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Home: A Memoir of My Early Years

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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 Music, Mary Poppins, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Hawaii, 10, 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.

339 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2008

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About the author

Julie Andrews Edwards

60 books1,225 followers
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 Poppins (1964) and The Sound of Music (1965).

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,962 reviews
Profile Image for Karol.
613 reviews27 followers
March 20, 2009
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 out that this was far from the case. As a matter of fact, Julie Andrews Edwards had to overcome a very challenging home situation and many obstacles along the way.

I found her memoir to be of historical significance as she discussed what it was like to live through the German bombing of England in WWII. And I found her insights on broadway and the "art" of theatre most eye-opening. Most of what was written in this memoir of her early years occurred before I knew who Julie Andrews was. That awareness came when, as very young girl, my parents took me to see the movie "Mary Poppins". The memoir ends at the point when work on this film is just beginning.

While Julie Andrews Edwards writes about the good and bad aspects of her early life, she treats most everyone with a large dose of grace. She describes her feelings and how the actions of others made an impact on her, whether for good or otherwise. Yet she stops short of becoming accusatory and ill-tempered in her descriptions of those who harmed her.

I am hoping that another volume of memoirs will be forthcoming because I would so love to read about her life during the times I can remember. But it surely was wonderful to read about the years that shaped this outstanding actress and singer including her training and early stage performances.

And by the way - the other person who epitomized "class" in my younger years was Sidney Poitier. I was surprised when I read his book "The Measure of a Man" that he did not come from privileged circumstances either. Very far from it! "Class" is a wonderful quality that I now understand has nothing to do with social status. It is perhaps grown best by strong, consistent, deeply hopeful people who never give up - and conquer all obstacles without giving in to bitterness and despair.
Profile Image for Moonkiszt.
1,926 reviews205 followers
February 8, 2020
I've always adored Julie Andrews, and this autobio of her early years feels like a sweet and genuine reflection of a more twisted set of circumstances than I had ever imagined her facing. As a reader you kinda want to grab Mom Barb by the lapels and growl, "What the hell??!!!" which doesn't seem to be Julie's reaction. And who knew she was a 3 dad girl. . . although one of those dads needs a swift kick. Anyway. She appears to have had no dreams deferred, this girl. Can't ask for more than that in this life.

Fun to hear about her Broadway days and growing up amongst so many famous folk - My fav is her Roddy McDowall story. Read it - you'll like it, too!

I'm set to read the next book she and her daughter wrote, "Home Work". . .I want to see if it is as sweet or if challenges arise. . . .I suspect they will.

4 stars worth your precious reading time! Have a JA soundtrack running . . . .adds to the ambience!
Profile Image for Mike (the Paladin).
3,145 reviews1,782 followers
August 4, 2011
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 year olds to be "overcome by lust" than to fall in love...just a flash thought).

Time has past and I no longer feel my heart palpitate (much) when I see or hear Ms. Andrews perform, but I have remained a fan of most of her work. I got the audio of this book mainly because it's read by the author herself and I thought the experience of hearing reminisce about her life not only in her own words but in her her own voice would be a rewarding experience.

I found it so.

I would say that anyone who would like to read (or hear) about the era in question (Ms. Andrews Edwards was born in Oct. 1935 and begins her story when she was very young) as well as those of us who are simply fans of the author might find this a rewarding book.

The book begins (as noted above) in the writer's youth and carries us through her young adulthood. It ends around 1963 just as she is beginning to work on Mary Poppins having already (just) been on Broadway in 3 hits, one monster hit, My Fair Lady and a second also huge hit Camelot (her first foray on Broadway was The Boy Friend, it was also her American stage debut, and a hit in it's own right). While I have always chaffed at the fact that she wasn't asked to play Eliza in the movie version of My Fair Lady, Ms. Andrews Edwards herself here is never anything but gracious about this...or for that matter anything. Giving us a clear portrait of her life both pleasant and unpleasant parts she reminds us (without really trying) that it is possible to be civil and of a generous spirit without being false. I find the conclusion inescapable that society in general has become meaner and more petty.

