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Home: A Memoir of My Early Years [Hardcover]

Julie Andrews
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

7 Mar 2008
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, Julie was supporting her whole family with her singing performing. 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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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; First Edition First Impression edition (7 Mar 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297643576
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297643579
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 465,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"the book is magic... Andrews is far too polite to exploit her catalogue of hurts, but some moments really sting" (Antonia Quirke SUNDAY TIMES)

This book is several dozen cuts above the usual showbiz memoir. I eagerly await the next instalment" (Roger Lewis SUNDAY EXPRESS)

"it is precisely the frankness which gives the book such an admirbly unsentimental tone." (Michael Arditti DAILY TELEGRAPH)

"Andrews's book is not devoid of fascination. How could it be?" (DAILY MAIL)

"will astond her friends and those who have followed her career." (DAILY EXPRESS)

"lays bare several family secrets, including that she was born of an illicit affair" (DAILY MAIL)

"most of the book is painfully shrewd and written with delicacy and pathos" (Emma Brockes INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE)

"The quality of her prose is such that you are remindeded she is already an established children's author.." (SCOTSMAN)

"Julie tells the really quite harrowing part of her childhood with the same breeziness as she does her subsequent stardom." (Nicky Haslam SPECTATOR)

"Dame Julie's precise voice drips from every sentence" (Gay Times)

"Home is an honest self-portrait by a much-loved star who has a thumpingly good story to tell and tells it well." (3SIXTY)

"Candid and perceptive, providing a vivid portrait of her formative years" (Good Book Guide)

"Very well written as one would expecr from such an accomplished writer.. but with not a trace of self-pity from the author." (ReFRESH)

There are revelations and anecdotes by the score in prose that is as immaculate as its author" (Christie Hickman S Magazine, Sunday Express)

"her prose is confident and somewhat romantic, filled with reminiscences of an England that no longer exists." (Paul Vale The Stage)

Book Description

The heroine of MARY POPPINS and THE SOUND OF MUSIC tells her life story from the music halls of London to Broadway stardom. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A revealing insight 31 Oct 2008
By Mr. A. Whiteside TOP 1000 REVIEWER
At first,I found this book to be a bit slow and felt that it had been written with an eye towards the American market.Gradually though,I was won over by Julie Andrews very interesting early life and the shocks she tells of.There may well be an element of disappointment when you realise that she doesn't discuss her film career at all,but her life growing up during World War 2 is compelling and interesting.

This auto-biography is an honest account of her life and is filled with various accounts she may well have kept hidden.The fact that her beloved father wasn't her biological Dad,possible incestuous intentions from her step father,the fact that she never really trusted her mother,the stigma of alcohlism around her step father and her mother.Julie pulls no punches here and deserves credit for her approach to this book.There are many points of interest about her life on stage and the many people she worked with such as Rex Harrison,Richard Burton and Roddy McDowell.She also shows she has a fine sense of humour at times.

I have no problem at all in recommending this fine book and it certainly makes you relish the prospect of a follow up that delves into her life in the movies.I feel that the inevitable sequel will be even more interesting.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely memoir 26 Oct 2008
By Annabel Gaskell VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This was a lovely showbiz memoir to read - Julie has the ability to see the good in everybody and make friends wherever she goes. This first volume of memoirs stops at the point Walt Disney was poised to make her an Oscar-winning megastar, but is no less interesting for that. I hope there will be volume two before long as I'd love her take on the first two films I saw at the cinema which were a soundtrack to my childhood - Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music. But enough of that, back to her early years...
Julie had an interesting childhood in Surrey, as her vaudeville entertainer mother split with her father quite early to take up with her Canadian stage partner. Once they realised that Julie had a voice very early on, her path was set and she entered the world of showbiz. Soon she was supporting her mother's side of the family as her stepdad fell into alcoholism and her mother not being able to cope.
Meanwhile, her loving Dad was a refuge of calmness for her - and remained so even after she found out he wasn't actually her biological father. This was something her mother threw into conversation one day - Julie was very level-headed about it and after meeting him wrote saying she didn't want to develop a relationship.
Her squeaky clean image as the virginal teenager with a glorious voice served her well on stage, managing complex arias with ease. Eventually she was spotted for a TV variety show, leading to recruitment for her first starring role on the London stage as the original Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady. Despite having no real acting experience she made the role her own, repeating it on Broadway, but famously lost out in the film to Audrey Hepburn as the studios wanted a film star, not a film unknown.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'HOME is were the heart is' 4 May 2008
This book was written with real heart!Reading about Julie Andrews home/work life was really interesting.Loved every minute detail of it.There wasn't any wasted moments,only wished there was more of it(plus photos).Really can't wait for the next instalment(hope it's not too long!!!)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Home Is Where Julie's Heart Is 5 July 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful 8 Jun 2009
'Home' is a brilliantly written memoir with many touching and powerful moments. Not necessarily something general audiences would expect of Julie Andrews. Her mannerism, her aura and beauty often make people think she's got an actual high class background which is far from the truth.

The book is very inspiring, it tells the story of a little girl with enormous talent who made it really big -- a success that was well deserved. Her journey from poverty to stardom had many difficult moments and if it's possible, it evokes even more admiration for the Dame.

Especially classy is the way she refuses to put anybody down and treats everyone with respect, however she remains honest all along which does convey the hurt some people and events managed to inflict on her. It's a great read and I highly recommend it to everyone.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Present for Mum
Published 1 month ago by Niki
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
I love this book. I admit i am slightly obsessed with Julie Andrews and her work but i love how this book talks about her growing up and starting her career. Read more
Published 7 months ago by tess
5.0 out of 5 stars Practically perfect in every way
Loved this book, very well written evoking a real sense of the times. Can't wait for the next one! There will be another one won't there?
Published 8 months ago by Nick Simmonds
4.0 out of 5 stars Julie Andrews 'Home'
Can't do a full review as I have only just read a couple of chapters. However so far it's a good read, giving a fascinating insight into Julie's early family life and early career.
Published 10 months ago by Terence Donohue
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful story
Kindle edition arrives so quickly. This is a wonderful book. Interesting, heartbreaking, empowering. Julie Andrews writes with such grace. Highly recommended.
Published 18 months ago by VivG
5.0 out of 5 stars A magical memoir of an iconic figure who will never be...
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. Read more
Published on 16 Oct 2012 by Lucinda
5.0 out of 5 stars Very legitimate work
I'm afraid I can't be very objective when it comes to Julie Andrews. So, do not judge me if I say that I adored this book. Read more
Published on 10 Feb 2012 by Maria
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I love Julie Andrews work. The book was great a good gift for anyone who knows Mary Poppins, The sound of music, etc.
Published on 20 Feb 2011 by Brenda
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
I read the book before I oredered the cd. I have not heard it yet, but I am very much looking forward to it being by Julie Andrews herself. Read more
Published on 6 Jan 2011 by Christine R. Christensen
5.0 out of 5 stars Top book in the world
I thought the book is brillant you see the behind scenes of Julie Andrews's early life which for me is brilliant because she is my idol and I look up to Julie Andrews myself. Read more
Published on 30 July 2010 by bebeatbear
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