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Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER In this follow-up to her critically acclaimed memoir, Home, Julie Andrews shares reflections on her astonishing career, including such classics as Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, and Victor/Victoria. In Home, the number one New York Times international bestseller, Julie Andrews recounted her difficult childhood and her emergence as an acclaim NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER In this follow-up to her critically acclaimed memoir, Home, Julie Andrews shares reflections on her astonishing career, including such classics as Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, and Victor/Victoria. In Home, the number one New York Times international bestseller, Julie Andrews recounted her difficult childhood and her emergence as an acclaimed singer and performer on the stage. With this second memoir, Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years, Andrews picks up the story with her arrival in Hollywood and her phenomenal rise to fame in her earliest films--Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music. Andrews describes her years in the film industry -- from the incredible highs to the challenging lows. Not only does she discuss her work in now-classic films and her collaborations with giants of cinema and television, she also unveils her personal story of adjusting to a new and often daunting world, dealing with the demands of unimaginable success, being a new mother, the end of her first marriage, embracing two stepchildren, adopting two more children, and falling in love with the brilliant and mercurial Blake Edwards. The pair worked together in numerous films, including Victor/Victoria, the gender-bending comedy that garnered multiple Oscar nominations. Cowritten with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, and told with Andrews's trademark charm and candor, Home Work takes us on a rare and intimate journey into an extraordinary life that is funny, heartrending, and inspiring.


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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER In this follow-up to her critically acclaimed memoir, Home, Julie Andrews shares reflections on her astonishing career, including such classics as Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, and Victor/Victoria. In Home, the number one New York Times international bestseller, Julie Andrews recounted her difficult childhood and her emergence as an acclaim NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER In this follow-up to her critically acclaimed memoir, Home, Julie Andrews shares reflections on her astonishing career, including such classics as Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, and Victor/Victoria. In Home, the number one New York Times international bestseller, Julie Andrews recounted her difficult childhood and her emergence as an acclaimed singer and performer on the stage. With this second memoir, Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years, Andrews picks up the story with her arrival in Hollywood and her phenomenal rise to fame in her earliest films--Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music. Andrews describes her years in the film industry -- from the incredible highs to the challenging lows. Not only does she discuss her work in now-classic films and her collaborations with giants of cinema and television, she also unveils her personal story of adjusting to a new and often daunting world, dealing with the demands of unimaginable success, being a new mother, the end of her first marriage, embracing two stepchildren, adopting two more children, and falling in love with the brilliant and mercurial Blake Edwards. The pair worked together in numerous films, including Victor/Victoria, the gender-bending comedy that garnered multiple Oscar nominations. Cowritten with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, and told with Andrews's trademark charm and candor, Home Work takes us on a rare and intimate journey into an extraordinary life that is funny, heartrending, and inspiring.

30 review for Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nikki

    God bless the advent of Kindles and eBooks that allowed me to read this book whilst living internationally. And God bless what's-his-name. God bless the advent of Kindles and eBooks that allowed me to read this book whilst living internationally. And God bless what's-his-name.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Brina

    As a kid, I would much rather watch sports and play with baseball cards than usual girly girl activities. I was not drawn to Disney princesses, and my favorite movies from my childhood years were all sports related; yet, one Disney movie that I watched so many times into adulthood and know by heart is Mary Poppins. A treasured time for me was walking to my school playground to swing on the swing set and belt out “Let’s Go Fly a Kite.” The song and being air born created a sense of happiness that As a kid, I would much rather watch sports and play with baseball cards than usual girly girl activities. I was not drawn to Disney princesses, and my favorite movies from my childhood years were all sports related; yet, one Disney movie that I watched so many times into adulthood and know by heart is Mary Poppins. A treasured time for me was walking to my school playground to swing on the swing set and belt out “Let’s Go Fly a Kite.” The song and being air born created a sense of happiness that is hard to replicate outside of Mary Poppins’ magical world. Fast forward a generation and my daughters have engaged in typical girly girl activities. They have watched Mary Poppins and seen a theatrical production of it, but the Disney movie they could watch over and over again is Princess Diaries 2, which features the same Julie Andrews of Mary Poppins fame. I savored Julie Andrews first memoir Home, and, when I found out that she had collaborated with her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton on a second memoir, I knew that Home Work was a memoir I would be delighted to read. Like Mary Poppins, it went down like a spoonful of sugar. Following the success of My Fair Lady on Broadway and in England, Walt Disney approached Julie Andrews about starring in his new film Mary Poppins. The film would coincide with the film production of My Fair Lady, but Andrews accepted the role of a now iconic British nanny. Her husband Tony Walton would design the sets for the movie, and the couple set to move to Hollywood following the birth of their daughter Emma. Disney waited for Andrews to be ready to sing and dance with vigor, setting in motion a Hollywood career that would last decades. Both Disney and Andrews would win multiple academy awards for Mary Poppins, and, over fifty years later, the film is still revered by children of all ages. While trained as a concert soloist with little experience acting, Hollywood loved Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins, leading to her to star in a myriad of drama and musical films over the course of her career. Whether Julie Andrews is as calm as Mary Poppins In real life remains to be seen; yet, as an author she kept a steady voice as she details the ups and downs of an often chaotic life. Following additional roles including Maria in The Sound of Music, it became apparent that Julie’s career would keep her in Hollywood whereas as a set designer, Tony remained rooted in New York and London. Even though they had known each other since adolescence, being married to one another interfered with both careers. Decades before Skype and computer graphics in the movies, both Julie and Tony had to choose between careers and each other, and both chose to follow their career trajectory. Although the couple would divorce, they remained on amicable terms, as it was apparent that their friendship was more sturdy than their marriage. Separating with Tony made Julie one of Hollywood’s most eligible women, leading her to be courted by stars across the spectrum. Eventually, she fell into a relationship with gifted director Blake Edwards, who she would marry in 1968. Life as Julie Edwards could often be chaotic, yet Julie seemed to be a steady voice who held her blended family together. In addition to Emma, Blake had two children from his first marriage, Jenny and Geoff. Both were lured by the drug culture of the 1970s as well an unstable life at their mother’s home, and it was Julie who made arrangements for all three children to enjoy as stable and normal of a childhood as possible. This childhood included splitting time between Hollywood and Gstaad, Switzerland as well as stints in London, commuting from one parent’s home to the other, enduring Blake’s dark moods, and living on location as Julie and Blake worked on films. In the 1970s, the family adopted daughters Amelia and Joanna from Vietnam, leading to Julie being pulled in even more directions, yet exhibiting enough love for all members of her extended family. On the surface, she was able to pull off being a mother of five as well as acting in more iconic roles in Blake’s films including the title role in Victor/Victoria and developing a secondary career as a children’s author. Through it all, Julie Andrews remained one of Hollywood’s brightest stars. Home Work details Julie Andrews’ twenty three years in Hollywood, yet only scratches the surface of her life as each chapter focuses on one year at a time, listing the key events in each. Included are diary entries and home life, yet do not go deep in thought, choosing instead to provide a glimpse of Andrews’ life in Hollywood. As far as celebrity memoirs go, I have to give Andrews the benefit of the doubt as an octogenarian who has enjoyed an illustrious career and wanted to give her fans a follow up to Home. Providing a stable voice in an otherwise chaotic home, Julie Andrews appeared as much of an steadying force in life as the nanny she once played over fifty years ago. Perhaps, all her fans need is a spoonful of sugar to add a little light to otherwise chaotic times in life. 3.5 stars

