Picks and Pans Review: Home

updated 04/21/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/21/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Julie Andrews | [

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As Andrews recounts in this frank, intriguing memoir of her youth, the woman the world knows as Mary Poppins and Maria von Trapp could have used a loving nanny herself. A survivor of the London Blitz—and of myriad family dysfunctions, including her mother's alcoholism—young Julie was saved by her precocious voice. By 12, she had joined her mom on England's vaudeville circuit, outshining her and becoming the family's main breadwinner. Composed as ever, Andrews relates her story without bile: Indeed, one wishes she were as forthcoming about her feelings as she is about backstage gossip. Fans will surely demand an encore.

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