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Here's the Story: Surviving Marcia…

Here's the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice

by Maureen McCormick

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Yeah, I was curious - I heard her on Howard Stern - he made her seem interesting, I got the book on the bargain shelf.....and I don't know. I am glad she is happy in her life and that her drug problems are behind her, but...let's just say that her writing skills are on par with her acting skills.... "skills" being a loose term ( )
  ER1116 | Jan 13, 2016 |
It's hard to believe that Maureen McCormick only played "Marcia Brady" on The Brady Bunch for five years. The Brady Bunch has become such a part of pop culture that it seems as if the series ran for much longer (syndication will do that, I guess).

Although each of the child actors and actresses who portrayed the Brady kids became closely identified with his or her character, America (and a good deal of Hollywood) seems to find it most difficult to separate Maureen McCormick from Marcia Brady. Hence the rationale for writing this book. Life in the Brady household was picture-perfect ... and whatever problems or crises erupted were easily solved within the episode. And nobody was more perfect and more idolized than Marcia.

Here's the Story gives a backstage look at McCormick's life before, during, and especially after starring on The Brady Bunch. Much of the publicity surrounding the book's release centered on the juicy tidbits she reveals within: the confirmation of her romance with Barry Williams, who played big brother Greg; the wild parties at the Playboy Mansion; the dates with Steve Martin and Michael Jackson. While I initially picked up this book because of these nuggets, that's not what the book is about.

Judging people on what we perceive them to be is a recurrent theme throughout the book. As a young girl, McCormick's father lectures his offspring around the kitchen table about judging others - a bitter irony in so many respects, particularly in regards to McCormick's parents' relationship, her own relationship with her mother, her view of herself, and of course, America's view of how life must be for Marcia/Maureen. She writes poignantly about her brother Denny, who is intellectually handicapped, and the harsh judgement that is inflicted on him by her friends who weren't allowed to stay overnight (for fears that Denny could be get violent) or when he hears people calling him a "retard" and asks his sister what that means. On a personal level, I would have liked to have read more of her experience and thoughts on having a sibling with special needs, but that's not what the book is about.

Ultimately, this is a book about the process of accepting yourself for who you truly are - not who or what society dictates that you are, even if you are Marcia Brady. Here's the Story is a fast read, made such because a good deal of the writing tends to stray into cliches and banality with frequent uses of "cool" and "hot." At times it seems as if Marcia herself is writing this memoir, especially when reading such passages as this, when discussing her romance with co-star Barry Williams.

"There was so much electricity between us that I felt the hair on my arms stand up every time we got close to each other on the set. I thought about Barry even when I had scenes with other guys. I used to ask myself how I could ever look in eyes other than his liquid blues and feel such love.

Gag me with a spoon, for sure.

The most gripping parts of this book comes in the last several chapters. The reader feels McCormick's pain as she discusses her mother's death and the family dynamics playing out in the aftermath. Unlike on a sit-com, there's no easy resolution to these messy and emotionally painful issues.

I liked this book more than I thought I would, and give it 3.5 stars (out of 5). Would recommend reading if you're a Brady Bunch fan, but moreso as an interesting read about the struggle for self-acceptance on all levels. ( )
  bettyandboo | Apr 2, 2013 |
Not a tell-all book, McCormick reveals her work as a child star and harder times out of the limelight. From her parents who were married in the Catholic Church, she finds her own religious stability in Vineyard ministries (after an encounter with God physically lifting her up). McCormick describes her insecurities and her dangerous methods of coping and personal mismanagement. Her family turmoil is not unlike other families. Overall the expression of her life is meant to contrast with the fictional Marcia Brady. I'm glad McCormick repeats how often people would come up to her to tell her how much her beloved TV character was part of their own childhoods. Entertainment personalities have privileged lives but also lives weighted by enormous avoidance of seeming failure. I appreciated her struggle, over decades, to realistically accept her human frailty. I was not expecting to find such an introspective book about the complex depths of substance abuse and the addictive personality. ( )
  sacredheart25 | Aug 29, 2011 |
I gave this a 3 star rating rather than the 2.5 it probably deserved because - well - I really enjoy reading Brady related stuff. So, for me it gets a .5 handicap.

I am not a Brady-o-phile but I like so many other people my age grew up with them in syndication and they were a large part of my childhood memories. I have a fondness for all of them and a curiosity about how they all turned out. I read the book by Greg that came out years ago and thought this would be a fun read.

Marcia was never my favorite - but in my head she seemed like on and off-screen she was always the most together. This book but that misapprehension to rest. Turns out Maureen had some truly horrendous years following the end of the series and turned to hard drugs. It was surprising and saddening to hear how much she went through.

The book reads like a therapeutic project. She spills out all this bad stuff she has been hiding for reason of pride, career and family. There is not a lot of finesse to how her story is told .

I feel pretty certain she didn't use a ghost writer because the writing for the most part is really amateurish. Almost every chapter ends with a silly cliff hanger-y line like...
"He had to see it all - and boy, did he ever..."
"Neither of us knew it, but I was going to need more than I'd ever imagined."

It is a book only someone who has an curiosity about Maureen McCormick should seek out. It doesn't stand on its own in any other way. But with that caveat given - it is totally fine - take it to the beach or pool with you. ( )
  alanna1122 | May 4, 2010 |
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A behind-the-scenes memoir by the actress best known for her portrayal of Marcia Brady describes the painful disparity between her on-screen persona and her real life, recounting the dark secret that overshadowed her relationship with her mother and siblings and her own struggles with depression, addiction, and eating disorders.… (more)

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