  3. 5 out of 5

    Luffy

    A kind of cloying vibe adorned almost every sentence in the memoir. Every director in Julie Andrews's career is nice, even those that aren't. Still. I kind of enjoyed this experience. How ironic it is, that Julie Andrews, who didn't want to be typecast as Mary Poppins, is just that character in her autobiography. Dozens of spoonfuls of sugar are involved in her recording. But she remains relatable. She remains human. I just don't think she has escaped her insecurities. All those psychoanalytic ses A kind of cloying vibe adorned almost every sentence in the memoir. Every director in Julie Andrews's career is nice, even those that aren't. Still. I kind of enjoyed this experience. How ironic it is, that Julie Andrews, who didn't want to be typecast as Mary Poppins, is just that character in her autobiography. Dozens of spoonfuls of sugar are involved in her recording. But she remains relatable. She remains human. I just don't think she has escaped her insecurities. All those psychoanalytic sessions might have made her knowledgeable on the topic, but it was all a waste. She grew old oh so gracefully, but she never grew up.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cam Kovach

    It's always fun to read about our favorite personalities, and this book definitely delivers on that score. The writing is somewhat dry and unemotional, which is the opposite of what one looks for when reading a memoir. While life events and personal upheavals are discussed within the book, they are typically discussed in what seemed to this reader to be a detached and sometimes clinical manner. This style itself, though, may be an insight into Julie Andrews' personality -- she may possess an abi It's always fun to read about our favorite personalities, and this book definitely delivers on that score. The writing is somewhat dry and unemotional, which is the opposite of what one looks for when reading a memoir. While life events and personal upheavals are discussed within the book, they are typically discussed in what seemed to this reader to be a detached and sometimes clinical manner. This style itself, though, may be an insight into Julie Andrews' personality -- she may possess an ability to observe behaviors and her own thoughts and activities in a way that doesn't lend itself to emotionality. If you love Julie Andrews and want to learn more about her life, this is a good book for you. If you want to get "all the feels," this isn't for you.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jacqueline de Roos

