Book Review: Reading “Home Work” Felt Like An Assignment

Publication date:  October 2019Book

Review, short version:  One rose out of four, because I could never give Julie a skunk.

Review, long version:

I like Julie Andrews a lot, and have for a long time.

I think she’s a marvelous singer, and a good actress in both comedies and dramas, musical and non-musical.

And I applaud her longevity – at 84, she’s still going strong.

She’s also a writer, and Home Work, her second memoir, lists her published books – six including this latest, plus another 32 written with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton.

Julie-Andrews-and-Emma cropped
Andrews and daugher Emma.

Andrews’ first memoir, Home, about her “early years,” came out in 2009.  Home Work begins with Andrews in her late teens and ends at around age 60, so I figure Andrews will be good for at least one more memoir.

I hope it’s better than this one.

Because Home Work just wasn’t all that interesting.

Considering the Broadway shows she’s been in, including My Fair Lady and Camelot; the movies she’s been in – at least two dozen in the book’s time period, including Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, and Victor/Victoria; and the dozens of TV shows…

And considering the leading men she’s worked with – Richard Burton, Robert Goulet, Rex Harrison, Christopher Plummer, Omar Sharif, Richard Harris, Robert Preston, William Holden, Burt Reynolds, James Garner, Paul Newman, Colin Firth…

Burt Julie cropped James and Julie cropped Paul Julie cropped

Burt Reynolds… James Garner… Paul Newman…
So many men…so few stories…

Couldn’t she have come up with a bit more behind-the-scenes stuff?  A couple of you-won’t-believe-what-happened-next tidbits?  And maybe one, just one, semi-salacious story?

OK, maybe Andrews’ recounting of baring her breasts in the movie S.O.B. qualifies as semi-salacious.  But as for the rest…

Apparently not.

Instead, the book is a recounting of Andrews with her first or second husband and their boring croppedvarious children while living in Los Angeles or New York or London or Paris or Gstaad and how money was tight and she’s doing this show or this film or this TV special plus issues with her parents and her second husband’s parents and her half-brother and various half-siblings and the numerous nannies thatboring cropped come and go and somewhere in she there gets divorced and remarried now they’re in Las Vegas then back to Gstaad to buy a house and then back to New York and then Malibu where they’re building a house while she’s doing this show or this movie or this TV special and then her health issues and his psychoanalysis and back to Paris and London and Japan and his awards and her awards and they have boring croppedthree or seven or 10 pets and money troubles but let’s buy a yacht anyway and she’s doing more movies and more TV specials plus a TV series and then there’s his health issues and her psychoanalysis and the movies her second husband is making while they’re in Gstaad or Los Angeles or…

Wherever.

Whatever.

Just…not…interesting.

I wasn’t looking for a Broadway/Hollywood-style gossipy tell-all book, but considering the experiences and adventures, successes and failures Andrews has had, I think Home Work could have been much more interesting.

Instead, reading it was more like doing…

homework

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