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Memories Before and After the Sound of Music: An Autobiography Paperback – September 14, 2010


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Memories Before and After the Sound of Music: An Autobiography + The Story of the Trapp Family Singers + Yesterday, Today, and Forever
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Paperbacks; Original edition (September 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061998818
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061998812
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #151,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

From the seasoned perspective of her eighty-nine years, Agathe, the eldest von Trapp family daughter paints a rose-hued portrait of life before and after the highly fictionalized Broadway and Hollywood account of her famous family’s story. Though diehard Sound of Music fans may be disappointed to learn that the von Trapps’ “escape” from Austria—they simply boarded a train to Italy—was much less dramatic than the memorable Technicolor climb over the mountains depicted in the movie, their hearts will still be blessed with the sound of music that resonates throughout the pages of this charming, family-friendly memoir. Agathe dishes no dirt; in fact, her recollections of her beloved Mamá, Papá, stepmother, and fairy-tale-like childhood in Austria, are all refreshingly positive and upbeat. A gentle patriarch, unlike the strict disciplinarian portrayed in both the stage and film versions, Georg von Trapp, oversaw the musical education of all his children after the death of his first wife. After immigrating to the U.S. and embarking on their collective musical career as the Trapp Family Singers, the close-knit bonds forged in their Tyrolean childhoods never frayed. Though less fantastical, Agathe’s homespun recollections, illustrated with her own sketches and family photos, is a must-read for diehard Sound of Music fans. Sugar-sweet but never saccharine. --Margaret Flanagan

Review

“The eldest daughter in the Trapp Family Singers writes poignantly…..In her telling, we learn the real details in this truly providential tale about a tight-knit, devoted, and wonderfully gifted family.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Agathe von Trapp’s World War II story is the stuff of legend -- or, as she would have it, myth. In her memoir, Memories Before and After the Sound of Music, von Trapp, the eldest sister in the famed singing family, attempts to set the record straight...Charming.” (Washington Post)

“Many fans of ‘The Sound of Music’ are curious about how much of it is truth and how much is poetic license. This newly released paperback offers some first-person insight.” (Newsday)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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I enjoyed reading Agathe Von Trapp's memoirs; they were very interesting.
B. Cook
Of course, Hollywood changed many things about their lives so it was very interesting to read the true facts of their lives.
Principessa Madre
This book sets the facts straight for those who have romantic notions about The Sound of Music.
Elizabeth Yank

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Yank on December 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
Absolutely delightful! This book sets the facts straight for those who have romantic notions about The Sound of Music. It is hard to believe that they toured as a singing family for 20 years in this country and around the world. Their dedication to one another as a family is truly inspiring. The father of the family was both adventuresome and inspiring, yet gentle and kind. He was the kind of man any child would love to have as a daddy. In a world that focuses so much on the me, myself, and I, it was a beautiful read to experience the many wonderful aspects of life through Agatha's eyes. It is a book that shows that real life is far more wonderful and exciting than even the best novel. It also offers a glimpse into history and life in other cultures, breaking down the barriers of misunderstanding of life in Europe. It doesn't pretend that life doesn't have any pain, but it does show that living in the light of God's ways can bring untold joy.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca ML on November 30, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After seeing the cast from the original Sound of Music movie on Oprah (children actors and actresses now grown, and apprearing with Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer), my mother became very interested in the story of the Von Trapp family, and I bought the book for her.This book, written by one of the children, Agatha, tells the real facts of the family history. The movie is qutie different ftom the actual family history. For example, all the names of the children in the movie were changed, and the real eldest Von Trapp child was a male, not the female Lisel in the movie. I have only picked and skimmed a few places. The book begins with the engagement and wedding of Captain Von Trapp and his first wife, Agathe, and follows all the way through to the settling in Stowe, Vermont.The family history in the book shows the strong character of the family in thier various hardships and opportunites.They have a complete trust in God's soverignty in their circumstances. My mom says the book gives many details of the family and individual members. If you want to know real story of the Von Trapp Family Singers, this book will fill you in.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By V. L. Wilson on January 6, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My generation was introduced to the Von Trapp Family Singers via Hollywood! The movie, starring Julie Andrews in "The Sound Of Music" remains unforgettable. It was based on the lives of the Von Trapp family of Austria. This book, written by the oldest Von Trapp daughter, Agathe, describes in beautiful detail, the true story of the famous Von Trapp family.

I purchased the paperback version with an update on the remaining family members. Sadly, Agathe passed away this month at the age of 89 but she left this legacy - a heart-warming memoir of her family, rich details of Austria before the invasion of Germany, the music that made everyone happy all over the world, family loyalty and priorities, and the history of Von Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont.

I couldn't put the book down! The real story before and after the movie is simply amazing. After hearing the grandchildren sing "Edelweiss" recently, I am pleased, knowing the story behind the movie is available in true form. Trust me - this is an inspiring true story of a unique family and it will make you grateful.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mary K. Fairchild on January 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Easy, enjoyable read. One learns The Sound of Music is almost fiction.The Captain wasn't a tyrant, Maria didn't teach the children to sing and they didn't hike over the mountains to escape the Nazi occupation. The Captain was extremely capable, intellegent, resourceful, a very hands on father who very much loved his children and the truth about the whistle signals.
The book includes many family photographs.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By kzielke on March 6, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a wonderful look into what really happened with von Trapp family and how they became the famous Trapp family singers. It was beautiful look into the family before and what has become of the family. I couldn't put it down with the way Agathe writes it felt like I was there the entire time on this journal with family. I loved the movie and thought it brought out the best points of all about the family and than after reading the book it was a nice to see what was going on in the family.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By KCEE on November 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I found the first part of this book tedious. I don't need descriptions of what color her Papa's clothes were, the length, etc. There were so many unnecessary details. As I continued to read I got the impression that the author was not happy with the Sound of Music movie and the impression we got from seeing it. She barely mentions Maria and makes it very clear that Maria did NOT teach them to sing. The last 2 chapters were the best. She "finally" tells us about the Sound of Music, the impact it had on their lives and what was "real" what was made up for the movie. The last chapter she tells us what has happened to the family, and where they are in their lives now. If you purchase this book, just skip to the last 2 chapters and you'll find out everything you need to know.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pat Black on August 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I greatly enjoyed reading a true story of the von Trapps. Very interesting, easy read. An amazing family story. And For me documentaries beat fiction any day. I did wonder how an Englishwoman lived in Austria during WWI. No comment is made re conflicting loyalties. I understand Maria von Trapp said the movie was great, of course it wasn't the story of our family! Well this is!
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