    I'm a little on the fence about this one. I've been a fan of Julie Andrews for years, and had been looking forward to a book about her Hollywood years ever since I read her first memoir. And, while up to a point, the book provides answers to questions that I'd been wondering about for years; on its own, as a memoir, it does not quite achieve what it sets out to be. In this book Julie rushes through events of her life, jumps from one topic to the next, and gives little to no relevant insights int I'm a little on the fence about this one. I've been a fan of Julie Andrews for years, and had been looking forward to a book about her Hollywood years ever since I read her first memoir. And, while up to a point, the book provides answers to questions that I'd been wondering about for years; on its own, as a memoir, it does not quite achieve what it sets out to be. In this book Julie rushes through events of her life, jumps from one topic to the next, and gives little to no relevant insights into how these events truly affected her. She uses descriptions such as "it was difficult to go through", or this and that "affected me greatly", but how these things truly affected her, and how deeply she truly reflected on those events, remains unknown. In the end this memoir is a great example of how an author rather "tells" their audience what the experience was like instead of using the more relatable "showing" device to convey what went on, and what was felt at the time. All in all, much like she does/did in real life, Julie keeps her (fans) readers at arms length in her memoir. She's the one who determines how and where those who choose to take on this journey are going to be led (on a tight red leash) through the jungle of her past. Everything is told in such a matter-of-fact and distant manner that I imagine it would be hard for any reader to truly relate or sympathize with some of the more traumatic events of her life. For example, Blake's substance abuse; Julie keeps referring to it, but the way she talks about it does not elicit many (if any) feelings of sympathy. In fact, it left me feeling only mildly concerned, but nowhere near as stressful as I imagine the experience must have been for her. As a reader you get a strong "been there done that" sense, when she speaks of those difficult times; as though dwelling on past events doesn't add much to her current life, so she can only reminisce from behind a bullet proof window. She appears to have already processed, accepted and moved on from those traumatic events, and if she no longer cares about the have/has beens, then really, why should we? Her tone is distant, her stories read as summaries, and her true character remains obscured by her unwillingness to really show others who she was/is in life. Having said that, once I was able to accept the distance that Julie forces upon her readers; I managed to enjoy the book a little more. I understand the struggle of trying to fit 25+ years into 300+ pages; it showed. As a fan I'm truly grateful for some of the personal anecdotes and descriptions of her family life that she chose to share. I sympathize with the difficulty of remaining respectful in the face of rudeness (which she manages with immense class). In her entire memoir she never truly calls anybody out on their shit behavior; she remains classy through it all, and it wasn't hard to understand why she chose not to speak out about the horrors of Hollywood, or name any names. Having said that, the choice to not speak of her frustrations or truly show her anger at the injustice that was undoubtedly done to her at various points in her life, makes it all the more difficult to relate to her from one human to another. She hints at a ton of stuff, but never elaborates. She leaves off a lot, which causes her to paint a picture of a woman who's full of self-doubt, and constantly blames herself for the injustice that others inflicted upon her; someone who, in her own words, likes to "avoid confrontation at all cost". While I respect that mindset, it also makes me a little sad. There is no way in hell she got along with everyone she ever worked with, and there is no way in hell that all those who worked with/for her, liked her. Humans will be humans, and even the best of us struggle with our own. In that regard, she painted a too saintly picture of herself. Relating that she found it challenging to work with some people, but never flat out stating what those experiences truly did to her on an emotional level. The best we get is "they were trying times/people". All in all, I did like her book. Despite her distance, Julie managed to paint a superficial but interesting picture of what life was like in Hollywood for a woman who never let the fame and glamour get to her. Kudos to you Ms. Andrews!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Negin

    I’ve always loved Julie Andrews and read her first memoir earlier this year. This one was equally delightful. She shares stories of her family and her career starting from the time that she was in “Mary Poppins” and ending in the 1980’s. “The Sound of Music” will always be one of my favorite movies of all time. The first time that I saw it was when I must have been about five or so when we were in Iran. It was dubbed, even Julie Andrews’s singing voice was dubbed. Later while growing up in Wales I’ve always loved Julie Andrews and read her first memoir earlier this year. This one was equally delightful. She shares stories of her family and her career starting from the time that she was in “Mary Poppins” and ending in the 1980’s. “The Sound of Music” will always be one of my favorite movies of all time. The first time that I saw it was when I must have been about five or so when we were in Iran. It was dubbed, even Julie Andrews’s singing voice was dubbed. Later while growing up in Wales, they would show it on TV almost every Christmas or Easter. I enjoyed learning more about Julie’s family life, as well as all the struggles with step-parenting and her marriage. Gosh, her marital struggles and her husband’s mood swings were frustrating. Both of her memoirs are among the most open and genuine that I have come across. At times, the writing is a bit dry and repetitive in this one, but I enjoyed it regardless. Those were the times where it seemed that all she was doing was flying back and forth from LA to England to Switzerland, and those parts were tiring to read. I have heard that the audio versions of her memoirs are superb, since they’re narrated by Julie Andrews herself. I’m not an audio type, so that’s that. I would only recommend this book to Julie Andrews fans. I think that’s obvious anyway. Why bother reading a memoir on someone if the person doesn’t interest you? Here are some of my favorite quotes; Here she talks about Walt Disney: “Walt’s persona was that of a kindly uncle—twinkly-eyed, chivalrous, and genuinely proud of all he had created. His international empire encompassed film, television, and even a theme park, yet he was modest and gracious. Our new friend Tom Jones once said to me that you didn’t last very long at the company if you were mean-spirited or bad-tempered.” I remember her talking about the following many years ago on a talk show. This was in Switzerland: “Each day, I walked a full circle, up the hill from our chalet, across the fields behind it, down along the brook, and back to the chalet. It was a good stretch, and my legs grew stronger while I vocalized along the way. One day, I was practicing ‘The Sound of Music,’ which I would be performing in my act. I was rounding the last curve, singing flat out, when suddenly a group of Japanese tourists, cameras around their necks, crested the hill in front of me. They recognized me, and looked simply stunned. I dashed for home, mortified.” “These days, I’ve come to realize that home is a feeling as much as it is a place; it is as much about loving what I do as being where I am.” “The common denominator is human misery. The most important thing I have learned is the simplest of all: people are just people—no matter their politics, their skin color, or where they live. There is no difference in our humanity; only in our circumstances.” These are her father’s words to her after her mother’s passing: “’It is sad, Chick,’ he replied. ‘But that was your mum’s destiny, not yours. Yours is to live out whatever time is given to you to the fullest extent, to relish every day and make it count.’” “When we were touring, my mum would drill into me: ‘Don’t you dare complain about anything . . . not the cigarette smoke in the theater, not having a cold, or waiting long hours. It won’t do a thing for you, and nobody cares. Don’t pull rank, or boast. There’s always someone who can do what you do better than you. Get on with it, and you’ll be respected so much more.’” “Learn your craft. Do your homework. Opportunity will come along when you least expect it, as it did for me. You may not even recognize it at the time. Your job is to be as ready as possible when that good fortune comes your way.”