Ms. Edwards relates so much of her own life and her inner thoughts here that those who are her fans will probably enjoy the book simply for that. She met so many people who are now (and actually were then in some cases) legends, Moss Hart, Alan Jay Lerner, Frederick Loewe, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein, Walt Disney and that's only a few. She also met and became fast friends with Carol Burnett, the two of them performing together over the years the relationship based in that friendship.

So, interested in the person or the period, you might like this one.

I enjoyed this book and give it a correspondingly high rating. One of the abiding disappointments in my life is that I never got to see Ms. Andrews as Guinevere in Camelot. I have always had trouble sympathizing with the character and the way Vanessa Redgrave played her in the movie only made it harder. I know that in the stage play the character's struggle is more apparent. But, as is the case with so many (read most)of the great stage plays of the past...it's gone, no record remains. Thus the insight here to this period of time, that play and all the others is wonderful and I'm glad it's here that the story not be lost. I truly hope Ms. Andrews Edwards decides to go on with her memoir and look forward to it if she chooses to do so.
Profile Image for Negin.
591 reviews151 followers
February 16, 2020
I’ve always loved Julie Andrews and truly enjoyed this genuine and heartwarming memoir. It covered Julie Andrews’s childhood during the WWII years, her turbulent childhood, her dysfunctional and yet loving relationship with her mother, as well as her years on Broadway.

This is the village of Walton-on-Thames, where Julie was born. She says that her reference first and foremost is the river.

“There was a publicity photo taken during this period of the family walking together along the front at Blackpool, looking very happy. These days, my brothers and I marvel at how far removed that photograph was from the reality of what was actually going on.” Here is the photo she’s referring to.

A singer from the very beginning, Julie made her stage debut at the age of 11 in London.

By the time she was twelve, she was pretty much supporting her family. Despite all the difficulties, I admire her ability to focus on her blessings, as well as her work ethic. She is pure class.

She married her childhood sweetheart, Tony Walton, a year after my dear parents got married (1959).

The book stops right around the time of the birth of their first daughter, Emma, in the early-1960’s.

This was all before “Mary Poppins” and “The Sound of Music”, which really are the parts that most of us are familiar with. It was only then when I realized that the rest of her memoir is in another book. I want more and am waiting for the second part to go on sale. There being no libraries in my country, I try to get most of my Kindle books on sale.

If, by the way, you’re interested in reading this, I have heard that the audio version is superb, since it’s narrated by Julie Andrews herself.

I loved the part where she described the start of her friendship with Carol Burnett.

Some of my favorite quotes:

“Remember: the amateur works until he can get it right. The professional works until he cannot go wrong.”

“Early one beautiful summer evening, when everyone else was drinking indoors, Tony and I walked down to the river. We lay on the grass under a tree and chatted. At one point, Tony said, ‘Look at the pattern of lace the leaves make against the sky.’ I looked at the canopy above us, and suddenly saw what he saw. My perspective completely shifted. I realized I didn't have his ‘eyes’ -- though once he pointed it out, it became obvious. It made me think, ‘My God, I never look enough,’ and in the years since, I've tried very hard to look -- and look again.”

“’When you get older, darling, buy property. You will never lose on property. You can always trade up, and it will always be something to fall back on. It’s a wonderful investment for your money.’ I have tried to follow her advice.”

“’I have an infallible diet,’ Moss replied. ‘I do it all the time. Just halve your portions. If you normally have two potatoes for dinner, cut it down to one. If you normally have one potato, cut it in half and relish it all the more. That way you don’t deny yourself a thing.’ It worked beautifully, and I slimmed down.”
Profile Image for Deacon Tom F.
1,648 reviews124 followers
October 19, 2020
Marvelous Book!! Bravo!!

I have had a crush on Julie Andrews ❤️❤️since I was a teen and it continues to this day.

This wonderful book covers her early life and career, both of which turned out to be quite exciting.

Her style of writing is very personable and extremely readable. As I traveled in her world, I constantly reflected on my early life. She traveled by train by herself to London for singing lessons at ten years old. I took the train into downtown Philadelphia at the same age. I took singing lessons but nowhere as intense as hers.

I thought she was very rich from royalty from her childhood but I learned she was far from that status.

