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Home: A Memoir of My Early Years [Kindle Edition]

Julie Andrews
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (250 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $6.01 (38%)
Sold by: Hachette Book Group

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Book Description

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.



Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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 theater, 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. In recounting her early musical and theatrical training, Andrews discusses the importance that she placed on the care and maintenance of her vocal chords. Listeners of this delightful audio will feel extremely grateful that the show business legend demonstrated such remarkable foresight all those decades ago. Her performance represents a shining achievement in vocal quality. The enhanced first CD includes photos from Andrews's personal collection. Sprinkled through Andrews's narration are a few prized archival snippets of her most memorable early Broadway tunes, and Ian Fraser's gentle piano interludes befit the poignancy of the material. Yet the focal point remains firmly planted on the power of the storytelling itself. Andrews projects the tone of a motherly figure confiding with her dearest friends over a cup of tea, and the 13-hour length truly flies by as if they were mere minutes.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 618 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion (April 1, 2008)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0013TTKWQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,155 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
159 of 164 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
I am convinced that any baby boomer who does not admit to having had a bit of a crush on Julie Andrews is lying. I recall even as a toddler how I begged my parents to let me see Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music multiple times only to enjoy those movies again in sing-along versions forty years later. The crispness of her vocal delivery and the angularity of her wholesome appeal just seemed right before the counter-cultural revolution took over with the escalation of the Vietnam War. However, she does not get to that career pinnacle in her memoir, as her story stops just as she flew to Los Angeles in 1963 to film Mary Poppins. It's a major credit to Andrews that she makes intriguing those early years prior to her international success with such perceptive candor and gentle humor. Perhaps because of her long-standing success as a children's book author, she displays a great deal of dexterity as a writer.

Andrews' childhood memories are full of self-effacing observations about a most unenviable home life. Belying her image of elegant breeding, she was raised in poverty by an alcoholic mother and a lecherous stepfather during the dwindling days of vaudeville in England. Already a part of her parents' music hall act by age nine, Andrews found she had an acrobatic soprano voice that so astounded the press that she performed for the Queen and became a nightly sensation at the London Palladium. She had a range of over four octaves and yet most tellingly labels her voice "freakishly high".
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Julie, in her own words April 3, 2008
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Coming some 60 years after her first professional recording, this audiobook is sort of the pinnacle of Ms. Andrews' recording career. The life of Julie Andrews, as written by Julie Andrews, and read to you, as if she were personally telling you the story of her life, by Julie Andrews.

Ms. Andrews' life and career have both been well-documented by biographers, but everything takes on new meaning and becomes personal when told by Ms. Andrews herself. And, of course, there are anecdotes and details that only Ms. Andrews herself can share with her audience, so there is much for even the most devoted fan to learn from this book. Here, she tells the story of her life from her earliest childhood to her career as a child star, from her journey to Broadway and television through to being cast by Walt Disney in MARY POPPINS.

The audiobook on CD is 13 hours long, spread over 11 CDs. Each disc contains seven to ten tracks; some chapters are one track long, and others are two to three tracks long. The production is straightforward and what you would expect of an audiobook -- read clearly, recorded well. Of course, I'd be happy hearing Ms. Andrews read the dictionary to me, but there is something magical and mesmerizing about her voice here, describing her own life.

At the end of the audiobook, Ms. Andrews says, "Thank you for listening." This is the only detail she has wrong -- we, the audience, should be saying to her, "Thank you for telling." I only hope we don't have to wait too long for the next part of the Julie Andrews story...
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I came of age listening to the original cast recordings of MY FAIR LADY and CAMELOT, and my first glimpse of Julie Andrews was in snippets from the latter show on ED SULLIVAN. I fell in love with her crystalline soprano and crisp diction and have always followed her career. When I heard she was writing a memoir of her early years, I couldn't wait to read it. After the book arrived from Amazon, I devoured it in two sittings, staying up late to finish. In beautiful, unflinching prose she fills in the gaps I've wondered about over the years, giving insights into her evolution from a young English girl with a big voice to the coloratura toast of Broadway--a transition she made with grit and talent. Ms. Andrews depicts a childhood that forced her to leave school at 14 and support her family with her singing, but there's not a trace of self-pity. She also shares details about her vocal training with Lilian Stiles-Allen. If you're a Julie Andrews fan, you'll want to buy this book and immerse yourself in her memories. She's a "fair lady," all right, and still the queen of the golden age of musicals. Brava, Ms. Andrews, and many thanks! -- from Susan Dormady Eisenberg, contributing writer to Classical Singer Magazine & author of the novel, THE VOICE I JUST HEARD.
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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Home Sweet Home April 3, 2008
Format:Hardcover
When it was announced that Home, Julie Andrews' much anticipated memoir would only cover until she began Mary Poppins, I was initially disappointed. But as I began delving into Home, I realized the detail she was able to afford her early years by doing so allowed a story to unravel that was absolutely absorbing; something that likely been comprised had Home chronicled her entire illustrious career. I was very ignorant of Julie's early career, thinking it essentially began with My Fair Lady on Broadway. What I didn't know was the dark lonely childhood lived in poverty during the war. Unlike Elizabeth Taylor, Julia (as she was originally named) did not have the luxury of seeking refuge elsewhere, and was forced to remain in a very bleak and dark London; many nights spent huddled in one of the city's Underground stations with her mother and her new stepfather who she despised. Weekends spent with her father in the countryside provided fleeting moments of happiness for the young girl.

