Friday, July 16, 2010

Julie and Julia

Still talking about Julie Andrews here. Did you know her real name was Julia?

Home: A Memoir of My Early YearsI just finished reading her auto-biography Home: A Memoir of My Early Years and I can't tell you how enlightening it was. She did not grow up in the best of situations; at one point in time her young career was making the family mortgage payment. She had horrible separation anxiety when she first left her home to come to the states and suffered through terrible vocal strain all throughout her run of My Fair Lady. But Julie Andrews doesn't just write about the struggle and the pain, she writes about the joy. I read some of her recollections of WWII out loud to the Professor lest he start to romanticize the era too much but also to show how these people survived something we can only imagine. I read to them about Helen Keller and John Glenn coming to see a performance of My Fair Lady so that they could have a better frame of reference for the time period. OK, I also read to them about Rex Harrison's "windy stomach" just to make them giggle, and it worked!

Not every moment stirred up laughter. I wanted to cry with her when she talked about her mother leaving. I was heartbroken for her when her father's offer to adopt the illegitimate child of adultery was refused by her mother. And I was terrified for her when confronted with the ugliness of abuse.

This story covers Julie's life from before the beginning up to the point that she started working on Mary Poppins. I don't know if she has plans to ever chronicle the years after that, but I hope so.

Just so you know, while I read certain sections to the children, this is not a book for children to read.


  1. Looks like a good read -- I'll get myself on the reserve list. Thanks, Charlotte.

  2. I'm thinking that this could make a good gift for my mother who is around the same age and love Julia.

  3. I loved reading about her life, too. I do think it could have been edited a bit because I found there to be a bit too much name-dropping for my taste. 'We went to a party and so and so and such and such were there.' I think I heard that she is working on the second part---although I could kick myself for not asking her when we met her.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts and yourself!