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Home: A Memoir of My Early Years

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,650 Ratings  ·  1,125 Reviews
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 th ...more
Hardcover, 339 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Hachette Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

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Mar 20, 2009 Karol rated it really liked it
I'm not sure what I expected from this memoir. Ok, actually, I do. I expected to hear about how Miss Andrews emerged from a well-to-do family well-mannered and with expensive training to become the success that she has been. Why did I think this? Because when I was young, Julie Andrews was one of the two people who epitomized "class" in my mind. And I suppose quite naturally, I thought that came from a very good upbringing and high social status.

I've been proven wrong. I was surprised to find ou
Mike (the Paladin)
Aug 04, 2011 Mike (the Paladin) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
In 1967 I was 15 years old and I fell in love with Julie Andrews. However, due to the facts that there was an almost 17 year age difference and Ms. Andrews was unaware of the situation my love remained unrequited. Eventually I did recover from my broken heart and had to admit to myself that I was quite likely not the first 15 year old to fall in love with someone from (what was then called) the "Silver Screen" (though to be honest in the years since I suspect it has become more common for 15 yea ...more
Sep 06, 2015 Kathryn rated it really liked it
Four stars: because I'm a life-long fan of Julie Andrews I "really liked" reading through the details of her early life.

Andrews' tawdry upbringing (or rather, her being raised by an oft-tawdry couple, her "Mum" and step-dad Ted Andrews) is given just enough description to paint a picture but it stops short of drowning the reader in goo. And one cannot help but think that perhaps Andrews developed that slightly reserved, wholesome, and modest persona -- clearly manifest here -- because of this ba
Jun 05, 2008 Tracy rated it it was ok
I got this book from the library because I thought it would be fun to learn more about Julie Andrews. I wondered how she got started, etc. And her persona is so graceful, calm and assured - I wanted to see behind it a bit.

The problem don't really. There was just no emotion in it and I just don't feel like a got a lot of insight into her. She did share quite a bit about her difficult childhood. But she shared it with exactly the same tone and pacing and matter-of-factness that she used w
Callie Rose Tyler

This book covers a relatively short period of Julie Andrews' life, basically her childhood through her late/mid twenties with a pretty lengthily look at her ancestry (I think she starts with her maternal great-grandmother!) That means no dancing on the rooftops of London...

No frolicking through the hills of Austria...

There was a nice bit towards the end where she talks about meeting Walt Disney and him offering her the part of Mary Poppins. She talks about spending the day at the races with Wa
Nov 21, 2015 Wendy rated it it was amazing
Lovely, so very interesting! I had no idea she had such a rough life--she's so calm and classy that you'd never guess she ever went through anything tough, or at least never went through it with anything but aplomb. It was kind of shocking to realize she was once a little girl who cried over boys and agonized over her appearance and how her peers thought of her. I mean, intellectually I know that everyone was a child once, but it didn't really sink in until I was actually reading it. I only had ...more
Feb 11, 2009 Vanessa rated it really liked it
A spoonful of Julie helps the medicine go down! An entertaining and interesting read.
Jul 11, 2008 Jeanette rated it liked it
Shelves: 2008, nonfiction
I really knew nothing about Julie Andrews before reading this book. I'd seen her musicals and a few of her movies and that was about it.
In this memoir Andrews tells the story of her early life going from a young vaudeville star in England to a Broadway celebrity.
For the most part, I thought it was an interesting book. While the book was written with the grace and dignity that Andrews has come to be known for I found it interesting to learn that she might not be as squeaky clean as the image she
Jul 13, 2008 Heidi rated it liked it
An avid admirer of the best voice on Broadway (and in movie musicals), I couldn't wait to crack open this book after being on the wait list for weeks. However, after reading this pleasant memoir, I closed the book with many more questions about what makes Julie Andrews tick than I had before I finished the first chapter. The strength in this easy read are the few times that Andrews delivers wonderful "Broadway in the making" tales of working opposite such greats as Rex Harrison and Richard Burto ...more
Jul 07, 2011 Maria rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
She may not be able to write but she's endearing. I found this in a bargain bin and feel it was worth it, and it's especially interesting if you happen to be familiar with the musicals -- this early-years memoir focuses on her lonely, difficult childhood, an eye-opener for me, and the two plays My Fair Lady and Camelot, which I could still star in right now if I'd (ahem) had the talent and we were to knock off 30-40 yrs. For those who care as I do, the memoir's valuable because she discusses the ...more
Robin Powers
Jan 29, 2015 Robin Powers rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book, I believe more so because I listened to Julie Andrews reading it herself. Such a fascinating background from a wonderful actress/singer!
Tabitha Vohn
Jan 08, 2016 Tabitha Vohn rated it really liked it
Shelves: being-nosy
Julie Andrews is one of the few celebrities that I'd shed happy tears if I ever met them. The Sound of Music (especially) and Mary Poppins are firmly cemented, nostalgic elements of my childhood, and I've also enjoyed Andrews in the other films I've seen her in. I own two of her Christmas albums and ringing in the holidays with her beautiful voice is always a pleasure.

