Story of the Trapp Family Singers

Story of the Trapp Family Singers

by Maria Augusta Trapp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Trade Paperback, 312 pages
Price: $15.99

Everyone knows the Rogers & Hammerstein movie The Sound of Music, or is at least familiar with some of the songs. But if you haven't read the book that recounts the true story of the Trapp Family, then you are really missing out! Warmly written and not without humor, Maria Augusta Trapp tells The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, and it's quite a tale. It may be just another delightful "family story" but it's amazing and inspiring to read of how God cared for them and guided them and used them throughout their eventful lives.

The book starts at the same point the movie does: when Maria leaves the convent to teach the children of Baron von Trapp. But as it continues it is funnier, more charming, and of course more true than the movie. Best of all, it continues beyond the escape from the Nazis. The Trapp family goes on to America and we get to read of their adaptation to a new culture, of their war efforts, of the perfect home they buy (complete with a family of skunks living under the kitchen floor), and of the old army camp they transform into a music camp. They are true entrepreneurs, using any talent, resources, and opportunities they have to create businesses or ministries or both. We know of the Trapp Family Singers and some have heard of the Trapp Family Music Camp, but this enterprising family also headed up the Trapp Family Maple Syrup, the Trapp Family Austria Relief Effort, and many other varied ventures.

What's special about the book, though, is their wholehearted faith in God. Maria writes in the Chapter Before the First, "...it astonished, amazed, almost overwhelmed me to see how much love—genuine, real love—was stored up in one short lifetime: first God's love for us His children, the leading, guiding, protecting love of a Father; and as every real love calls forth love in return, it couldn't be any different here." This may be a book full of anecdotes both touching and amusing, but at its heart it is the story of God's love for a family worked out in their lives.

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Summary: The real-life story of the Von Trapp family singers.

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  Touching Story...
Amanda Evans of Oregon City, 10/16/2008
"God's will hath no why."

That's what Maria said to herself when she was told that it was God's will for her to leave her beloved convent to marry Captain von Trapp and be a mother to his seven children. All the Trapps had to say it to themselves when they left their beautiful homeland to go to America. And they had to understand it over and over again as they struggled to put on concerts across the country, pay back debts and become Americans.

The Story of the Trapp Family Singers is the true story behind Sound of Music, but much more happens to the real family. Where the movie ends, the book has much more to tell. In America, the Trapps begin their new life by going on concert tours around the country. They are much more than the Trapp Family Singers, though. In true entrepreneurial spirit, they came out with the Trapp Family Handicraft Exhibit, when times got tough; when they got enough money, they bought a farm and produced the Trapp Family Maple Syrup; they purchased an old army camp and began holding the Trapp Family Music Camp; and after the war was over, they helped their needy homeland by starting the Trapp Family Austrian Relief, Inc.

Everywhere they go they make friends: a fellow music lover who becomes the neighbor across the street, a next door neighbor who helps them build a new house on their land, their music manager, and many, many more. And if I ever met them, I'm sure I would want to be their friend too. They are such a lovable family!

This touching story, lovingly told by Maria von Trapp, is filled with humorous stories about disciplining children and trying to learn English, poignant tales of persevering through hardship, and inspiring narratives about sticking together and walking in love. This book will have you laughing at times and crying at others. Though the Trapps are Catholic, they are a good model for any Christian family who wants to cultivate a love for God and a servant's heart for their fellow men. Filled with scripture applied to real life, every family should read this book!