141 of 153 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
The Brady Bunch was a show that I discovered only in reruns as I was a little young when it first aired. By the time I did watch it, I was in my teens and thought the whole show was a bit of a joke and could not understand its cult following - however, over the years, it somehow kept resurfacing and despite myself, I got to know a little bit about each of the Brady kids...
Published on October 14, 2008 by Tina
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and interesting
I gave this 3 stars because I felt it was a good, quick read, but nothing I'd read over and over again or have a need to own. I was impressed with most of her writing; there was nothing fancy about it but she didn't try to pretend to be some experienced writer and I liked that.
What I really liked is that she gets to the interesting stuff right away. So often,...
Published on December 12, 2008 by Scott Yanoff
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141 of 153 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent,
This review is from: Here's the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice (Hardcover)The Brady Bunch was a show that I discovered only in reruns as I was a little young when it first aired. By the time I did watch it, I was in my teens and thought the whole show was a bit of a joke and could not understand its cult following - however, over the years, it somehow kept resurfacing and despite myself, I got to know a little bit about each of the Brady kids. When I saw that Maureen McCormick was publishing her memoirs, I thought it would be interesting to read as I always thought she was the most interesting character on the show - and always felt that there was alot lurking behind the "good girl, hair of gold Brady".
As soon as I started reading, I absolutely fell in love with the pace, the tone and the overall story being told. The first thing I noticed (and was eternally grateful for) was that although Maureen does touch on her childhood, she does not go on and on about it for half the book. She basically gives us the highlights (which includes some surprising facts about her siblings and her parents) and then moves on to her early career. Yes, she does spend some time on her "Brady days" but tends to gloss over some of the key elements that I believe would have been fun to read. She does go into quite alot of detail about the "crushes/kissing/fondling" that happened among the Brady kids, but I would have liked to hear more about the dynamics behind the scene - that did not necessarily relate to the teenage lust that seemed to be rampant. I would have like to find out more about the chemistry of the actors, some funny onset stories would have been nice. There is a minimal amount of this type of thing - it seems as though the Brady kids were all about "teenage lust" which is okay - but I felt there could have been a little bit more substance here. Besides which, somebody is going to have to explain to me why every girl (including Maureen) had a thing for Greg? I mean, the guy is really average looking in my opinion!!!
However, what comes after the Brady years is really where you find the heart and soul of Maureen McCormick. Its going to be hard for me to write this review without giving away any of the spoilers, but I had NO IDEA just how far down she fell before she found the strength to pick herself up. To her credit, she exposes every raw nerve in this memoir and makes a point of saying that SHE alone is responsible for the situation(s) she got herself into. I have to say that she must have had a fairy godmother looking over her - because she really got herself into some horrible situations.
The writing here is exceptional and we get a very clear picture of just how screwed up Maureen was. When she talks about her meeting with her future husband, you can actually feel the tone of the writing change - there is hope and love in the writing.
Maureen McCormick needs to be commended for writing an honest, raw memoir. She could easily have gone the other way and written some bubblegum account of her life. Writing memoirs are always tricky because you can't or won't divulge other people's involvement in your life and Maureen has done an excellent job of keeping the focus on her and not on the "other" celebrities that she talks about in her book.
I read alot of these types of books and I can't encourage you enough to run to the bookstore for this one.
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and interesting,
This review is from: Here's the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice (Hardcover)I gave this 3 stars because I felt it was a good, quick read, but nothing I'd read over and over again or have a need to own. I was impressed with most of her writing; there was nothing fancy about it but she didn't try to pretend to be some experienced writer and I liked that.
What I really liked is that she gets to the interesting stuff right away. So often, biographies start so far back and take forever to get to the part where things start to get interesting. Instead, McCormick really only spends a short chapter giving a background on her family and then weaves them into the picture throughout the book as necessary, until they become the focus later on.
She's had some of the already-seen struggles of a child celebrity such as bulimia and cocaine addiction. In fact, be forewarned if you're hoping to find Marcia Brady inside Maureen McCormick. The good girl you saw on the small screen is a bad girl off-screen for much of her 20s. Her plain-spoken manner lends itself well to the story, and aside from being a celebrity, she actually comes across as pretty down-to-earth (minus the heavy-duty vices she elaborates on in the book).