I loved the book, I still live the woman Dame Julie Andrew’s. I highly recommend.
Profile Image for Ashley Daviau.
1,728 reviews739 followers
February 12, 2017
I had high hopes for this book going into it but sadly it didn't live up to my expectations. From start to finish it completely failed to capture my interest and quite honestly, it's a bloody miracle that I managed to finish it. I found it extremely dry and dull and I was battling the urge to call it quits the whole way through!
Profile Image for Kitty G Books.
1,544 reviews2,931 followers
October 7, 2019
* I audiobook-ed this one and it's actually narrated by the wonderful Julie Andrews herself which made this entire experience so much better *

This is a title I picked up entirely on a whim of seeing it advertised on the Audible site. I have always loved Julie Andrews and she has always inspired and enchanted audiences far and wide. However, most people (myself included) know little about her upbringing and her early life before fame and this read is a retelling in her own words of exactly what her life was like. It's interesting to note that not everything has been handed to her or easy, in fact she has put up with some tricky times, but there is a lot to love in this book and loads to discover not just about Julie, but about time in Britain when she grew up.

I have lived in or around Surrey and London for the majority of my life and so I am intimately familiar with some of the areas where Julie grew up. I had no idea so much of her life was spent around similar areas to me, and I could fully relate to many of the stories she told either for the location or the British-ness of them.

Listening to Julie talking through the Second World War and also the Queen's coronation was fascinating. I am, of course, too young to have lived through either and whilst one terrifies the other excites and finding out about her experience od both was fascinating.

There is a second part to her story which has not yet come out on Audible (although it will in a few days) and as this too is narrated by Julie I fully intend to pick it up because she is a fascinating and accomplished lady. Her story is incredible and her discussion of theatre, TV, film and technical singing is actually of great interest even though I have no real associations to any of those.

Overall, a stellar audiobook and if you like Julie now, you will like her all the more after reading about her life. 5*s
Profile Image for Heidi.
1,188 reviews126 followers
April 3, 2022
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 Burton.

A wonderfully down-to-earth Andrews doesn't seem to realize that she was a great at all... there are plenty of stories of stage fright, embarrassment and gaffes. She seems blissfully unaware of her own stage presence (which leapt off the screen and hit me hard as a child watching The Sound of Music for the first time in 1970). Maybe that's why this book never goes too deep into what was her driving force, other than the weight of keeping her somewhat unstable family afloat.

Moss Hart described her great English strength of character in a great quote that probably sums Andrews up best... Despite her childhood angst, teen awkwardness and the lack of a stable home environment, Andrews just kept looking forward. However, I would have loved a little less "stiff upper lip" and a little more depth of emotion-- but there's no bitterness or anger here-- just wisps of sadness and the occasional moment of regret and then more marching onward.

Andrews collected an amazing array of friends along the way. Here's one life that made me wish I could have been a fly on the wall and filled in some of the emotional blanks.
Profile Image for maryamongstories.
103 reviews536 followers
July 28, 2020
I absolutely adore this woman, and this book made me feel emotional too many times.
Profile Image for Just a Girl Fighting Censorship.
1,802 reviews113 followers
October 5, 2014

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 Walt and touring Disneyland with him which was very interesting but felt like a tease. I really hope that she writes another book that covers her film career.

As much as I love Julie Andrews and think that she is just amazing, and as much as I did enjoy this book...it felt like it would never freakin end! There was just way too many details! First there are all the names that she is constantly dropping none of which have any meaning to the average reader. We don't need to know the entire cast of the pantomime you did when you were 12. Then there are the most mundane details that are interesting to literally no one. I don't need to know the order in which you do dishes...cutlery and saucepan last. I don't need to know how your housekeeper cleaned the floor...swept out a foot from the walls, dusted, and then vacuumed. Fascinating!

The majority of this book focused on stage/theater life which was interesting but felt very repetitive. That being said Julie Andrews has a type of charm that is irresistible, a voice that you never tire of listening to, and she provided several interesting anecdotes. I especially enjoyed hearing about her growing up during WWII and the London Blitz, the live airing of Cinderella, her friendship with Carol Burnett, and co-starring with Richard Burton in Camelot.

Despite sound unpleasant happenings and the fact that her mother was a total and complete bitch, Julie Andrews never complains or speaks ill of anyone.

Unlike many of the other memoirs and biographies that I have read Julie Andrews turned out to be exactly who I always thought she was, a true lady in every sense of the word.

