Sunday, November 4, 2012

Book Review: The Story of the Trapp Family Singers

Certain movies are made and remade repeatedly. Others simply can't be remade without losing too much. I can't even imagine The Sound of Music being remade to a quality anywhere close to the original. I guess no one else can imagine it either, since it's never been done.
The Story of the Trapp Family Singers is the book that inspired The Sound of Music. A memoir written by Maria, it chronicles her memories from the day she was asked by her mother superior to tutor one of the von Trapp daughters, through their emigration from Austria, their development as a singing group, and their settlement in the United States. Of course there are significant differences between the book and the movie; both I find inspiring in their own way. Both will probably be a part of my children's homeschool education (eventually) for different reasons. The movie will be a part of it for the music and the example of a family doing what's right when pressured to do what's wrong. The book will be a part of it for the example of an individual trying to honor the Lord with her life and live according to His Will and witnessing it taking her in a completely different direction from what she had expected. The one thing I need to check is how the book compares with her later book, Maria. I read this second book many, many years ago and remember only portions of it, but portions that weren't in her original version (she wrote the second book quite awhile after the movie was made). After I reread that, I'll decide which book my children will actually be required to read.
The book is filled with Maria's faith and her desire to follow the Will of God for her life. Her desire to obey Him led her into the convent then back out, then with her family to the U.S., back to Europe, then back again to the U.S. Time and again it seemed like the path in front of them was straight, only to see it twist unexpectedly. Yet because they kept their faith at the forefront and sought to do whatever God wanted them to do, the twists led them in a better direction than they had planned out for themselves. And this is really why I liked the book so much. Don't we all find ourselves in unplanned situations? It's always encouraging to hear/read about others who went through difficult changes in their plans and were able in the end to give witness to God's blessings being even more abundant through those changes than what they had expected. Whether you are right now in that twist in the path, are looking back and agreeing with Maria von Trapp, or will tuck away that encouragement for the future when you will surely need it, it is a blessing for every Christian.

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