Later, though, she talks about challenges of claims of elder abuse by her psychotic brother and her senile father, and it goes into a pitiful account of her struggles with that. Knowing some of her struggles may keep others as interested as I was in my eagerness to keep reading more. Still, she seems powerless in a lot of situations and it's hard to always pick up from her writing just how she got to be that way.
The parts about the Bradys were the best, and if that's what you're looking for, then this is a worthwhile venture. For a die-hard Brady collector, this is a good book to have, and it's certainly deeper than Barry Williams book (although in fairness hers concentrates on a lifetime of celebrity and struggles whereas his book centered specifically on the Bradys). She recounts some juicy details and she didn't waste time getting to them, which was a real plus. Like I said, 3 stars because it was entertaining; I just reserve the higher ratings for something I'd be entertained by reading multiple times and maybe even owning.
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVED THIS BOOK!,
This review is from: Here's the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice (Hardcover)I read this book in two days, and I loved every minute of it. I thought it would be interesting to read about Maureen, the actress behind Marcia, to hear stories about the Brady Bunch, and to learn about her life today. What I got was that and so much more.
Maureen let's us in on who she is. Her life, her pitfalls, her triumphs, and writes an inspirational story many of us can relate to. We all have secrets, and Maureen tells them in a way that show us how easy it is to fall in, and better, what it takes to get out. It's nice to get to know Maureen through her book, to know that she's not Marcia, and to know that all of us have tough times, but that together we can get through them.
Bravo Maureen, thank you for writing such a bold book, I have so much respect for you.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Here's the story... It should be: Here's the WHOLE story...,
This review is from: Here's the Story (Kindle Edition)I read this book today. My mother always said, "watch out for the quiet ones." Wow! She wasn't kidding. Maureen left nothing out. I was at times, shocked, disappointed, angry, sympathetic, impressed, etc.
This is not a book about The Brady Bunch or the character Marcia Brady; though she did write about that part of her life; and it was connected. The book is about the person, Maureen McCormick: actress, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, neighbor.
This book brought on a roller-coaster of emotions: Maureen was really a mixed bag. Sometimes you really felt for her, other times you found yourself asking, "how stupid and naive can one person be?" At times she showed courage and others she was a coward. She was a victim; but yet much of it was self-inflicted.
She waited so long to grab the bull by the horns, that I found myself getting angry. But I guess that's part of it...when you are timid, insecure, strung out, imbalanced and vunarable, you lack the know-how in taking those first steps.
I think I was angry because with all of those around her who claimed to care; no one took the initiative to really stand tough.
I admire her for "coming out" with her true "self" because I was one of those, who truly believed that she was perfect, had it all, and led the perfect life; boy was I mistaken. See how we we judge, and perceive what we want to?
She could easily have continued to let the world believe in the "Marcia" perfect image and non of us would have been the wiser.
It just saddened me that no one used tough love and forced her to seek help; her husband who is passive, stood by for 20 years! Someone, anyone, should have shook her by the shoulders and forced her to get the help she needed.
She really never had any real home-life. When she finally ventured out on her own, she fell prey to a "life-style" and spiraled and spiraled.
The one message that readers should get from this read is: Seek help, no matter how scared, don't be afraid to seek help...the heck with the stigma. There was no humor in this book whatsoever, it is stark reality. I commend her and admire her new-found strength...but what were you waiting for? I pitied her for wasting so much valuable time!
I give it four stars. Worth reading...but needed a bit more editing.
As a fellow: wife, mother, daugher, sister...I wish her all the best.
The two questions the book left in the balance are:
1. Why was everyone but Eve Plumb acknowledged? Was there something there that she left out of the book? She touched on her Brady days; she should have included that little tid-bit.
2. How are things with her father and brother Kevin at present?? I was somewhat left wondering; unless perhaps at press time, nothing was resolved with her Dad's situation.
32 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Trying to Find Herself,
This review is from: Here's the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice (Hardcover)Here's the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice, by Maureen McCormick, is a memoir of a woman made famous by her role in the Brady Bunch, as the eldest daughter, Marcia. The Brady Bunch aired from 1969-1974, when Maureen was 13-18 years old. The Brady Bunch was a wildly successful show that ran on Friday nights--I know, I looked forward to it every week.
McCormick struggles most of her life because of her role as "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia." (This now infamous line was uttered by the middle daughter, Jan, because she felt her older sister got all the attention.) McCormick writes: "Imagine being shadowed by a younger,prettier, more popular you," referring to her role as Marcia.