Overall, this was enjoyable, but long and very detailed. I would recommend it for theater fans and Broadway buffs over those who are casual fans of her films. Listening to the audio book is a must as it is narrated by the woman herself peppered with extremely brief (hardly worth mentioning) musical soundbites.
Profile Image for Kathryn.
Author 6 books243 followers
September 6, 2015
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 background.

Those who are not die-hard Andrews fans may not be as engrossed with the book as I was since it sometimes boils down to a series of chronological anecdotes regarding famous names, personal friends, and relatives of Andrews as she morphed into a star. However, the following readers will most likely enjoy it very much:

1) Dedicated Julie Andrews fans, naturally.

2) Entertainment history aficionados.
Numerous chapters detail Andrews' experience with British vaudeville in the 1940's-1950's and later, her involvement with the late '50's-early '60's mega-Broadway hits, My Fair Lady and Camelot.

3) WWII history buffs.
Alright, three chapters only, but they relate little Julie's reaction to the Blitz and I found them fascinating.

4) Vocalists.
Yes, Andrews was gifted but she also worked very hard on developing then keeping her instrument in shape during her strenuous Broadway schedules; her dedication and discipline to her craft is inspiring.

I saw the great Andrews in person once and here are my impressions: http://www.yourhitparade.blogspot.com...

Detailed notes from the Q&A: http://www.yourhitparade.blogspot.com...
Profile Image for Tracy Miller.
985 reviews38 followers
June 6, 2008
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 is...you 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 when relaying an amusing anecdote from her showbiz past (most of which weren't that amusing and also felt flat.) It was like she was in a courtroom, asked to account for everything that happened between two particular time periods and so she did, to the best of her recollection. There was no insight, no connections made, beyond the very obvious. Perhaps that is too much to be expected.

The book ended rather abruptly, after the birth of her first daughter. I assume that further books will be written to carry on the story. She makes several allusions throughout the book about getting ahead of herself, and what comes later, and she never gets to those events in this book. I'm not sure I'm really intrigued enough to read further.
Profile Image for Carla.
5,714 reviews121 followers
June 15, 2020
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. 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.
Profile Image for Brina.
873 reviews4 followers
October 21, 2015
Interesting account of Julie Andrews' early years. Often we think of celebrities as having everything handed to them. When we find out their lives weren't always the easiest it humanizes them and makes them more accessible to us.
Profile Image for Gary Sundell.
327 reviews51 followers
May 4, 2022
Julie Andrews from birth through heading to Disney to make her first movie, Mary Poppins. Listened to the audio book which is delightful.
Profile Image for Allison Parker.
648 reviews19 followers
December 1, 2018
If you think listening to Julie Andrews describe the gardens, cozy interiors, and dusty smelling theaters of her youth sounds like a grand old time, have I got the audiobook for you.

If you DO NOT think listening to Julie Andrews describe the gardens, cozy interiors, and dusty smelling theaters of her youth sounds like a grand old time, maybe give it a chance anyway.

Julie Andrews' memoir of her childhood, adolescence, and early career in Broadway is warmly and fondly remembered and told. The little vignettes explored are darling and occasionally moving, but honestly, Julie Andrews can read anything out loud any time and I will BE THERE. Listen to this magnificent woman say the phrase, "After a while..." It is the auditory equivalent of eating shortbread, gently crumbling and melting in your mouth.

Profile Image for Holly.
328 reviews5 followers
December 2, 2022
Long live the Queen of (in) my heart.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
110 reviews18 followers
June 4, 2012
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.
Profile Image for Laura.
675 reviews98 followers
October 12, 2020
A riveting look at the early life and career of Dame Julie Andrews - I couldn’t put this memoir down. Much research and detail has gone into this book, even going so far back as to the authors own great grandparents. It’s exceptionally well written, and Andrews’ depictions of life in the golden era of Broadway and the West End are mesmerising.

