In this follow-up to her critically acclaimed memoir, Home, Andrews shares reflections on her career and unveils her personal story of dealing with the demands of unimaginable success, being a new mother, the end of her first marriage, embracing two stepchildren, adopting two more children, and falling in love with Blake Edwards.
The book is a dance between candor and diplomacy, as Andrews navigates the imperative of honesty with the courteousness that seems to be her governing instinct ... Andrews’s authorial voice in Home Work is authentic; her narrative is stately, funny, open, and characterized by an outright refusal to indulge in self-pity. It’s also enhanced by excerpts from her diaries, which convey some sense of how heavy she could find the emotional burden of performing.
... intriguing tidbits ... But unlike many Hollywood memoirs these days, it doesn’t contain any shocking or titillating revelations ... the 84-year-old British-born actress and singer comes across pretty much as the Julie Andrews that we admire on the screen—graceful, elegant and wholesome, but not particularly complicated or troubled ... Home Work is the story of an ordinary person blessed with extraordinary gifts, including a soaring, angelic soprano voice, whose big struggle was to maintain that normalcy in a Hollywood rife with exploitation and excess ... Andrews’ portrait of [Blake] Edwards, to whom she was married until his death at age 88 in 2010, is more revealing than anything she writes about herself ... The most moving part of the book is Andrews’ account of postwar Vietnam and Cambodia, which she visited in the early 1980s as part of a humanitarian delegation ... She devotes more space and vivid detail in the book to those scenes of heart-wrenching deprivation and suffering than she gives to some of her movies ... Andrews’ refreshing unpretentiousness and gentle sense of bemusement at her life’s adventures...make Home Work a book that will appeal to fans of her films, as well as anyone who wants to be reassured that being a celebrity doesn’t have to involve scandal.
A frank and intimate storyteller whose radiant spirit fills these pages, Andrews chronicles the peaks and valleys of her life and career. This event-packed memoir is a must for fans of Andrews’s life and work, students of cinema history, and anyone who is curious about musical film production.