The heroine of MARY POPPINS and THE SOUND OF MUSIC tells her life story from the music halls of London to Broadway stardom. Over the years Julie Andrews has been much interviewed in the press and on television, but she has never before revealed the true story of her childhood and upbringing. In HOME she vividly recreates the years before the ...
The heroine of MARY POPPINS and THE SOUND OF MUSIC tells her life story from the music halls of London to Broadway stardom. Over the years Julie Andrews has been much interviewed in the press and on television, but she has never before revealed the true story of her childhood and upbringing. In HOME she vividly recreates the years before the movies. An idyllic early childhood in Surrey was cut short when her parents divorced and her mother remarried. The family moved to London, and there are vivid scenes of life during the Blitz. Her mother went into musical theatre with her stepfather, who encouraged Julie to have singing lessons which led to the discovery that her voice had phenomenal range and strength for someone her age. Before long she was appearing on stage with her parents. She soon realised how much she enjoyed looking out into the black auditorium with the spotlights on her. By the time she was a teenager, she was supporting her whole family with her singing. A London Palladium pantomime led to a leading role in THE BOYFRIEND on Broadway at 19. Parts in MY FAIR LADY opposite Rex Harrison and CAMELOT with Richard Burton soon followed, and there are wonderful anecdotes about the actors and actresses of her day. But this is far more than a collection of show stories (it's not until the last page of the book that Julie gets the call from Disney for MARY POPPINS), HOME is an honest, touching and revealing memoir of the early life of a true icon.
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I have loved this book from beginning to end, have read it twice so far (will do again). It feels great to read it because it approaches you to this special and amazing person that is Julie. I love her now more than I already did before if that's even possible!! Great book, easy and lovely to read, perfectly written with Julie's touch! Plus listening to her reading it to you (audiobook) will lighten your soul..
Jun 18, 2009
Learn about a great actress
After reading this book, I know much more about Julie Andrews, one of a few actresses I enjoy watching. I never would have guessed, for instance, that her first career was not acting but singing! Perhaps if I were living in England I would have known. I also had no idea that she had passed exams in dance. No wonder she dances so well in some movie scenes and moves so gracefully in others.
But this is also the story of someone with a less-than-pleasant childhood. We all have heard a few stories of people who rose above adversity and became great at something. Unlike most, Julie's family, while disfunctional in many ways, did give her opportunities not available to others. The fact that she took those opportunities and helped herself and her family shows an unselfishness not always seen in some others. And in spite of the adversity, the reader is left with the impression that Julie still loved her parents, while not really liking her step-father and perhaps some other relatives.
I enjoyed this book. I liked the way it was written because it is broken up into realistic pauses, making it easy to read a bit here and a bit there without losing the gist of the story. It is less negative than many autobiographies. When life is busy, this is a good book to break up the bits of stress - like a minivacation, or several of them in a day.
Nov 9, 2008
Home is essential reading for the fans of Julie Andrews. A very enjoyable read. This book is intimate & personal enough too enable the reader to feel they have spent a special time with Julie as it takes us up to her preparation for the starring role in "Mary Poppins". I'm really looking forward to the next book.
Jul 28, 2008
Not put down-able
Here, without self-dramatization or self-pity, a very great lady tells the story of her early years, Her home seems to have been a nightmare, with Julie on stage practically from diapers, surviving per parents' divorce, an impossible, alcoholic step father, a mother slipping her moorings into alcoholism, several siblings in various stages of need, and the consequent familial disintegration. Julie early accepted responsibility for a family always on the verge of insolvency. Out of this rat's nest came the lovely, humble person she reveals herself to be.The personal account of My Fair Lady and Camelot are delightful, and this is a book that you'll want to devour all in one gulp, grateful to have known such a remarkable person.
Publishers Weekly, 2008-05-26 In recounting her early musical and theatrical training, Andrews discusses the importance that she placed on the care and maintenance of her vocal chords. Listeners of this delightful audio will feel extremely grateful that the show business legend demonstrated such remarkable foresight all those decades ago. Her performance represents a shining achievement in vocal quality. The enhanced first CD includes photos from Andrews's personal collection. Sprinkled through Andrews's narration are a few prized archival snippets of her most memorable early Broadway tunes, and Ian Fraser's gentle piano interludes befit the poignancy of the material. Yet the focal point remains firmly planted on the power of the storytelling itself. Andrews projects the tone of a motherly figure confiding with her dearest friends over a cup of tea, and the 13-hour length truly flies by as if they were mere minutes. Simultaneous release with the Hyperion hardcover (Reviews, Jan. 14). (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2008-01-14 Andrews, who has written several children's books (The Great American Mousical; Mandy), both solo and with her daughter, now dances in a different direction with this delightful remembrance of her own childhood and engrossing prelude to her cinematic career. Spanning events from her 1935 birth to the early 1960s, she covers her rise to fame and ends with Walt Disney casting her in Mary Poppins (1963). Setting the stage with a family tree backdrop, she balances the sad struggles of relatives and hard drinkers with mirthful family tales and youthful vocal lessons amid rationing and the London Blitz: "My mother pulled back the blackout curtains and gasped-for there, snuggly settled in the concrete square of the courtyard, was the incendiary bomb." A BBC show led to a London musical at age 12: "My song literally stopped the show. People rose to their feet and would not stop clapping." Her mother's revelation of her true father left her reeling when she was 15, but she continued touring, did weekly BBC broadcasts and was Broadway-bound by 1954 to do The Boyfriend. The heart of her book documents the rehearsals, tryouts and smash 1956 opening of My Fair Lady. Readers will rejoice, since Andrews is an accomplished writer who holds back nothing while adding a patina of poetry to the antics and anecdotes throughout this memoir of bittersweet backstage encounters and theatrical triumphs. (Apr. 1) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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