I anticipate the second part memoir - Homework - will be just as pleasing. A recommended read for any fan of Andrews and her prolific career.
Profile Image for Vanessa.
16 reviews5 followers
February 11, 2009
A spoonful of Julie helps the medicine go down! An entertaining and interesting read.
Profile Image for Jeanette.
320 reviews70 followers
July 12, 2008
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 puts out there would have you believe. This was not your typical tawdry celebrity memoir filled with garish and explicit details but Andrews did not necessarily have the life I would have expected. Her growing up years were not easy and frankly I thought her mother was pretty horrendous. I was impressed by how complimentary and kind Andrews was in her descriptions of her mother. After all that happened she could have easily put her mother through the wringer but she didn't take that road.
I would recommend this book to fans of Julie Andrews or fans of the theater in general. There was a lot of history and lots of name dropping of people in the theater that I am completely unfamiliar with. She really lost my interest at times because of this.
The book also ended very abruptly. There were so many unfinished stories that I have to assume she is writing a second memoir. This one ends just after the birth of her daughter and as Andrews is leaving for California to start filming Mary Poppins. I was left wondering what happened to her family and what happened to her first husband? Throughout the book she talks about and refers to her second husband but when this book ended she was still happily married to her first husband so what happened? I can only hope my assumption about another memoir is true so that some of my questions can be answered.
Profile Image for Jeanette (Ms. Feisty).
2,179 reviews1,877 followers
November 17, 2008
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:

1)Her stories about what it was like in England during WWII when she was a little girl. I can't imagine watching a dogfight take place right overhead, or having to go spend the night in the subway tunnels during bombing raids.

2)Her fun and funny stories about the time she spent performing in the stage production (Broadway and London) of My Fair Lady. She conveys her deepest love and respect for the inimitable Moss Hart, and shares the hilarious moments with Rex Harrison and the rest of the cast.

I do hope she writes another book where this one left off before she goes to the great big stage in the sky.
Profile Image for Wendy.
406 reviews54 followers
November 21, 2015
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 some vague awareness of the fact.

It was worse, though, when she talked about sex! I mean she's Julie Andrews! I grew up with her as the nanny, the matron, in Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music and, much later as it didn't come out until I was in high school, The Princess Diaries. She's not supposed to have sex! It's like hearing your mom or your grandmother talk about sex--totally mind-boggling and more than a little icky!

But, my 'oh my gosh, this person I look up to is actually a human being' issues aside, I really, really enjoyed this book. My only real qualm is that it ended too soon! She needs to come out with another memoir!
Profile Image for Lori.
1,375 reviews
August 31, 2018
I would give this book a 4.5. I have always been a fan of Julie Andrews. This memoir is from her birth to mid twenties. She covers her sometimes difficult childhood and her career as a singer on radio and stage from age 12. Her work on stage starring in plays. I especially liked it when she talked about being in My Fair Lady. she ends the book with her on a plane off to film the movie Mary Poppins. I liked that I got to learn more about this talented lady. I just wish she could have added some more years of her life especially if she wrote about working on Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music. It has been ten years since she wrote this book. I really hope she decides to write about some more years of her life and career.
Profile Image for Maria.
132 reviews34 followers
July 7, 2011
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 two plays in great depth.
180 reviews98 followers
February 6, 2018
3.5 stars
(*** not dure what percentage we stopped lutenist at because the audio book version on GoodReads only shows it has having 13 pages.)

This was a great book. It was so nice to hear about Julie Andrews' childhood from her own lips instead of it being written by someone else who did a lot of the research. It was enlightening to hear her take on what she remembers of her experiences with World War II because she was still pretty young at the time.
Profile Image for J.
670 reviews66 followers
October 24, 2019
Actual rating: 3.5 stars

Even though I cannot honestly say that this was a consistently engaging and fun memoir, I still found it well-written and informative. I would recommend it to Julie Andrews fans who want to know more about her childhood years and theater career.
Profile Image for Laurie DelaCruz.
237 reviews5 followers
February 7, 2022
Reading this book written by Julie Andrews gave me a strange sense of familiarity, like my brain was telling me, "Yes, this is exactly how I pictured she would be." Funny, gentle, elegant, and a bit bawdy at times.

My heart broke for her when I read about her childhood. Broken homes are horrendous, and hers was no different. I felt so sad for her father, for her other siblings, and for Julie herself. She had so much to overcome, and she did it with such grace.

