I was totally unprepared for this amazing story. I picked up the book the other day while I was browsing the library shelves thinking “oh, I love the movie”. The book, unsurprisingly, is so much MORE than the movie had time to touch on. I couldn’t put it down!
As you know from the movie, the von Trapp family lives in Austria when Hitler takes over. She doesn’t dwell on that situation for long, but long enough for the reader to know how intensely her family unhappy her family was with their new situation. They lost all their money in the uncertain economics of the time – the bank failed. She shares an experience of how the schools started teaching that the parents were nice, old fashioned people and for the children to leave them alone – and not talk about what they learned in school. She also shared an experience of sitting down in the new German museum built by Hitler, and then realizing that he sat with his commanders at a table next to them. She observed them for an hour or so, and decided that Hitler was really quite “common” and “coarse”. When they turned down an opportunity to serve the Nazi’s for the third time, the family had a council and decided to leave “because you can’t do that three times without consequences”. They planned a mountain hiking expedition to Italy. The day after they arrive, the borders were closed. They do what they always did – immediately started to pray and LOOK for solutions. Over the course of the next few years, we see them kicked out of America when their VISA expires, go to Europe, return to America and get thrown in jail for being spies, struggling to live and find their footing in a new and strange (to them 😉 ) place.
The book is wonderful – it flows and invites and encourages the reader to experience life with Trapp family, to to love and appreciate beautiful music and it’s message, to value hard work and success, to love and support one another, and most importantly – to have complete faith and hope in the Lord.