2677068Home: A Memoir of My Early Years by Julie Andrews Edwards

Published April 1st 2008 by Hachette Books, Hyperion

4 Stars:

Two of my all-time favourite movies are The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins, so of course I wanted to read Julie Andrew’s memoir. She actually tells her story in two books, the first from her birth until just before she makes her first Hollywood movie, which was published back in 2008. I enjoyed her easy and graceful manner. She always looked for the best in people yet is honest in this telling. She did not have the easiest youth. She lived through the blitz in London in WWII, her parents’ divorce and mother’s remarriage as well as life on the stage starting as a young child.

I got a new appreciation of what it is like to perform on Broadway, day after day. Julie had some major issues with her voice over the years with some surgeries to correct problems. Her life on stage beginning with vaudeville, then stage with her parents and finally Broadway was busy, yet not as exciting as I would have thought. There is humour and lighthearted stories as she shares her relationships with some other famous actors and actresses. I am definitely ready to read/listen to the next book, Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years. I listened to the audiobook narrated by the lady herself, which always makes memoirs more enjoyable to me. It is wonderful to have them tell me their stories instead of reading about them. The drawback is that I did not get to see all the pictures that are included in the print version.

Home: A Memoir of My Early YearsSynopsis: Since her first appearance on screen in Mary Poppins, Julie Andrews has played a series of memorable roles that have endeared her to generations. But she has never told the story of her life before fame. Until now.In Home: A Memoir of My Early Years, Julie takes her readers on a warm, moving, and often humorous journey from a difficult upbringing in war-torn Britain to the brink of international stardom in America. Her memoir begins in 1935, when Julie was born to an aspiring vaudevillian mother and a teacher father, and takes readers to 1962, when Walt Disney himself saw her on Broadway and cast her as the world’s most famous nanny.

Along the way, she weathered the London Blitz of World War II; her parents’ painful divorce; her mother’s turbulent second marriage to Canadian tenor Ted Andrews, and a childhood spent on radio, in music halls, and giving concert performances all over England. Julie’s professional career began at the age of twelve, and in 1948 she became the youngest solo performer ever to participate in a Royal Command Performance before the Queen. When only eighteen, she left home for the United States to make her Broadway debut in The Boy Friend, and thus began her meteoric rise to stardom.

Home is filled with numerous anecdotes, including stories of performing in My Fair Lady with Rex Harrison on Broadway and in the West End, and in Camelot with Richard Burton on Broadway; her first marriage to famed set and costume designer Tony Walton, culminating with the birth of their daughter, Emma; and the call from Hollywood and what lay beyond.

Julie Andrews’ career has flourished over seven decades. From her legendary Broadway performances, to her roles in such iconic films as The Sound of MusicMary PoppinsThoroughly Modern MillieHawaii10, and The Princess Diaries, to her award-winning television appearances, multiple album releases, concert tours, international humanitarian work, best-selling children’s books, and championship of literacy, Julie’s influence spans generations. Today, she lives with her husband of thirty-eight years, the acclaimed writer/director Blake Edwards; they have five children and seven grandchildren.

Featuring over fifty personal photos, many never before seen, this is the personal memoir Julie Andrews’ audiences have been waiting for.