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

4.3 out of 5 stars 156 customer reviews

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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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Original edition (September 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061998818
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061998812
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (156 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,297 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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I have read all of the books by Maria Augusta von Trapp, but had not read Agathe's book. It was really an eye opener that filled in many of the gaps in Maria's books. For anyone who followed the travels of the Trapp Family Singers during the 40's & 50's, it is a wonderful sequel, & a must read, to the books that have already been written. I actually had the good fortune to spend a summer working at the Trapp Family Lodge (known then as "Cor Unum" - One Heart) during the mid-fifties & met most of the family. This book brough back many happy memories.
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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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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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It was great to read Agathe's first hand account of her family. She was gracious regarding Maria; but I read Maria's book and Maria made it sound like the poor little von Trapp children never had any music in their lives until she came to them. That is the opposite of what really happened. There was much music in the von Trapp family with both parents before Maria came on the scene. Maria was volatile and driven. The children did seem to love the music and even the touring but also there was a dark side that was kind of more between the lines. Agathe was a dear.

I still love everything about the Sound of Music Movie and all I have read about the real family. It was like most of our families, loving and disfunctional!
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