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

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  1,415 ratings  ·  185 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 T ...more
Paperback, 212 pages
Published November 15th 2004 by Publish America (first published June 1st 2003)
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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 b
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
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 boo
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 i ...more
Melody Schwarting
Having read The Story of the Trapp Family Singers by Maria Agusta von Trapp, I was eager to hear the story again from the perspective of one of the children. I learned a lot more about the von Trapp family, including their impressive history, but I didn't hear much about them as people. Late in the book, Agathe mentions that they are a private family, which may be why this is not exactly peopled with personalities.

Her life during WWI was rather interesting. She, her mother, and her ever-increasi
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!
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 his
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 c ...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 perspec
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 stret
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 throug
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 ol
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 au ...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 fa
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. The
Megan Griffin
Jan 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book was very good. After reading the book written by her mother, it was great to get a different perspective especially from one of the kids. I also really enjoyed her comparison between the movie and her actually life. I enjoyed reading about the family's life after their singing career was over. This book was filled with great information. ...more
Feb 15, 2021 rated it liked it
At first, I found myself correcting her based in the musical. That only lasted a few minutes before I realized she would have the full and true story. She does address the artistic license taken with her family’s story and her opinion of it.

A remarkable story of protection. Too many coincidences keeping them safe and through their career.
Carol Mundie
May 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is not a memoir of the film the sound of music. It's a memoir of the family von Trapp completely different. Don't read this book expecting the story of the film but I loved hearing the story of the family. I don't want to give away the story so I won't give too much away. If you are interested in the story of the family you will enjoy this book. ...more
Jul 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Very interesting and a quick read.
Jun 29, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2022
This provides a great perspective on the life of the actual von Trapp family, before and after “Maria.” Anyone interested in the movie would enjoy the book.
May 05, 2022 rated it really liked it
Interesting book about the real Trapp family singers who inspired the 1958 Broadway play and 1965 movie.

They were talented musicians who loved each other very much.

They felt God’s guidance and miracles throughout their ordeals.
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
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. Again ...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 ove
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 touchin
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 tr ...more
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 fictiona ...more
May 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
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
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