I did not enjoy Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years by Julie Andrews Edwards as much as Julie Andrews Edwards’s first memoir, Home: A Memoir of My Early Years. That’s not saying it is not good, it is, but her first book was a 5-star book in my opinion. It’s kind of hard to top that.
This book picks up where the last book left off, when Julie Andrews makes her move to Hollywood to star inMary Poppins, and then immediately followed that with The Sound of Music.
There’s a lot of telling “and then I did this” but no emotion involved. How did she feel when she was doing X? And I came away from the book feeling very sad for her children, who were shuttled from one nanny to the next, from London to L.A. to Gstad, Switzerland, to boarding schools and back again. Andrews Edwards and her husband had very little time for his two kids from his first marriage and her daughter from her first marriage, so they decided to adopt two more kids along the way!
Julie relies on diaries, but instead of using them to refresh her memory and maybe quote a line or two, she just uses whole passages from her journals to tell the story. She also rarely does anything wrong, and points out all her husband’s faults. I think this would have been a different book entirely had it not been written with her daughter and had her husband been alive.
My favorite Julie Andrews movie has to be Torn Curtain, a Hitchcock movie that also stars Paul Newman and just oozes Cold War vibes, and I’m glad she mentioned it. It’s definitely not your typical Julie Andrews role, and that’s why I love it.
I still love Andrews Edwards’s work, but as I often feel after reading a Hollywood biography, I feel let down by the person themselves. It’s still a three-and-a-half star biography, which is better than most Hollywood memoirs I’ve read. And Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years by Julie Andrews Edwards is currently $10.99 in hardcover format on Amazon right now. Might make a great gift to the Julie Andrews fans in your life.
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