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Home: A Memoir of My Early Years Hardcover – Apr 1 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books; First Edition edition (April 1 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786865652
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786865659
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 2.9 x 24.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 612 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #215,548 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

Syphilis, alcoholism, infidelity, and indeterminate parentage may seem improbable touchstones in the back story of one who didn't so much portray as embody the blithe Maria in The Sound of Music. But as this memoir of her formative years makes clear, there is more gravitas to Andrews than meets the eye. From her childhood in rural England and initial forays into British theatre, to her first massive successes on Broadway and in the West End--notably as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady--Home puts her celebrated career in context. While arguably offering more detail about the Andrews family than necessary, it nevertheless dishes wonderful anecdotes about legends and Andrews contemporaries like Noël Coward, Rex Harrison, Robert Goulet, Richard Burton, and Rodgers and Hammerstein, in prose as crisp and immaculate as the author herself. It also offers a revealing look into the intricate, exhaustive craft of performing--skills often taken for granted in tabloid times. Since the book ends just as Andrews is about to launch into the celluloid stratosphere, can Volume II be far behind? After Home, it would be most welcome. --Kim Hughes

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. 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)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on July 5 2008
Format: Audio CD
At 25, Julie Andrews had it all: She was a Broadway star about to take on her first starring role in a film, Mary Poppins, she was happily married, and she had just become the mother of Emma. Her smile and lovely voice were known to tens of millions around the world.

But the path from her origins to those heights was not the expected one. In this candid memoir, Ms. Andrews takes us for an eye-opening ride through her family's genealogy, her career as a youthful vaudeville star, her experiences in becoming her family's sole support at a young age, and the many amazing things that happen in performing companies. It's a wild trip!

Before the book ends, she gives us behind-the-scenes looks at many of the giants of 20th century entertainment including Moss Hart, Alan Jay Lerner, Fritz Lowe, T.H. White, Walt Disney, Rex Harrison, Richard Burton, and Carol Burnett.

She is a lady in all that she has to say, but she does have opinions. The finely nuanced reading captures her true feelings in subtle ways that the book cannot hope to do. I could have listened to this recording all night, every night. It was marvelous!
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Format: Hardcover
Do I really need to explain why this book is so fabulous?

Julie Andrews is the epitome of class. Having starred in such classic films like Victor Victoria, The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins and more, she's one of the best actresses we have on the planet with a voice that moves even the coldest soul.

She's also one hell of a writer. This memoir tells of her upbringing in England and how she struggled to become an actress. It ends just before she reaches fame, so it really is a memoir of her early years. I can only hope that she continues her memoirs with a second volume because the first one left me begging for more.

Just as classy and wonderful and intimate as Dame Julie Andrews is in real life, the book feels like an intimate get together with your best friend. It's wonderfully written, an insightful look at the beginnings at one of the worlds greatest talents and just plain fantastic.
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Format: Hardcover
I admit it -- I've always loved Julie Andrews. What I loved about this memoir however was how real the anecdotes were. The book ends long before her Mary Poppins and Sound of Music days and fills us with colourful pictures from her childhood. Often we think that icons are 'just made', but Julie Andrews lets us see all of the work, difficulty and grind of getting to success. Unlike other autobiographies however, the reader isn't left feeling grimy and sad. You can almost hear her bright cheerful voice throughout the whole book. It feels like a natural journal interspersed with little musings, discussions about small things she loved and things she found humourous. You realize that a biographer would have removed these things --- but they are what make this memoir so lovely and so like her.
After reading this memoir, I admired her even more and never lost my earlier love for all of her work and her music. I can't wait until the next memoir of the later years is published.
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