Reader reviews for Here's the Story

This was loaned to me by an enthusiastic friend who told me that Maureen's story was very similar to the one I wrote in Sleep Before Evening. I found the book, which I read in a few days, pretty cheesy, cliche ridden, and superficial (she should have gotten a better ghostwriter), but despite all that, it was engrossing enough to distract me away from Salman Rushdie for a while, and there's a kind of open sincerity in Maureen's prose that is engaging enough.
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"Marcia, Marcia, Marcia." Oh how this line has plagued Maureen McCormick for years. Inside this book Maureen shares her life in shocking detail. To outsiders she was perfect. Cute, smart and stylish with the talent to match. To outsiders she was Marcia Brady. But few people were privy to the real person with real fears who spent a lot of time literally hiding in closets to escape her demons. From her humble beginnings as the voice of the Chatty Cathy Doll to her impressive win on Celebrity Fit Club, Maureen's life is chronicled with nothing held back. "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."I'm amazed at how open Maureen was in this book. As she learned later in life, being open and sharing was the solution to bringing her the peace she never had growing up and even into adulthood. Her story of triumph over the demons that tore her live apart for so many years is encouraging in so many different ways. I highly recommend reading this book especially if you were a Marcia Brady fan or even just casually knowing the character as I did.
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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.
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Being the same age as Marcia Brady, I obsessively watched the Bunch each week, then lamented how Marcia had it all, and what was wrong with me that I didn't. I've said over the years that MB f-ed me up, but can you image how being MB would F you up? Well, Maureen McCormick lays it out all clearly what being Marcia did to her (okay, she blames it more on her family than on Marcia, Marcia, Marcia, but I know the truth). Under that wholesome pretty face is one hot mess. While finding God & Prozac helped her beat her drug habit, she continues with other forms of OCD. Overall, I think I'd like her as a friend, if she's really beyond throwing her princess tantrums.
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In the prologue, Maureen McCormick starts with when she came out of the woodwork to appear in the reality show Celebrity Fit Club. Then she begins a chronological story of her life as a child appearing in many commercials, especially for Mattel, on to the Brady Bunch years, her unsuccessful attempts to achieve acting status beyond Marcia Brady, her eventual success on Broadway and her life now. She gets into the nitty-gritty describing her early introduction to drugs and sex, her eventual addiction to cocaine throughout the seventies and eighties and then her life current life as a born-again Christian. She talks of her struggles with her dysfunctional family and her love for her mentally challenged brother. Maureen names names but keeps a respectful tone by concentrating on her own troubles and not dwelling on others. In once instance she uses a pseudonym for a famous person she was involved with in the drug/sex scene.I found Maureen's tone and narrative extremely readable. Her story of her childhood is written with a child-like wonderment as she entered the life of show business and became a cultural icon. Her voice becomes more mature as she herself matures and she presents herself as someone who can take the blame for her own actions. Not often do I find biographies page-turners. I love entertainment memoirs but non-fiction doesn't often grip me to that extent. But this book was one I couldn't put down, I kept picking it up in favour over the fiction book I was co-currently reading. While the book only partially concerns the Brady years, (which I wish there was more of) any fan of the show is bound to enjoy this look at the behind the scenes aspects, to find out what the real Marcia Brady was like, and whatever happened to her.
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I found this book to be quite engrossing. Who knew Marcia Brady was a cocaine addict. Yes, the book was also very sad. I think Maureen McCormick is probably still pretty messed up, even though she tried to tie the book up in a happy ending. I am not so sure I buy it. I did however like that she really barred all this memoir. I really found it fascinating. The only complaint I had was that chronologically she jumped around a lot. I had a hard time keeping track of what year it was. She would tell a story about something that happened in the 1984 and then a few paragraphs later would talk about something that happened either earlier or later and then come back to 1984. Other than that, I was actually impressed with her writing. Every easy to read, yet again, very engrossing. For anyone who likes the Brady Bunch or is even interested in the 1970’s or who just likes a good memoir, I would recommend this.
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I grew up watching Brady Bunch re-runs, so I was excited to read this book. I had no idea that Maureen went through so many hardships. I guess I was naive, but I thought she was more Marcia-ish. This story shows that she had a completely different life outside of what was seen on the screen.
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Interesting book--I really didn't know much about any of the actual characters of the show so it was interesting to read in-depth details about a challenging life that has seemed to end on a positive role.
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Maureen McCormick isn't Marcia Brady.
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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.
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