I mentioned that I looked forward to watching The Brady Bunch every week--now, I was 8 years old when it started and it was the first show of its kind. But, it was always a bit dippy and moralistic. For example, whenever one of the kids did the slightest thing wrong, the whole family had to gather and mom and dad would lecture. GAG.
McCormick had a thing about being "imperfect" her entire life compared to the "perfect" Marcia. Now, I was a kid, but it was pretty obvious this was a TV show--not something real. However, McCormick had family problems and the Brady's must have felt like the perfect family to her. She was instructed on what to say and do (it was a role, after all), but the perfection of the family life stuck with her through her adulthood. (Keep in perspective the times--there were no controversial TV shows on at the time--TV people all seemed to live happy, easy lives.)
Now, I would have killed to look like Marcia---thin, with long, straight, blond hair. We learn that she was always worried about her stomach not being flat, that this beautiful teenager didn't feel worthy of her role.
McCormick provides details of what it was like on the Brady set,including crushes and such. I felt that there were too many details--do we really care about when she first got her period and how it happened? Or that she was jealous that Eve Plumb developed breasts before her?
The book is enjoyable, don't get me wrong--but it gets 4 stars, not 5 because it should have been edited more. Too many details throughout, the book drags at times.
McCormick reveals her family history (her mother's dad had syphilis and passed it to her mother) and her own life that included drug use, bulimia, and depression.
When McCormick turned 50, she agreed to be on the Celebrity Fit Club, a reality series in which the stars try to lose weight. McCormick is very successful at losing weight and feels good about herself. She writes: "After spending my life worrying about what people thought of me, what they might think of me, and trying to present a certain image, I gave up and was just me."
Ultimately, Maureen McCormick was brave to share this revealing memoir with the world. If nothing else, it shows that perfection is an illusion and that we would all be much better off if we could simply accept ourselves for who we really are.
By the author of the award winning book, HARMONIOUS ENVIRONMENT: BEAUTIFY, DETOXIFY & ENERGIZE YOUR LIFE, YOUR HOME & YOUR PLANET.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Here's The Story of a Lovely Lady,
This review is from: Here's the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice (Hardcover)If you are of a certain age and you were raised in a home with a television set, then the face of the cover of this book is very familiar to you. And whatever your age, if you watched this show with any regularity, you felt that you knew the character the author played on the Brady Bunch and perhaps even envied her apparent perfection. So, we watched her, liked her, and then she pretty much disappeared from view when the show ended.
Well, she's back ! One of the most redeeming aspects of this book is that it isn't just another celebrity book about the struggles of being a child star. I found this book to be optimistic, down to earth, and just plain enjoyable. If you liked the actress who played Marcia and if she was part of your childhood experience, you may be shocked to find out how much turmoil she experienced while she worked on this show. In spite of considerable past personal challenges, she seems to have harnessed her demons and come out whole. I hope so.
I didn't expect to like this book as much as I did. The story the author tells is at times sad, funny and for some of us, it's a story we can relate to. It's also a revealing peek at the goings-on behind the TV screen of a television family that many of us visited weekly for years.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars And that's the way she became part of the Brady Bunch...,
This review is from: Here's the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice (Hardcover)An interesting read that any fan of the Brady Bunch should most certainly check out. I got this book because I too, like so many others became a fan of this show due to all the repeats shown on cable networks throughout the years as well as local syndication. I don't know what it is about this silly show from the 70's but the characters and even the actors portraying them have always been of interest to me.
So of course when I found out that our very own Maureen "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!" McCormick was going to do an autobiography and give the scoop on what went on behind the scenes and in her life I had to check it out.
For the most part it was a fun read. Surprisingly, its not just a book about what happened on the set of the Brady Bunch or the usual stories we all know to death by now of how much Robert Reed hated to be on the show and how he was in the closet the whole time, (but there is a lot of that too truth be told) its more of a story of , well a story of Maureen the person. Not just her portraying Marcia, but how she is and always has been a real person behind the character.
Its very revealing. You almost feel like Maureen is letting out everything she has been holding in for some 50 years, freely and openly. Just putting it out there in chronological order of her life. And some of it is interesting actually but a lot of it is typical of a lot of child star actors who are big on the show they were on but never quite make it out of the shadow of said show.