All that being said, it was lovely to read about her upbringing and rise to stardom. The account of her family life is fascinati
Jun 04, 2012 Jennifer rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the interesting and incredibly detailed view of Julie Andrews' early years prior to her fame. With her pristine image, I never would have guessed at the kind of upbringing she had and the challenges she faced. She was very open with sharing her feelings, thoughts and fears, which made her relatable despite her immense fame. However, the book ended very abruptly with no real "conclusion" and left me wanting more.
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
This lady is one class act! She is the consummate professional. I ran across the talking book at the library. When I saw that it was read by the author I had to give it a try. I do so love her voice. This is one that really works for audio, because she's telling her own story and because she's an excellent "reader," with all her experience in the field. If you listen to the audio version, be sure to slip disk one into your computer and look at the great photos.

My two favorite parts of this book
Apr 08, 2008 Adela rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who like Julie Andrews, or autobiographies in general.
Recommended to Adela by: No one
Julie Andrews' Home is a remembrance of her childhood and the early years of her career, up to the time she arrives in California to shoot Mary Poppins.

Most people tend to have a preconceived idea as to what Julie Andrews' life must have been like...she always seems so polite and proper, and of course she is so talented, that you assume her life was practically perfect in every way. Reading the first chapters of Home, you realize that this simply is not the case.

She tells of her unorthodox famil
Jun 14, 2008 Chad rated it liked it
As a lifelong devotee of Julie Andrews and having read many of her children's books, I knew fairly well what to expect in this, her first volume of autobiography.
She's charming and polite and as forthcoming as she can be, which is to say, not very forthcoming. There's crisp British distance between the events of her childhood and young adulthood, none of which was terribly storybook. The product of a one-night stand (which she didn't know until much later), Andrews dearly loved the man she thoug
Aug 19, 2009 Kristen rated it really liked it
Maybe (like everything in life) it's all about expectations. I didn't have much for this book, and I was so pleasantly, wonderfully surprised by how entertaining it was. First, when Julie Andrews writes, you can hear her saying the words -- she has a wonderfully authentic voice. The book focuses on her life before super stardom (in fact, it ends as she is about to go onto the "Mary Poppins" set), and really is about her childhood (tougher than you'd expect) and growing up on the vaudeville circu ...more
Jan 05, 2009 Rosary rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biographies
Julie Andrews' memoir of her early years is an amazing story of determination and a growing love of art. Ms. Andrews has a wonderful writing style--simple and clear--and her voice comes through quite clearly. While many memoirs gloss over the trials of life to focus on the triumphs, Ms Andrews pays attention to both the hardships of her World War 2 and Post World War 2 life as well as the joys and the triumphs. She also reveals the troubled nature of her home life. In other words, she doesn't sp ...more
Adam Shields
Sep 28, 2011 Adam Shields rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short review: This was a near perfect audiobook. The narration by Julie Andrews could not have been better. The restrained but useful additions of some of her music as transition was very good (something I don't normally like.)

But overall it was just a very charming story of a humble and gracious woman. It only goes through the birth of her first child (just before filming of Mary Poppins) so there is a lot of story left to fill in.

I am really surprised how much I enjoyed this book.

Fully review
Jul 22, 2008 Megan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone
At times a bit sentimental and slow, this autobiography was still an interesting and heart-wrenching read. Plagued with emotional abuse and turmoil during her childhood, Julie Andrews found refuge and acceptance on the stage. I loved reading about her time on Broadway as Eliza Doolittle and Guenevere. I'm definitely hoping for a sequel!
Jan 15, 2015 Jessica rated it really liked it
I was surprised at how much I liked this book. I mean, I like Julie Andrews as much as the next person but who knew she was so interesting? I love hearing how great people become great. She is such a real person and so accessible. Good writing, too. Recommended for people who like memoirs and/or theater.
Mar 30, 2015 Photina rated it it was amazing
This was an interesting read. I know I certainly learned some things about how Julie Andrews grew up. It wasn't what I was expecting. I do hope that she does a second memoir continuing where she left off.
Apr 15, 2014 MiLi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans de Julie Andrews
Shelves: biografías
En Home, Julie Andrews Edwards comparte su vida familiar, su niñez en plena Guerra Mundial y sus primeros años como artista de teatro, primero en Londres y luego en Estados Unidos. Las memorias terminan justo con el nacimiento de su primera hija, época que coincide con los primeros pasos en la producción de Mary Poppins. En mi opinión, este recorte temporal omite la parte más "jugosa" de la vida de la artista, que son sus películas de los 60s, su matrimonio y filmaciones con Blake Edwards, el de ...more
Mar 15, 2014 Kimee rated it liked it
I've loved and looked up to Julie Andrews' my entire life, and her memoir made me appreciate her even more. Her grace and poise are so much grander now that I know all the challenges she had to overcome. I do wish she had been a little less detail oriented and chronological. For example, so many sentences like this:

