Anyone who has ever enjoyed the Sound of Music knows at least a little bit about the family von Trapp on which the stage musical and film was based. Many years after I first saw the movie, I read Maria von Trapp’s book (the rights of which were purchased for a paltry $9000 to enable the musical) so it was interesting to read Agathe’s book which covers a much wider period. They were a remarkable family well before the advent of the second Baroness von Trapp; the Captain was not only a decorated commander of submarines in the First World War, but his first wife was also the granddaughter of the inventor of the torpedo. Agathe, the oldest daughter, tells a lot of stories about their childhood. It is clear that she resented the popular misconception of her father as a stern disciplinarian who ordered his offspring about with a whistle and who banned music and gaiety from the house after his first wife’s untimely death. For many years Agathe and her siblings seem to have disliked the musical largely for this reason although she eventually came to terms with its influence. Her view of Maria von Trapp (the second Baroness) is interesting. It seems Maria was a prickly and sometimes insecure person who would stop at nothing to keep her family performing on stage together for many years, even long after it became obvious that many of them were craving to break away and do other things. Nevertheless they were a close-knit loving family with a musical gift that has been passed on through the generations, as musical ability so often is. Agathe was not afraid to paint herself in a less than flattering light either, such as the time she descended on some relations to stay, uninvited and unheralded, without having stopped to question whether this might not in fact be inconvenient or rude. I note that she does not elaborate on her long career running a kindergarten, which she undertook after the Trapp Family Singers disbanded, but perhaps she felt it was private and not of general interest. She died in 2010 at the age of 97 having left behind a rich legacy of music, art, this memoir and a life well-lived. Unfortunately nearly all the footnotes are missing from the Kindle edition, so I have dropped off a star for this reason.