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mediaman

    A surprisingly boring & poorly written book that deals with mundane topics like her kids (way too much about tiny co-author Emma), her husband's movies, her parents and druggie brother, her therapy sessions (she pushes everyone into therapy), and her possessions. Almost nothing about her. Andrews comes across as the "practically perfect" person to whom things happen and reveals very little about herself that would surprise anyone. She also is way too nice, praising just about everyone and thinki A surprisingly boring & poorly written book that deals with mundane topics like her kids (way too much about tiny co-author Emma), her husband's movies, her parents and druggie brother, her therapy sessions (she pushes everyone into therapy), and her possessions. Almost nothing about her. Andrews comes across as the "practically perfect" person to whom things happen and reveals very little about herself that would surprise anyone. She also is way too nice, praising just about everyone and thinking that every person she worked with needs to the recognized. While that may work for a short awards speech, it's deadly dull in a 330-page book. Part of the problem is that the book appears to be based on diaries that she kept over the years. Instead of an interesting narrative or chapters with themes, Andrews trudges day-by-day through the diary and includes things in the book that are utterly unimportant. Almost nothing really happens and it seems nothing has been added beyond the skeletal ideas she jotted down decades ago. She does include sections on her movies, but some of the biggest films get short changed, while some of her bombs get way too much detail. She has an odd view of her movies, making sure to not overpraise The Sound of Music but trying to convince us that Star! is kind of a cult classic (it's not that good). Ultimately it's poorly written and needs an objective co-author to try to bring out good stories. She uses odd phrases to make you think a good story is coming (like an actor "was to play" a role in a movie or special with her--which we assume means the person didn't--but they did and there was no other story associated with the person!). And much of the book appears to be geared to making herself look good to her daughter. Her mom guilt weaves throughout the book, abandoning her kid for her work and shuttling the girl off to her ex-husband throughout the year. While this may make for a good family memory book, it makes for a really bad Hollywood memoir. The book ends 25 years ago, which means another book is coming. Someone please get her a co-author that can pull something interesting from her! Much more should have been expected of this wonderful performer, who I don't feel I know any better after reading this.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Luisa Knight

    Read a little over half and got out of it as much as I wanted. She didn’t talk long about the making of Mary Poppins or The Sound of Music, for which I was disappointed, because I was so looking forward to hearing about those from her. The majority of the book is about her life, her divorce, her meeting somebody new, her guilt and depression, her brother addicted to drugs whom she tried to help. Cleanliness: a little language (such as d*mn, b*tch, h*ll, sh*t, etc) and some brief mentions of or s Read a little over half and got out of it as much as I wanted. She didn’t talk long about the making of Mary Poppins or The Sound of Music, for which I was disappointed, because I was so looking forward to hearing about those from her. The majority of the book is about her life, her divorce, her meeting somebody new, her guilt and depression, her brother addicted to drugs whom she tried to help. Cleanliness: a little language (such as d*mn, b*tch, h*ll, sh*t, etc) and some brief mentions of or short discussions on maturer matters such as drinking, drugs, affairs, etc. Julie mentions an inside joke about pubic hairs being a lavender bush; a few other adult/vulgar comments. I'd recommend 16+. *Note: I listened to the audio version of this book so this Cleanliness Report may not be as thoroughly detailed as other reports are. Also, some inappropriate content may have been forgotten/missed and not included in the report. **Like my reviews? Then you should follow me! Because I have hundreds more just like this one. With each review, I provide a Cleanliness Report, mentioning any objectionable content I come across so that parents and/or conscientious readers (like me) can determine beforehand whether they want to read a book or not. Content surprises are super annoying, especially when you’re 100+ pages in, so here’s my attempt to help you avoid that! So Follow or Friend me here on GoodReads! You’ll see my updates as I’m reading and know which books I’m liking and what I’m not finishing and why. You’ll also be able to utilize my library for looking up titles to see whether the book you’re thinking about reading next has any objectionable content or not. From swear words, to romance, to bad attitudes (in children’s books), I cover it all!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    I loved her first book and looked forward to this eagerly. This book was boring and repetitive. Blake's kids came for a visit again. I cuddled with Emma. Tony and I tried to stay together. I finally just stopped when Blake's kids came for yet another visit. It was like trudging through quicksand. I hopped right over to Me by Elton John which saved the day. And my train ride. I loved her first book and looked forward to this eagerly. This book was boring and repetitive. Blake's kids came for a visit again. I cuddled with Emma. Tony and I tried to stay together. I finally just stopped when Blake's kids came for yet another visit. It was like trudging through quicksand. I hopped right over to Me by Elton John which saved the day. And my train ride.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mike Shoop

