Thursday, March 14, 2013

Home: A Memoir of My Early Years

Finished Home: A Memoir of My Early Years by Julie Andrews. Even though I have piles of biographies of my own to read, when my friend Tom handed this book to me to take on vacation last fall I couldn't refuse. I didn't start reading it until Christmastime, just a few pages every morning, so it took me a while to finish, but that was me. While Julie's recollections of her childhood are often upsetting, due to the adults in her life then, the book overall is a delight. I was especially interested by her recollections of being a child during World War II. Julie went from being an awkward girl given singing lessons by her stepfather, to the major financial supporter of her family in just a few short years.

Throughout the book Julie's voice rings true. I heard it in my head as I read. We learn about her days in vaudeville and radio, her time in the Broadway and London productions of My Fair Lady, the landmark television production of Roger's and Hammerstein's Cinderella, and the Broadway production of Camelot. As the book ends Julie, her husband Tony, and their infant daughter Emma are on their way to Disney Studios to begin work on the film Mary Poppins. So much happens in such a short time and this is just a small fragment of Julie's life and career. I found this book charming and dear, and I recommend it highly.

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