Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years

Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years

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...

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Title:Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years
Author:Julie Andrews Edwards
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years Reviews

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • Jeanette (Again)

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

    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.

    is one of my favorite movies, but I didn't realize she had so many more out there!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

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