    This one somewhat disappointed me, as I found her first memoir, Home, quite interesting. But with this, I found that I really enjoyed it whenever she reminisced about the making of her most iconic films, like "The Sound of Music," "Mary Poppins," and "Hawaii," but when she veered off into other stuff, it became less interesting. The more she focussed on her marriages, problems with children, back and forth between multiple homes, financial issues, family troubles, therapy sessions, addictions, e This one somewhat disappointed me, as I found her first memoir, Home, quite interesting. But with this, I found that I really enjoyed it whenever she reminisced about the making of her most iconic films, like "The Sound of Music," "Mary Poppins," and "Hawaii," but when she veered off into other stuff, it became less interesting. The more she focussed on her marriages, problems with children, back and forth between multiple homes, financial issues, family troubles, therapy sessions, addictions, etc., it became tedious and more like other celebrity memoirs. I wanted MORE about those films--more stories about those she worked with--what were they really like, how were they to work with, etc. Most of her stories were not very revealing or new. What was Robert Preston really like? Eleanor Parker? How did she feel about all those children who played the Von Trapps (at least two of them are dead now)? What she relates about any of them are just shallow snips, not real stories. Even with her good friend Carol Burnett, I felt that while there was a bit more, it still was rather trite. And were there regrets? Roles that she was offered and turned down and later wished she hadn't? Or movies she wished she hadn't made? And Andrews is just always so NICE and gracious and generous--even when she expresses outrage or anger over something it seems mild. She writes well, it's very readable and pleasant, but it somehow didn't give me what I had been hoping for--not dirt, just more personal stories about the many stars she worked with and those wonderful movies she made. Too bad she didn't write it as a movie memoir.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Desi (Pastel Pages)

    Just finished this and I am SO sad because I feel like I got to know her as a dear friend and now it's time to say goodbye. This book was EVERYTHING if you are a fan of Julie already. I loved getting to see into her life and get a glimpse of the amazing woman that she is. This will forever be a favorite. Do yourself a favor and listen to the audiobook. It is narrated by her and it's beautiful. Just finished this and I am SO sad because I feel like I got to know her as a dear friend and now it's time to say goodbye. This book was EVERYTHING if you are a fan of Julie already. I loved getting to see into her life and get a glimpse of the amazing woman that she is. This will forever be a favorite. Do yourself a favor and listen to the audiobook. It is narrated by her and it's beautiful.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Naomi

    Not my best read I understand that Ms Andrews is probably a very endearing person, I found this book to be self endulgent. Complaining about jet setting from U.K. to Switzerland to US while leaving your children to be cared for by other people did not win my sympathy.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jeanette (Ms. Feisty)

    If you were to cross Mary Poppins with The Sound of Music, would you end up with The Flying Nun?

  14. 5 out of 5

    Deacon Tom F

    This was a very good book by Julie Andrews. It was not as good as the first one was ...it was still enjoyable. It focused on areas of her fame and how she handled it. Interest areas like her money problems and how she handled them did not make me sympathetic. My goodness, homes in France, England, and California along with the full-sized yacht don’t draw sympathy from me. The sections about her family and how she treated her children were especially wonderful. Plus, I was incredibly impressed by h This was a very good book by Julie Andrews. It was not as good as the first one was ...it was still enjoyable. It focused on areas of her fame and how she handled it. Interest areas like her money problems and how she handled them did not make me sympathetic. My goodness, homes in France, England, and California along with the full-sized yacht don’t draw sympathy from me. The sections about her family and how she treated her children were especially wonderful. Plus, I was incredibly impressed by her adoption of Vietnamese children. I highly recommend it

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kristy K

    Between a pick and an eh. Andrews definitely had some trials in her life and I liked that she was so upfront about her husband dealing with mental illness, but a lot of the other stuff felt drawn out. It was also hard to relate as it’s a portrait in how the other half lives (to buy or not to buy a yacht). However I felt it was an honest look into Andrews’ life. I also realized I knew very little of the movies she starred in. The Sound of Music is one of my favorite movies, but I didn't realize s Between a pick and an eh. Andrews definitely had some trials in her life and I liked that she was so upfront about her husband dealing with mental illness, but a lot of the other stuff felt drawn out. It was also hard to relate as it’s a portrait in how the other half lives (to buy or not to buy a yacht). However I felt it was an honest look into Andrews’ life. I also realized I knew very little of the movies she starred in. The Sound of Music is one of my favorite movies, but I didn't realize she had so many more out there!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Linda Bond

    If you’ve ever wondered what it was like to be Julie Andrews in Hollywood, making all those fine films, your answers are at hand. From Ms. Andrews herself comes this second memoir (follow-up to Home which dealt with her beginnings) with an insider’s view which only she could provide. It is thoroughly engaging and a must-read for her fans and anyone curious about the movie industry. I met this book at Auntie's Bookstore in Spokane, WA If you’ve ever wondered what it was like to be Julie Andrews in Hollywood, making all those fine films, your answers are at hand. From Ms. Andrews herself comes this second memoir (follow-up to Home which dealt with her beginnings) with an insider’s view which only she could provide. It is thoroughly engaging and a must-read for her fans and anyone curious about the movie industry. I met this book at Auntie's Bookstore in Spokane, WA