The fascinating tidbits of the goings-on behind the scenes of her Broadway shows were so fun! And how many of the movers and shakers of that age that she met so casually! And her first time to Disneyland was with Walt himself, who gave her and her husband a private tour in his golf cart! Amazing!

She has a wonderful, easy way of storytelling, not emphasizing any one thing over another, or playing up her role in anything. Almost a humble tone to the whole book, which I found refreshing.

I can't wait to get the next book she wrote.
Profile Image for Hannah Blankenship.
23 reviews2 followers
December 19, 2022
Highly recommend the audiobook because she reads it and there are a couple clips of her singing. Obviously I am a huge fan of hers but I do think the book could have been written in a more interesting way? And could’ve been more about her feelings and who she was. It was just sorta a factual run through, and also probably would’ve been very interesting if I was more into theater. Still a delight though to hear where she came from and some really cool anecdotes (getting a tour of Disneyland by Walt Disney, for example!)
Profile Image for Mary Kay.
2 reviews1 follower
January 6, 2022
In this book,Home: A Memoir of My Early Years, Julie Andrews tells the story of growing up in a divorced family and working the Vaudeville circuit with her mother and alcoholic stepfather. Eventually her mother becomes an alcoholic. Although Andrews expresses unhappiness with her mother, she never reveals the effect it had on her emotionally to see her mother washed up, drunk and unhappy. Andrews makes it to Broadway, but again, she more or less tells us how it happened but doesn't tell us how it effected her emotionally. The rest of the book is filled with stories that mean something only to her. It is as if she wanted to put all her memories down on paper before she forgot them and now we have to remember the time she saw Judy Garland in concert and it was "just terrific." I don't think many people care about that, or about the time you went to play practice in a hurricane or the nice woman who taught you how to clean your house and arranged for you to have a personal driver. I would care more if she wrote about those stories purely amazed that she went from rags to riches, but she doesn't. She writes as if her new lifestyle were normal. After all these meaningless stories, Mrs. Andrews ends her book at 1964, right when things were about to get interesting.

Here's whats interesting. She married a man named Tony, however, in one of her stories she mentions meeting Blake, her current husband. She says something about (and I can't quote it exactly but something like)...had I known then that he would be my husband... It always seemed that her marriage to Tony was perfect. She and Tony never fought and I thought that if she remarried, Tony must have died. In the acknowledgement section, we learn he is still alive. What happened? They seemed so happy. If she wanted something more from that relationship, she was too guarded to tell her readers her true feelings. She was offered a role in a movie but wrote about it as if it were no big deal. Most Broadway stars do not become movie stars. She is either conceited and didn't think it was a big deal, or she is too guarded to tell us how she really felt about it. I suspect she is both conceited and guarded. I read a Walt Disney biography that had a big section on Julie Andrews being so upset that she lost out to Audrey Hepburn for the movie version of My Fair Lady. She did not want to take the part of Mary Poppins over Eliza and kept Walt waiting. Her account of that situation was that she understood that Audrey Hepburn was an established name in the movies and thus made more sense for her to have the part. Other accounts have her brooding over it. Why couldn't she be honest with her readers about how she really felt. She perfected Eliza on Broadway. Eliza made her famous. Of course she would have been upset she lost that part and readers wouldn't have felt she was wrong for feeling that way had she been honest with us.

Before she ends her book, she reveals that she just had a baby, was so happy and bought a house in England that she never moved into (and to quasi quote again) "for many reasons that I couldn't know when I bought it, would turn my would upside down." What does that mean? What happened? I thought she would tell us, but then she ended the book. I still want to know, why did she get divorced? Not many people can say they worked with Walt Disney, what was it like? Give us details. How did she find her transition from Broadway to the big screen? Did she miss Broadway? How did the new type of fame change her? She became a household name to generations to come- what did she think of that? I heard that she is not able to sing as well anymore do to polyps Is that correct? How did that change her life?

Julie Andrews is so guarded that she comes off as conceited, as if she expects good things to happen to her. By not telling us how she really feels about things, it makes readers feel like she doesn't care about us enough to tell us the truth. I don't expect too many people my age to care about her life on Broadway. Readers that knew her then are older now. The people who buy this book in the future will know her from her work in the movies and those people, like me, will want to know about her life during that time. She gives us no information as her book concludes with her flight to America.
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