Recently I have written about some of the popular fiction that has kept me busy reading throughout the past year. However, I haven’t spoken much about some of the incredible biographies that I have had the good fortune to read. It makes sense to start with one that had really stuck in my memory and made me admire the writer even more.
The book that I am talking about is called ‘Home: A Memoir of my Early Years’ and it is written by Hollywood legend Julie Andrews. It outlines her early life growing up in Walton-on-Thames in London and experiencing life on the road with her performing parents.
Julie grew up with split parents and soon discovered that she had a really high range when she sang. Her step dad was a singer and incorporated her into his routine as well as arranging for some formal music lessons. After a while her involvement grew and she was taking part in summer seasons at places like Blackpool as well as on the radio.
She had the opportunity to sing ‘God Save the Queen’ to the Queen Mother at the Royal Variety Show and was soon invited to be in a star-studded panto at the London Palladium. After years of being on the road and dealing with a troublesome step dad, she eventually was offered a lead role in a new theatre production of the musical ‘The Boyfriend’. The fame that resulted meant that she was able to carry on with this play on Broadway and she has never looked back.
Her career went on to see her star in the amazing ‘Mary Poppins’ movie and ‘The Sound of Music’ but those experiences were actually left to be covered in her follow up biography, which I will mention another time.
Everyone knows I am a massive Sound of Music fan and have visited Salzburg to tour all of the locations of the film. Therefore it is no surprise that I am fascinated by Julie Andrews’ career.
Trying not to be biased, her writing style is great, her recollections are insightful and this book is ‘practically perfect in every way’ (nod to Mary Poppins).
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