  17. 4 out of 5

    Robyn

    Great on Kindle discount | Two decade calendar and travel itinerary, scattered with examples of bad decisions. | This was such a dry read, which was deeply disappointing, even more so since I really enjoyed her previous memoir. Blake Edwards seems like he was a real dick, which is an interesting takeaway, since she loved him and probably thought she was presenting him well. This was a household in which Andrews had a young daughter who also had a father living elsewhere with his new wife, Edward Great on Kindle discount | Two decade calendar and travel itinerary, scattered with examples of bad decisions. | This was such a dry read, which was deeply disappointing, even more so since I really enjoyed her previous memoir. Blake Edwards seems like he was a real dick, which is an interesting takeaway, since she loved him and probably thought she was presenting him well. This was a household in which Andrews had a young daughter who also had a father living elsewhere with his new wife, Edwards had two kids who also had an emotionally unstable (sometimes suicidal) mother living elsewhere, Andrews had two sets of parents, one of which included an alcoholic, the other included suicidal ideation, she had a brother with addiction problems, and Edwards abused pain medication, was sometimes suicidal, and was emotionally abusive to most of the people around him at various times. So whenever anyone was struggling, the couple would buy a new home in another country. Or buy another boat and sail off to Canada or Mexico. Or adopt another child from Vietnam and hire a new nanny. Or agree to an unwanted Vegas run or Japan tour. The kids would act out or would ask to move in with their non custodial parent, and Andrews and Edwards would be concerned and buy a terrible house in London. Then they'd set up the household, and Andrews would head to Switzerland to maintain her residency, and Edwards would go shoot a film in Paris. I'm sure that helped the kids feel secure and wanted. The book reads as if they didn't stay in one house for more than a few weeks at a time, would go for extended periods not even being in the same country as some of their children (when the kids were single-digit age), and thought that occasional bursts of intense attention would make up for things that are dismissively mentioned as "worrying" (like drugs, or a 17 year old moving in with and then getting pregnant by a 28 year old who had a negative history with her dad, or a son breaking an arm in a "tiff" with a girlfriend's brother, or a missing stepmother who attempted suicide, or a husband who lashes out verbally at you and who admits that he's manipulative and cruel to your daughter because she was in your life before he was). And all of this is presented as no big deal, the important stuff to focus on is the boring-as-all-get-out recitations of Edwards' next film and how the set was lit and the hair was chosen. I really expected to enjoy this, since I rated her first so highly, but it was a real slog to get through, and I couldn't help but think how much better everyone's lives would have been if she hadn't ever met Edwards.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Biblio Files (takingadayoff)

    The first part of the book was terrific, lots of what it was like to be there filming Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music. Before she was rich and famous, Julie Andrews was a music hall performer and had recently become quite successful on stage, making her way to London's West End and to Broadway in My Fair Lady. In Hollywood she was not as well known, and she was brand new to the movie making business. This was the most interesting part for me as she learned the ins and outs of making a movie. The first part of the book was terrific, lots of what it was like to be there filming Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music. Before she was rich and famous, Julie Andrews was a music hall performer and had recently become quite successful on stage, making her way to London's West End and to Broadway in My Fair Lady. In Hollywood she was not as well known, and she was brand new to the movie making business. This was the most interesting part for me as she learned the ins and outs of making a movie. After her early successes, her career seemed to plateau, although she remained popular. It seemed to me that although her marriage to Blake Edwards was a romantic success, it wasn't any good for her career. Edwards put her in one mediocre movie after another. If, like me, you did not read the prequel to this book, about her childhood, don't worry, she summarizes it in the first few pages, and then it's off to Hollywood! After the early Hollywood successes and her marriage to Blake Edwards, the book becomes rather repetitive as the family is off to Gstaad for holidays again or off to London or off to Los Angeles, or off to New York.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I admire and enjoy Julie Andrews' movies and singing. This book, however, was very slow moving, read like an eighth grade report on "my summer vacation". The technical portions for movies and TV shows were interesting. I felt more could have been said about the components of making a movie. While it's interesting to read about her life, this reader found it difficult to read through the patch work of this book. I admire and enjoy Julie Andrews' movies and singing. This book, however, was very slow moving, read like an eighth grade report on "my summer vacation". The technical portions for movies and TV shows were interesting. I felt more could have been said about the components of making a movie. While it's interesting to read about her life, this reader found it difficult to read through the patch work of this book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    This memoir lacked a narrative quality. It felt like it was a recitation of facts with a little extra, but there were few insightful revelations to keep it interesting.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Barb

    I had a hard time determining a rating for this book. Julie Andrews is a good writer; the book very much just glides along and I frequently found myself surprised at how much I'd read. It's interesting seeing the behind-the-scenes of life of a star, and seeing her journey into becoming a children's author was also a good read. Some of what frustrated me about the book was how much was glossed over. She mentions troubles with her husband, with her brother, with her children, but rarely goes into d I had a hard time determining a rating for this book. Julie Andrews is a good writer; the book very much just glides along and I frequently found myself surprised at how much I'd read. It's interesting seeing the behind-the-scenes of life of a star, and seeing her journey into becoming a children's author was also a good read. Some of what frustrated me about the book was how much was glossed over. She mentions troubles with her husband, with her brother, with her children, but rarely goes into depth. She'll say that something was hard to deal with or that she was greatly affected, but everything seems a bit...removed. She'll lay out generalities of what happened, but almost as though she was telling it to a child; stories are written indirectly. She spends too much time mentioning details of various movies (which made me realize how many movies she did that I both haven't seen and don't care to) with various lovely costars. (The most she'll say about anyone is that they were a bit distant while shooting.) She has to know that people are reading this for the dirt on The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins, right? And then she speeds through family crises. I admit that I also kept getting annoyed at her choices. Her relationship with Blake Edwards is one of those where you see a friend completely besotted and are just like, "Honey, no." She claims that family is of utmost importance to her, but uproots her children constantly with no regard to their feelings. (For example: She and Blake decide to move the family to Gstaad, Switzerland and then she's like, "It never occurred to me the children might be unhappy there.") She describes the chaos of life as an actress married to a writer/director, each with their own children, and then is like, "So we decided to have more kids!" And presented it as a fait accompli to their kids. And then kept leaving those younger children for various career and family reasons--or visa reasons, given their decision to become Swiss residents. (She writes that they may not have made that decision if they had realized the problems the residency requirements would cause; Julie, honey, maybe you should've researched that a bit more first.) I enjoyed her first memoir, Home: A Memoir of My Early Years, more. There was SO much to her childhood that I didn't know that clearly shaped the woman she became. (She helpfully provides a summary at the beginning of this book.) I just wish that this exploration of her life as an adult was more illuminating of her as a person. She frequently mentions a lack of confidence in herself, and I think that bleeds into this book as well. As a reader, I care more about her as person than postproduction of a movie that I'd never actually heard of.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dori Sabourin

