modern diversity revealed at the end, in the description of Agathe's life with her "friend", and ...more
Apr 04, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, media
I've read Maria Trapp's autobiography (and adore it), so I already knew that the film was pretty much entirely a fabrication and Maria was not exactly a nice person. I still liked her, flaws and all, but she is definitely not even remotely like the film's Maria. So when this randomly popped up in an unrelated search for a patron, I put a hold on it.

Agathe isn't the smoothest writer - it felt very oral narrative. Her drawings were seriously charming, though. It was interesting to read her
May 09, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The "truthiness" of The Sound of Music never really occurred to me in any direct way; even when I was told it was "based on a true story", I took that with a large grain of salt.

So when I came across Memories Before and After the Sound of Music in my library's collection, I was intrigued! I wanted to make myself more familiar with the truth behind the story. It was a movie I enjoyed, and I'm always interested in seeing how storytellers straddle the line between art and fact. What had been
Growing up, I loved watching The Sound of Music. I haven't seen it in years but would like to watch it again soon. The cover of the book caught my eye at the library and I snatched it up.

This book tries to cover many years in only a few pages. As a result, the book never feels like it breaks the surface of the von Trapp family. The book is extremely clean, very upbeat, and makes it sound as if the family never struggles with any of their circumstances. Maybe that's true; maybe they did go
Overall an interesting read, especially to see how vastly different the truth is from what the world learned from the movie and musical. I liked reading of the family's history. I liked seeing their devotion to each other and hearing of their faith. The book took me so long because I didn't feel as drawn to it, and I was highly distracted by my fractured fairy tale phase.

I felt the parts in the beginning really dragged, and then the end felt like it was rushing. Much of the book felt like an
Jun 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is something about many memoirs that appeal so much to me. Perhaps it's because they reflect what really happened in someone's life or at least their perception of what happened. I found this read about the Trapp family fascinating. Even though I have seen the movie I wanted to know more about the family and how they lived. It was quite a vagabond existence that revolved around their love of music. That much came through both through this book and the movie. I loved the little tales the ...more
The author recently died increasing the continual interest in her family from anyone who can belt out any of the songs from "The Sound Of Music" by heart. Agathe von Trapp is the eldest daughter and second child.

She spends most of the book telling us about her real mother, not stepmother Maria who pushed the family. Agathe wants to set the record straight about her father as opposed to how he is depicted in the movie.

The book is illustrated with charming sketches done by the author. The book
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Sound of Music is my all time favorite movie. This book was similar to sitting with a sweet old woman listening to her tell stories of her beloved family.
Jul 09, 2018 rated it liked it
I’ve always loved the movie, The Sound of Music, and have often wondered about the family and how much of the movie was true. I then saw The Sound of Musical musical in which some parts of the story were different than the movie. I knew that the time had come to learn about the family and their story.

This book is written by the oldest daughter from her perspective and memories. There are quite a few things that happened differently in real life. I learned quite a bit and I’m glad I read it.
Jul 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Very interesting and a quick read.
Feb 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
This memoir is written by Agathe von Trapp, the second oldest Trapp daughter of the famous Family Trapp singers.{ If you have seen the movie, Agathe would be equal to Liesl} I have always liked the movie "The Sound of Music" and last week I got to see the play The Sound of Music. I wanted to know more about this family. For one reason I have heard for years that the movie and play are a fictional more than factual story of this family. I am glad I got to read Agathe's memoir of her family. It is ...more
Nov 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I think that Agathe Von Trapp wanted to set the record straight about what really happened to inspire the Sound Of Music and I'm so glad I read this book. Hollywood can have their way with a story sometimes without giving true respect to the people that inspired it. I do not think that Agathe is an excellent writer, but I admire the memories she shared and her desire to tell people the truth about her family.