As she grew a little older, her stepfather discovered that she had an extremely powerful singing voice, and she was quickly enrolled in lessons. In no time she was shoved onstage to entertain crowds alongside her parents in dusty old music halls across England. Julie, known as the "pigtail prodigy," became the centerpiece of the act, much to the frustration of her jealous stepfather, who was an alcoholic. In Home, Julie intimately remembers her early days spent touring around England during the dying days of vaudeville. As interest in the family act begins to dissipate, Julie appears in Christmas pantomimes and on the radio, and catches the eye of producers who are mounting the Broadway production of The Boy Friend, a recent musical hit there on the West End.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars What an interesting live Julie Andrews has led. There ...
What an interesting live Julie Andrews has led. There are things in this book that I would have never known until I picked up the book and read it. Read more
Published 1 day ago by N.K.Beckley
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Such a great memoir and very dynamically read by the author!
Published 11 days ago by Michelle Gutierrez
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonder and woe.
I'm enjoying the audio version every day as I drive. She is — by far — one of the best narrators around. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Daniel D. Murray
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Open Story of Julie Andrews
I was very surprised at the total openness in which this book was written. Ms. Andrews had a storied past that may had stayed hidden but she chose to invite everyone into her... Read more
Published 28 days ago by Cathy G
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING BOOK!
I couldn't put it down and I even cried like a baby twice! It was such a beautiful story and I hope she writes another one someday
Published 1 month ago by Iman Redzepi
4.0 out of 5 stars good read but ........
Ordered this a year ago and was never motivated to read it. Picked it up the other day, thinking to delete it however started glancing through it. Couldnt put it down!!! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Patricia Burak
5.0 out of 5 stars What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger
The formidable Julie Andrews has penned an unsentimental, compelling memoir covering her life from childhood through 1963. Read more
Published 1 month ago by MarlowesMom
4.0 out of 5 stars The Gritty Side of Julie Andrews
My parents brought home the original Broadway soundtrack recording of MY FAIR LADY when I was six or seven. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Gary Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
I sure hope Julie writes a sequel to this book. Her life is very interesting. Amazing that she has been such a success due to her background. She is an outstanding lady!
Published 1 month ago by Linda Flanagan
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Writing
I am enjoying Julie Andrews Writing style. It's fun to follow her life from her perspective as a little girl.
Published 1 month ago by Dena Mercer
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More About the Author

JULIE ANDREWS EDWARDS is one of the most recognized and beloved figures in the entertainment industry. Her legendary career encompasses the Broadway and London stages, blockbuster Hollywood films, award-winning television shows, multiple album releases and concert tours and the world of children's publishing.

Andrews' dedication to children has been steadfast throughout her career. She began writing books for young readers over thirty-five years ago and her first two novels - MANDY and THE LAST OF THE REALLY GREAT WHANGDOODLES - remain in print and in high demand. Her other books include the LITTLE BO series, and over 20 picture books, novels and Early Readers co-authored with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, including the best-selling DUMPY THE DUMP TRUCK series, SIMEON'S GIFT, DRAGON: HOUND OF HONOR, THE GREAT AMERICAN MOUSICAL, THANKS TO YOU: Wisdom from Mother and Child (#1 NY Times Bestseller), the VERY FAIRY PRINCESS series (#1 NY Times Bestseller), and the poetry anthologies JULIE ANDREWS' COLLECTION OF POEMS, SONGS AND LULLABIES and JULIE ANDREWS' TREASURY FOR ALL SEASONS.

Together the best-selling mother-daughter team head-up "The Julie Andrews Collection" publishing program, dedicated to publishing quality children's books which nurture the imagination and cultivate a sense of wonder.

Andrews considerable charitable work has been consistent throughout her career, and in 2000 the title of Dame Julie Andrews was bestowed upon her by Queen Elizabeth II for lifetime achievements in the arts and humanities. Her many other honors include being named "One of the 100 Greatest Britons" by the British Broadcasting Corporation, serving as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations' UNIFEM program, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, ambassadorships for literacy programs as the American Library Association's National Library Week and Ready. Sit. Read!, and a prestigious Kennedy Center honor in the fall of 2001.

Andrews was married to the late film director Blake Edwards, and has five children, eight grandchildren,and two great-grandchildren.

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