BOOK REVIEW: HOME
If you happen to be even remotely a fan of Julie Andrews, then Home is a book that you should read. This “memoir of my early years” as she has subtitled the book is really an interesting journey that Miss Andrews takes the reader on.
The writing reminds one very much of how she appears to be in real life. It is fast paced, funny, sad, and it delves very deeply into her personal life both at Home and while she is working in her profession. She always feels that home means more to her than anything. Whether she is heading “home” to a commitment for a year or two to a Broadway show or perhaps to visit her mother country Miss Andrews always looks forward to that uniting with her home, temporary or not.
Strange that she would feel this way perhaps because her early years were somewhat unusual to say the least, as her mother was not your typical stay at home mom. She was a professional pianist and traveled extensively with her male partner who was a vocalist. Finally when the situation got to the point where her mother moved out completely she and her partner (whom she later married) took Julie along and used her in their act as a young vocalist.
From that time on Julie Andrews has been in entertainment. Her beginning was well structured toward a lifetime in the music world. Because of the range and timber her voice it was decided early on that she should begin taking voice lessons and she then continued with them throughout her life.
Since the book deals with her early years there are references to World War II and the bombings that took place in England. It is actually written into the entire story in such a way that it doesn’t hinder the story. She recounts it as just another part of her life.
Throughout Home Miss Andrews details her many liaisons with other greats in the music world. She seems to write factually and doesn’t seem to over glamoritize any of these well known individuals. She speaks fondly of most of them and only on occasion puts down some of their actions (such as an escapade with a too well inebriated Richard Burton in her kitchen during a party).
She does explain in some detail how show business works and how much little breaks often mean as one works at becoming famous. The strange twist of fate that allowed her to move into My Fair Lady from The Boyfriend (her first Broadway show) is one example.
Overall Home is a very enjoyable look at the early life of a great musical star that has wowed fans all over the world. It is the type of book that makes you look forward to the next one that will bring us up to today in the life of Julie Andrews.
REVIEWED BY ALLEN HOTT
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