They were not chased by the Germans before leaving Austria, and instead of climbing
April Helms
Another interesting look at the real von Trapp family, this time through the memories of the oldest daughter Agathe. Agathe, who died less than two years ago at 97, tells the stories of the von Trapp family before Maria came into their lives, as well as about the concerts and tours that would change their lives and fortunes. In addition to her memories, told in an engaging style, there are many photographs of the family and Agathe's own sketches included (she was a good artist) throughout. ...more
David Freudenburg
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This memoir gives a lot of personal, first-hand stories. Agathe has a very vivid memory and the accounts here are richly detailed. This memoir overlaps somewhat with that of Maria Augusta von Trapp, but includes some unique material, speaks from a different perspective, and uses a very different tone. Where Maria's book is boisterous, this one is sweeter and gentler. Both books are personal, honest, and believable. This one also includes many original B/W photos.
The last chapter gives a
Aug 17, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was looking for a book to accompany my visit to Salzburg. Having already read Maria von Trapp's books years ago, I picked up this one, written by the real eldest daughter of the Trapp family (sort of the equivalent to the fictional Liesl). I am willing to give the author a bit of leeway, as she wrote this book in her old age and published it when she was over ninety. However, truthfully, the book is rather insipid. Her main objective seems to identify what was true, as compared to the ...more
A nice thorough account of the von Trapp family before the Broadway musical and then movie, The Sound of Music, was made. It is interesting in some parts to see how the movie got it right or wrong, but for the most part it's a very dry account of a seemingly idyllic life. It seemed like there was very little emotional attachment to these memories. Everything was always just great, even when their mother died or they had to leave Austria because of the Anschluss. It never seemed to be a sad or ...more
May 15, 2018 rated it liked it
This book written by the oldest von Trapp daughter was not nearly as interesting as the one written by her stepmother. It's basically a recitation of events much like one would read in a journal or traveling log. It does not have all the flair, drama, and interesting anecdotes of the book by Maria. Maria's personality is so evident in her autobiography. In this case, I would have to say Agathe is definitely overshadowed by her charismatic stepmother and a little bitterness seems to come through. ...more
Sep 02, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having read "The Story of the Trapp Family Singers" by Maria Von Trapp many, many years ago, I knew that "The Sound of Music" was a highly fictionalized account of the Von Trapps' actual life story. This book makes a nice companion to Maria's account, telling of the early years of the family before Maria entered it. Agathe's style is very direct and unsentimental. She gives a very brief background of her parents and how they met, and goes on to share her memories of her childhood years. Her ...more
Elaine D
Jan 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: musical theater lovers
Recommended to Elaine by: Minister at Church
This was so interesting to read mainly because I grew up LOVING the SOund of Music. It was one of the 3 movies that my Nana had at her house while I was growing up and my sister and I knew all the songs and watched it more times than I can count. I was interested to find that although i knew that the movie was based on a true story, many of the incidents from the movie were not real. Also, I was a little disappointed that Hollywood felt like the names and ages of the children needed to be ...more
Joyce Berzenski
I recently saw the stage production of The Sound of Music and it made me curious about the real Von Trapp family. This book was written by the oldest daughter (although not the oldest child- she had an older brother). It was striking in how different their actual lives were from the movie and play. But because of that, and I think because she wanted to make sure everyone knew what was right, she spent lots of time and detail on their lives before they came to America. After a while it got to be ...more
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Agathe von Trapp is not a writer, she is a singer. This memoir really doesn't have a flow and she has listed items one after the other. This wasn't a horrible read, but just mediocre.

Agathe tries to clear the perception of her actual family life versus the Sound of Music. Music was always in their home, before and after her mother's death, and her father playing a large role in this. Agathe wants her mother included in the story of their success and not just Maria. My favorite part is when they
Nov 13, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being a 'Sound of Music' buff, I was fascinated to read of the life of the Von Trapps prior to what we know. Agathe wrote this as an older woman, in part to rectify the image of her father as portrayed in the stage show and film. I needed to remember this book was written by a woman not of my generation or cultural background because I found some of the passive acceptance of events a bit hard to swallow. There was also a tendency to sugar coat things which only adds to the saccharine perception ...more
Kristine Rushton
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found the book enlightening and very full of the day to day of the Trapp family, from there lives when their parents were young to when they lived in Vermont and worked at the Trapp Family Lodge. The point of view from the eldest daughter, Agathe, was poignant. She stated from the out-set that her view point may differ from others as it is her perspective and she if right.

My complaint is that the story was bit long and tedious at times with the detail but overall, if you wanted to know the
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