    Did anyone ever realize how much work and sacrifice actresses have to do in order to maintain and further their acting career? Julie Andrews lays it out for the reader to understand that it was not all handed to her on a silver platter. Andrews lays it all out there, her doubts, her lessons, her fears, etc. I would recommend this book to anyone who is contemplating an acting career or other profession in the film industry.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Katja

    I've always been an admirer of Julie Andrews as a performer, but after listening to this wonderful autobiography  (beautifully narrated by herself), I'm also a big fan of her as a person. I found it inspiring how she navigated her often complicated marriage with Blake Edwards, her chaotic and difficult family life with her big patchwork family and how much kindness and grace and poise she displayed throughout those eventful Hollywood years of theirs. Some reviewers pointed out that she seems det I've always been an admirer of Julie Andrews as a performer, but after listening to this wonderful autobiography  (beautifully narrated by herself), I'm also a big fan of her as a person. I found it inspiring how she navigated her often complicated marriage with Blake Edwards, her chaotic and difficult family life with her big patchwork family and how much kindness and grace and poise she displayed throughout those eventful Hollywood years of theirs. Some reviewers pointed out that she seems detached, but I think that a) she's English, being raised by a generation of war time "stiff upper lip" Brits (no offense dear British friends) and b) her difficult childhood with an abusive stepfather made her very resilient, waiting out difficult phases (like Blake's bouts of depression e.g.) instead of falling into despair herself. I actually found her very in tune with her inner life, not brushing over difficult emotions or shortcomings on her or her spouse's part. I found the way she carries herself very admirable, kindness and grace being two important qualities I'm aspiring to myself on a daily basis, so let's just hope that in my late 70ies I can shoot for (and pull off) Julie's kindness and grace, paired with the cool feistiness of Jane Fonda, who is one of my other real life heroines. Knowing me it will be more Joan Rivers paired with Groucho Marx, but hey, everyone needs a goal. Highly recommended, especially the audio version, if you happen to like audio books.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Gretchen Rubin

    Julie Andrews! A fascinating, thoughtful memoir. I'd been thinking about her lately because of this "A Little Happier" I did recently. Of all the "Littles," this is one of my favorites: "I get choked up when I hear the song "Edelweiss" from The Sound of Music" (https://gretchenrubin.com/podcast-epi...). Plus Julie Andrews's book Mandy made it onto my 81 Favorite Works of Children's and Young-Adult Literature. Julie Andrews! A fascinating, thoughtful memoir. I'd been thinking about her lately because of this "A Little Happier" I did recently. Of all the "Littles," this is one of my favorites: "I get choked up when I hear the song "Edelweiss" from The Sound of Music" (https://gretchenrubin.com/podcast-epi...). Plus Julie Andrews's book Mandy made it onto my 81 Favorite Works of Children's and Young-Adult Literature.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Shaina Robbins

    I love old Hollywood and I love Julie Andrews, so this was a must-read for me. For the most part, it was delightful. I suspect I would have liked this less had I read a physical copy instead of listening to the audiobook. Julie's writing style is very straight-forward, even when dealing with emotional moments, so hearing her warm, emotive narration made a big difference in how I experienced the book. I love old Hollywood and I love Julie Andrews, so this was a must-read for me. For the most part, it was delightful. I suspect I would have liked this less had I read a physical copy instead of listening to the audiobook. Julie's writing style is very straight-forward, even when dealing with emotional moments, so hearing her warm, emotive narration made a big difference in how I experienced the book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    Julie Andrews is the epitome of class and grace for me. I listened to her first memoir, HOME several years ago. I especially like to listen to authors reading their own memoirs, and Julie’s voice is very pleasant to hear. I enjoyed HOME so much; so when I saw she had written about the second part of her life, I was anxious to hear it. Note: if you did not read her first memoir, she recaps her early years in this book. Julie didn’t have an easy life. She grew up during WWII in London during the b Julie Andrews is the epitome of class and grace for me. I listened to her first memoir, HOME several years ago. I especially like to listen to authors reading their own memoirs, and Julie’s voice is very pleasant to hear. I enjoyed HOME so much; so when I saw she had written about the second part of her life, I was anxious to hear it. Note: if you did not read her first memoir, she recaps her early years in this book. Julie didn’t have an easy life. She grew up during WWII in London during the blitz. Her dysfunctional family were poor, and she was no stranger to hard work. I admire how she has developed her talents as a stage actress, singer, movie actress, author all while she was a mother and homemaker to a blended family and adopting two Vietnamese baby girls to raise and love. It’s staggering to me how she was able to do all this and travel all over the world performing, doing charity work. I relate to Julie in two ways. First she is just two years younger than me. And when I was young I studied voice and sang solos in church. Once when I had sung for a service, a gentleman told me I sounded just like Julie Andrews. Of course, that was preposterous, but I was flattered nevertheless!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Christina DeVane

