Book: Home Work
Author: Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Andrews
Who should read this book: All Julie Andrews fans
Thank you very much to Hachette Book Group Canada for sending me an early copy of this book for an honest review! This one releases October 15th!
This is the second autobiography written by Julie Andrews. Her first one is called Home and is her early life before she made it to Hollywood. This biography starts just before she lands the lead roll in Mary Poppins and continues until the late 80’s. It covers the birth of her child and her short marriage to Tony Walton and her long marriage to Blake Edwards. Julie was definitely a hard working woman. I found learning about the massive undertaking that is creating a movie fascinating. But Julie started as a singer, in Vaudeville and Broadway. Mary Poppins was her break into Hollywood and then she promptly filmed Sound of Music. These are two of my all time favourite movies. It was really cool to read about how they were made.
Beyond movies, Julie Andrews has had a pretty interesting life so far. She had a baby girl named Emma (co-author) and then when she married Blake Edwards, she became a step-mother to two more. Her and Blake tried to have kids but they struggled and eventually adopted two babies from Vietnam. Her family moved around a lot, Blake was a movie director/producer so they were either on location filming with him (Julie was usually cast in his movies), or they were on location wherever Julie was filming. There is definitely a lot money in the bank for Julie and she frequently discusses the purchase and sale of various homes in various countries, but other than that it’s barely noticeable that you are reading about the life of a very rich woman. Her focus is always on work and her kids.
The other thing I loved about this book was how open Julie was about her mental health. She saw a therapist most of her life, she encouraged everyone around her to see a therapist, she helped her brother with his drug addiction, her husband struggled with a pain killer addiction, her mother drank too much, and all of this was discussed openly and with an amazing amount of compassion. Julie Andrews spent her life (so far) caring deeply for her family and friends. It’s so evident in this book how much of herself she gave to other people and her career. But she also, in today’s terms, practiced self-care! She saw her therapist, she escaped to Switzerland when she needed a break, she managed her time as best she could, and when she needed a release she’d bellow out a high C note! She even went for a hike alone in the Swiss mountains once and was freely singing the sound of music to cheer herself up and a pair of Japanese tourists heard her singing and came over for a picture. She also spread her wealth around to many charities and caring for people in need was obviously something she enjoyed.
Story 2/3 points: Overall it was fascinating but there were a few slow sections as I’m sure most people’s lives would include.
Feeling 2/3 points: I really did enjoy this, and I want to go back and read her first autobiography of her early life. There were just some boring parts of this book for me, I think people with kids would enjoy it more.
Writing 3/4 points: I’m always impressed when a celebrity can write and Julie Andrews is an elegant writer. My only issue was that sometimes there was a little more detail than was needed.