Category Archives: Autobiography

Home Work – Julie Andrews

I seem to be reading a lot of autobiographies at the moment! They never used to appeal to me when I was younger and I do think they have to grab me in some way to keep me going. I loved Julie Andrews when I was younger. Sound of Music is easily in my top 5 movies of all time. This is how out of the loop I am when it comes to autobiographies – I didn’t even know she had already had one out! Home Work follows Andrews as she embarks on her Hollywood years.

Plot

As said above, this follows Andrews from her time entering into Hollywood to the mid 80s.

Opinion

As stated above, I love Julie Andrews! So it comes as no real surprise that I do like this! I hadn’t realised she was in her 80s until this book. Which seems ridiculous but with her age in Sound of Music, obviously they stay that age in your head. I wonder if we will see the final book written with her input? Her daughter is the ghost writer and Andrews seemingly has written diaries all her life as they make a great impact here so it is possible that we could get the 3rd installment post Andrews but then again, people are living well into their 90s and she did do publicity for this book so is still fit and able.

I would say that this book has made me want to get the first book on her life. Whilst there was a recap at the beginning of the book, it seemed such a fascinating period of her life and the hardships she had to overcome look like they would be interesting to read about.

I did like this book, and I found interesting to read about her experiences on the films I have seen (Poppins, Sound of Music and Victor/Victoria) but I must confess I didn’t really know much about the other films she was in and did find that to drag somewhat. Her experience in Cambodia and Vietnam when she went as part of a charity trip was horrific and one of the better parts of the book as she reacted to what she was seeing. I did think some aspects were brushed over slightly quickly. We didn’t really get into her brother’s drug abuse, which might have been for the family but seems a shame we couldn’t go further into that. Same with her step-daughter’s relationship with her boyfriend that Blake Edwards (Andrews’s husband) disapproved of enough to cut her off when she moved in with him. This comment just popped up with no forewarning of this boyfriend and was rarely mentioned again. I understand it was maybe a ‘we need to add it in as it happened but we don’t want to go over the details for the family’ situation but seemed like the family connections which I love to learn about were very much brushed over.

Andrews was very candid about her relationship with her husband, Blake, discussing his pain pill addiction, his depression and at times volatile nature were all interesting.

Overall, I’d give this 7.5/10. 

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Filed under Autobiography, Book Review, Julie Andrews

Unfollow- Megan Phelps-Roper

Full disclosure – I did go to an event by Megan on her book tour. It was great. She was lovely and answered every question which as some, I am sure, were challenging for her in terms of a baying crowd demanding why she said and did hurtful things and then questioning why she decided that they were hurtful things to say. I admire her bravery in facing up to what her and family did and are currently doing is not really ‘the Word of the Lord’. But anyway, she was great, it was great, the book was great.

Plot

Basically, just go and watch Louis Theroux’s documentary called The Most Hated Family in America. 

Opinion

It’s always slightly harder to review autobiographies. This is the author’s own truth. This is their story. Who am I to say, well this was a bit boring when it was their life and they lived it? That being said, I have read it and this is a review site so here we go!

This book challenged me in a good way. I have to admit, I went into this book thinking how can anyone believe in the Westboro ideology and you must be brainwashed to believe that. And I still think that BUT I also can see them as a family which I hadn’t before. They were still parents loving their children and trying to bring them up. They were still children who defied their parents as all kids do and pushed the line. It was interesting to learn that the Phelps name was first heard as champions in the race wars of the 60s and 70s as the founder of Westboro believed in equality for both black and white people and fought to help black people when other lawyers wouldn’t. It shows that the religious zeal of the family if applied to the right outlet could also be a force for good. A major lesson to take from this story.

On the whole, I found the beginning to slightly drag a little and I found it most interesting when Megan started to doubt her family’s beliefs and ideology. It gives me hope that Twitter can be used for good as well as all the other horrible things the social network is famed for.

I also found the copious amounts of bible verses placed about slightly hard to deal with. When it tied in with the story then I got it but they were placed about quite frequently. Though as Megan herself said in her talk I went to, they are in italics so you can skip them quite easily!

Overall, because it challenged my own prejudice against this family and enlightened me on a topic I thought I knew (because I had seen all the Theroux documentaries) I give this a 7.5/10.

 

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Filed under Autobiography, Biography, Book Review