    4.5 🌟 as I enjoyed reading this so much! Excellently written and I felt like Andrews was so transparent about everything that has happened in her life. I honestly feel bad for her in the many family problems she has had her whole life including her second husband. She deserved much better in my opinion! 😎 Hollywood is not all glamour and I was surprised how many projects she worked on just for the money. I never knew she adopted 2 Vietnamese girls either! Some language throughout. The book ends in 4.5 🌟 as I enjoyed reading this so much! Excellently written and I felt like Andrews was so transparent about everything that has happened in her life. I honestly feel bad for her in the many family problems she has had her whole life including her second husband. She deserved much better in my opinion! 😎 Hollywood is not all glamour and I was surprised how many projects she worked on just for the money. I never knew she adopted 2 Vietnamese girls either! Some language throughout. The book ends in 1986 and I really hope she’s working on her final memoir as I want the inside scoop on her vocal surgery and later roles like Princess Diaries!!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Andi

    Julie Andrews, growing up, was someone I wanted to be related to. I wanted her to be my aunt, I wanted her to tell me stories, sing to me, perform stories for me when I was blue. After finishing Part 2 of her memoirs, I gotta say, she is such a damn trooper that nobody never knew how utterly depressing and sad her life was beyond the roles she played. The stories she tells are ones that we've heard before. However, the drama/the anguish/the happiness is something that was new for me. For me, the Julie Andrews, growing up, was someone I wanted to be related to. I wanted her to be my aunt, I wanted her to tell me stories, sing to me, perform stories for me when I was blue. After finishing Part 2 of her memoirs, I gotta say, she is such a damn trooper that nobody never knew how utterly depressing and sad her life was beyond the roles she played. The stories she tells are ones that we've heard before. However, the drama/the anguish/the happiness is something that was new for me. For me, the most interesting bit was her marriage with Blake Edwards. I never knew how much she loved him or he loved her since it felt like their relationship was a private one. I also had no idea that she adopted two Vietnamese girls. That whole entire period of their lives, while happiness interjected, was absolutely heartbreaking and a mess for the both of them. The book ends when she is set to do Victor/Victoria on stage. This is when the start of her troubles pop up with her voice, which then lead to her surgery which damaged her vocal chords. I feel that out of the books, that one will be rough since that is when I was born, and that is what I remember. Growing up watching someone after so many other people had gotten to see the Julie Andrews that had tours, specials, films, and interviews. I will wait patiently for that book, just like I waited patiently for the last one.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Felicity

    Since I read Home last year I was hoping Julie Andrews would write a second memoir. I was delighted when I heard that Home Work was coming out and bought a copy the day it was published. Home Work covers the time that Andrews started filming Mary Poppins up until 1986. It goes into detail about what Hollywood was like and some of the characters she and her family had the pleasure and displeasure of dealing with. It also talks about her first marriage not working out and how she met her second hus Since I read Home last year I was hoping Julie Andrews would write a second memoir. I was delighted when I heard that Home Work was coming out and bought a copy the day it was published. Home Work covers the time that Andrews started filming Mary Poppins up until 1986. It goes into detail about what Hollywood was like and some of the characters she and her family had the pleasure and displeasure of dealing with. It also talks about her first marriage not working out and how she met her second husband. The book continues to follow her parents and her Auntie Joan. It is incredible to me how she managed to balance her hectic work schedule with her family life and how she regularly moved for her filming. Just reading about some of her travelling made me exhausted! I can see why her daughter calls her the most resilient person she has ever known. There are some great anecdotes but it is an honest and straightforward memoir revealing the difficulties and fears that she had and how she decided the have therapy. Another fabulous memoir. Read Home first if you can but she does provide a brief recap at the start to help. I hope she writes another instalment in the next few years.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kate Mackey

    I never read her first memoir and it seems there will be a third as this book takes you to 1986, ending abruptly. I am a fan of her work but not of her personal life now. I felt she put herself before her children. I don’t even understand why she adopted two girls when they were not really in their lives, living with several nanny’s in another country and are referred to as ‘the babies’ until they are 10. I also feel the drama in her life was caused by her lifestyle. I found all the moving back I never read her first memoir and it seems there will be a third as this book takes you to 1986, ending abruptly. I am a fan of her work but not of her personal life now. I felt she put herself before her children. I don’t even understand why she adopted two girls when they were not really in their lives, living with several nanny’s in another country and are referred to as ‘the babies’ until they are 10. I also feel the drama in her life was caused by her lifestyle. I found all the moving back and forth to L.A., London and Switzerland, confusing as a timeline. She definitely loves Emma, but never see the same love for Amelia and Joanna. I don’t feel she did Blake Edwards any favors about the way he was portrayed, so in love of the little things he does at the beginning of their marriage to becoming such a dark, self medicating, suicidal person as she didn’t really intervene and just watched? I would like to believe the book is just poorly written. I believe in an interview she said this book was to show balancing her home and work, which I never saw.

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