Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Home by Julie Andrews

A few months back I saw an interview with the lovely actress and singer Julie Andrews. During the interview she discussed her latest book, an autobiography. (I say latest because she has written several, mostly children's books and mostly under her married name of Edwards.) This autobiography covers the early part of Ms. Andrews' life and is called Home.

Home is a key theme in this autobiography, in fact in her opening chapter Ms. Andrews mentions that her first word (according to her mother) was in fact, "home." As entertainers, her parents were on the road a great deal and this meant they were rarely at home, but when they were it was a retreat of sorts. Unfortunately her home life was not always a happy one.

I found the book a little slow to start, but mostly because there were so many details, so much groundwork that Ms. Andrews needed to lay before she could progress with the story of her life. As her own musical and entertaining career picked up, so did the book. By the middle I was thoroughly engrossed. I found her telling of life at the end of the Vaudeville days and the dawn of modern Broadway most fascinating.

Surprisingly, Ms. Andrews' book ends in the midst of her stage career -- at the brink of her first staring film role in Disney's Mary Poppins. I suspect that at some point in the future she will complete her story with a final autobiography, though she may wish to wait until much later in her life as she still living out chapters through her current adventures.

My memories of Julie Andrews are a mesh of a beautiful singing voice in Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music and as a much older woman in films such as Shrek and The Princess Diaries. As a friend recently remarked to me -- it is interesting, even fascinating that Julie is able to balance a reputation as a wholesome actress and yet, is praised for her role in Victor/Victoria by groups endorsing "alternative lifestyles".

Overall, I found the book interesting, one I'm glad I took the time to read, and I hope to have the opportunity to read the rest of her story some day if she makes it available. Unless you are an avid fan of Ms. Andrews I would suggest passing on the purchase of this book and borrow it from your library.


Carrie said...

Good to note. Thanks for writing up a review of it. =)

Nicola said...

I have this on my library and list and can't wait to read it. Thanks for the review!

Rebecca Reid said...

I too have fond memories of Julie Andrews from my childhood. I'm very interested in reading this!s