Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Here's the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding my True Voice by Maureen McCormick

Marcia Brady, eldest daughter on television's The Brady Bunch, had it all—style, looks, boys, brains, and talent. No wonder her younger sister Jan was jealous! For countless adolescents across America who came of age in the early 1970s, Marcia was the ideal American teenager. Girls wanted to be her. Boys wanted to date her. But what viewers didn't know about the always-sunny, perfect Marcia was that offscreen, her real-life counterpart, Maureen McCormick, the young actress who portrayed her, was living a very different—and not-so-wonderful—life. Now, for the very first time, Maureen tells the shocking and inspirational true story of the beloved teen generations have invited into their living rooms—and the woman she became.

In Here's the Story, Maureen takes us behind the scenes of America's favorite television family, the Bradys. With poignancy and candor, she reveals the lifelong friendships, the hurtful jealousies, the offscreen romance, the loving support her television family provided during a life-or-death moment, and the inconsolable loss of a man who had been a second father. But The Brady Bunch was only the beginning. Haunted by the perfection of her television alter ego, Maureen landed on the dark side, caught up in a fast-paced, drug-fueled, star-studded Hollywood existence that ultimately led to the biggest battle of her life.

Moving from drug dens on Wonderland Avenue to wild parties at the Playboy mansion and exotic escapades on the beaches of Hawaii, this candid, hard-hitting memoir exposes a side of a beloved pop-culture icon the paparazzi missed. Yet it is also a story of remarkable success. After kicking her drug habit, Maureen battled depression, reconnected with her mother, whom she nursed through the end of her life, and then found herself in a pitched battle for her family in which she ultimately triumphed.

There is no question: Maureen McCormick is a survivor. After fifty years, she has finally learned what it means to love the person you are, insight that has brought her peace in a happy marriage and as a mother. Here's the Story is the empowering, engaging, shocking, and emotional tale of Maureen McCormick's courageous struggle over adversity and her lifelong battle to come to terms with the idea of perfection—and herself.
I will be the first to admit that I am not necessarily a huge fan of The Brady Bunch. I have seen the show over the years and watched the Christmas movie, but I probably haven't seen all the episodes and I never exactly rushed out to buy the DVDs. That being said, I actually started paying attention to Maureen McCormick when I was channel-surfing one day and saw her on Dr. Phil. She has had some serious problems with her father and one of her brothers over the years and she was on there talking about elder abuse. While I don't think I saw the entire episode, I did find myself interested in a topic that I had never really given much thought to before. So, when I saw that she had a book out, I decided to give it a read and get the whole story. I was rather surprised at just how open about her life she is!

The book goes back to the beginning and covers events up to just a few months ago. Considering she does this in under 300 pages, you would be surprised in how much she covers and how much detail she goes into. The only thing I can ever remember seeing her on was The Brady Bunch, but it turns out that she has been on many other things. Of course, it is mostly television and I am just not a big television watcher... Throughout her career, though, she has battled many demons and in this book she lets them all out of the closet. I probably have an addictive personality, but I try and prevent it from taking control. I grew up in a household, though, where one of my parents did allow their addictions to run their life, and while they didn't do cocaine, it was just as interesting and enlightening to hear the story from the addicts point-of-view. My parent is older than Maureen and they haven't exactly got to the same point as her, but maybe one day it will happen.

Anyway, in this book Maureen looks at her addiction, her insecurities, the struggle to find work for a child star, her marriage, her relationships before her marriage, being a mother, her relationship with her own mother, and so much more. It was very illuminating and actually quite well-written. I found that I easily became wrapped up in her story. Like I said above, I was not necessarily reading it because she was Marcia Brady, but because I was interested in her story. I think she did a very good job at getting the facts out there, and considering that she was raised in a family that hid everything, it was very brave to write it all out for the world to see.

I am very glad I took the time to read this book!

Browse Inside this book
Get this for your site

Harper Collins in Canada just relaunched and they have this cool search inside feature. I personally like them and while other book sites have them, they don't send me review copies of books. Harper Collins does, so I was thinking of including them from now on. What does everyone think?


  1. Personally, I was a HUGE Brady bunch fan. I've seen the reruns so many times, I can quote most of them!!

    And for the most part, I liked Marcia. I saw her do an interview on the Today show when this book came out. I'm definitely going to have to read it!

  2. I sometimes wonder if the release of this sort of book is good or not. I'm sure it's good for the get things off their chest has got to be helpful.. but sometimes I think a book like this sends a message that "you too can do drugs and everything i did.. and stills survive just fine"...

    It's the pessimist in me but sometimes I do wonder

  3. I just got a review copy of this a couple of days ago. So I skimmed quickly over your review but I was a HUGE Brady fan. Watched it every day after school and I'm very anxious to read this. Just hoping it's better than Valerie Bertinelli's earlier this year!

  4. It was a good book. I see where you are coming from, Deslily, but I didn't really feel like that when I finished the books. She struggled to overcome everything and she isn't exactly a world-famous actress as a result. Most people still only know her as Marcia Brady.


Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

I am so sorry, but I turned anonymous commenting off. I have had it from the very beginning, but that is how the spam is getting by my spam filter at the moment. If it is a big deal I will turn it back on and moderate all comments. I also changed moderation from older than 14 days to older than 7.