She battles drugs, relationship problems, family problems, trying to build a career in Marcia's shadow and her trying to find herself again after all seems lost. Its interesting to learn about the actress who played one of the most well known TV teenage girls of all time. And see that yes, she is very human and not at all what we would expect Marcia if she were real to be like.
The real drawbacks with this book are that:
Firstly its way too short. 50 years of your life is a long time, especially when you are on a hit show and all that followed after. The book is only 274 pages and is a quick read. I really was hoping for more as there is so much to know and find out about that you know could have been in there.
Secondly not enough on her Brady Bunch experiences are mentioned. I really did enjoy learning of her life and her trials and tribulations and even some of the more shocking aspects of things going on in her family, but at the same time she is known as being Marcia on the Brady Bunch. What was her favorite episode? What did she think of every co actor she worked with? What did she think of the Brady Bunch Movie? What about the actress who played her in the Brady's? She skips over her experience on Brady Brides due to personal problems she was having. But honestly I would have loved to hear what it was like being in her state while doing the episodes of Brady Brides. The focus just became more of her co Star trying to save her which is nice and all but not what I personally was interested in as much. She could have even talked of what her relationship with Eve Plumb and the other actors on the spin off show were like. Again we are reading the book to find out more of her Brady Bunch connections and it just seemed quickly skimmed over. Even the Brady Christmas gets just a quick mention before its back to more about unrelated situations. This book could have been double the size easily if she just devoted more to her experience with the show as well as what we have now. It would have been a really great read then.
Lastly the complaint I have is that Maureen cries, a lot. And I feel her pain but its something you should be ready for if reading this book. A lot of emotional stress and some may feel for her or others may not. But I became not too surprised after awhile when every chapter had a crying moment that she had suddenly.
The book is still very good. I can't say its better than other Brady related books, as they told the fun things I wanted to know about. Learning about the actor is good, but lets face it, you wouldn't have a book at all if it weren't for the show you are trying to escape from. Lets hear more about the stuff going on the TV set and fights and fun moments and more about spin off series you did. It is a very fine little book but you almost wish she spent just another few months getting more details into it and devoting more to the behind the scenes aspects.
Finding religion, love and getting rid of a drug habit are nice reads and honestly not too shocking given that a lot of actors go through the same situations but if you are going to do a book like this make sure a lot more of it is devoted to the show experiences itself as I really felt it lacked in that department.
Its a good start and I'm sure it was really a weight off of Mrs. McCormick's shoulders to tell all, but a lot of fans of the show who were looking for more may be a little bit disappointed.
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ABSOLUTLY AMAZING,
This review is from: Here's the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice (Hardcover)I thought this book was incredible, I read in less than 2 days staying up all night because I could not put it down. The strength it took for Maureen to write about some of the most horrific times in her life is incredible.I have so much respect for her.She was definately as far down as she could go and she picked herself up then to be able to write a book about it takes alot of courage.Courage most of us will never have so Kudos Kudos and more Kudos to you Maureen.I grew up wanting to be like Marcia Brady and now as an adult I wish I could be half the woman Maureen McCormick is
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Marcia's alter ego,
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This review is from: Here's the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice (Paperback)The book is written in a straight-forward manner and is an easy read. Maureen is lucky to still be here considering what she put her body through, (cocaine addiction earning her the nickname of Hoover)and for her marriage to survive due to her bi-polar disorder.
She certainly had her ups and downs and the book gives an insight of what Hollywood was like in the 70's/80's. It seems they were all so far into cocaine/drugs that it is surprising that anything got done.
An honest and 'meaty' account of her life. She does not really hide anything. She also discusses the problems within her family in a factual way.
So although it seemed Maureen McCormack 'had it all' you did not have to scratch too deep to see behind the gloss of the Brady Bunch, it was quite a very different story.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good But Unsympathetic Portrayal,
This review is from: Here's the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice (Paperback)I can't recommend buying this book new (maybe used), but I got it from the library and it makes a good read. It is very well paced and you can finish it in one night or two nights.
The most astounding thing is how unsympathetic McCormick comes off in this book. You can feel for her husband, her mother, her brothers but not her. And considering she wrote it, you would think she'd at least try to portray herself more sympathetically.
This is a welcome change as McCormick doesn't engage in self pity and full accepts the blame for her problems.
If you like the Brady Bunch you will find this book a good read.
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Here's the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice by Maureen McCormick (Hardcover - October 14, 2008)
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