"I'd fill one of the dirty saucepans with hot water and suds, creating in essence a second sink, and throw in all the cutlery, then I would run the hot water in the main sink, dip...
Todd Cannon
Dec 23, 2013 Todd Cannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know who Julie Andrews is but when I started to read this book I realized that I didn't know anything about her. I guess I knew that she was English and that she had been in several movies that I had seen but that was it. Now, however, I know quite a bit about her.

To begin with her original name was Julia, after her Grandmother. But, when her mother divorced and re-married her mother and step-father wanted her to take her step-father's last name and they did not think that Julia went well with
Feb 26, 2012 Linda rated it liked it
Ahhhhh, Julie Andrews. My earliest memory of her was being, totally immersed in her portrayal of Maria in "Sound of Music" almost fifty years ago.

Such a treat to get a peek into her life; albeit her family life growing up was so sad. But even as a child, her voice was recognized as phenomenal. In spite of the fact that agents and producers sought her out, she never considered she was good enough to make it into Broadway or Hollywood. But make it she did, and her grace, eloquence an
V. Briceland
May 25, 2011 V. Briceland rated it really liked it
I confess that in the early pages of Julie Andrews Edwards' memoirs I began to fear I might be overwhelmed in trying to keep straight the names of all her aunts, dogs, and cousins. There seem, in my weary memory, to have been about a dozen of each. More electrifying, however, is the story that unfolds of the three men vying to be the star's father—her mother's first husband, whom she thought of as her dad, the alcoholic artist of a second husband whom Julie supplanted as a headliner on his own t ...more
Oct 16, 2012 Lucinda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A magical memoir of an iconic figure who will never be forgotten…showbiz and glamour at its best.

Julie Andrews memoir ‘home’ is one of those books that you just loose yourself within, following the life story of one of the most magical and iconic individuals. Full of the glitz and glamour of the showbiz scene and the highs and lows of acting, Andrew’s story is one that takes you from the horrific Blitz to dazzling Broadway all in a snapshot. Since appearing on our screens in the wonderful Mary
Apr 25, 2011 Schmacko rated it really liked it
To many people, Julie Andrews is a voice of class and distinction. So it’s fun to learn that she was the product of her mom’s first, bad and short marriage. She also moved around a lot, shuttled about by World War II and her mother’s second and third marriages, including the affair in between. Andrews made her bedroom in a storage room below a street, and she fended off a slightly creepy alcoholic who became her stepfather. She lost touch with siblings. Artists often come from ugly, painful back ...more
Nov 20, 2012 Gayle rated it really liked it
Shelves: auto-biography
I have been a Julie Andrews fan since I was a young girl, not just because I loved her movies, but because I saw a picture of her and found out she had a face full of freckles!!! I felt I had hope for the future - that I, too, could be pretty!!!

Julie Andrews' childhood is something I NEVER could have guessed! Who knew someone so refined and gracious could come from the dysfunctional, excuse me - D-Y-S-F-U-N-C-T-I-O-N-A-L family situation into which she was born! It was very interesting to read
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Dame Julie Elizabeth Andrews Edwards, DBE is an award-winning English actress, singer, author and cultural icon. She is the recipient of Golden Globe, Emmy, Grammy, BAFTA, People's Choice Award, Theatre World Award, Screen Actors Guild and Academy Award honours. Andrews rose to prominence after starring in Broadway musicals such as My Fair Lady and Camelot, as well as musical films like Mary Poppi ...more
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“Once in a while I experience an emotion onstage that is so gut-wrenching, so heart-stopping, that I could weep with gratitude and joy. The feeling catches and magnifies so rapidly that it threatens to engulf me.” 34 likes
“A rose lay open in full bloom
and, looking from my garden room,
I watched the sun-baked flower fill with rain.
It seemed so fragile,
resting there,
and such a silence filled the air,
the beauty of the moment caused me pain.
"What more?" I thought. "There must be more."
As if in answer then, I saw
one weighty drop that caused my rose to fall.
It trembled, then cascaded down
to earth just staining gentle brown
and, since then, I've felt different.
That's all.”
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