Wednesday, February 18, 2009

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

Here's the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice is definitely a story of survival. The eldest daughter of the popular 70's television show, The Brady Bunch, did not lead the life of Marcia Brady off screen. This book is Maureen McCormick's Kiss-and-Tell-All of what it was like trying to life life post-Brady. And it's not exactly pretty.

This book is a downer to a large degree. (So why did I read it? Love of The Brady Bunch growing up mixed with a little morbid curiosity.) It is advertised as being "brazenly honest" and "hard-hitting" and it is all of that. McCormick paints a picture of the pressures of stardom that might even put Brittney to shame. McCormick has lived a tough life off-camera and she opens up for this book in order to tell us about it.

This book made me glad I'm not popular and am not on tv. Give me a blog world where I can "shine" in my pajamas, thanks much! This is the happy life for me! ha!

McCormick talks about how hard it frequently is to live imperfectly while Marcia Brady lives on in infamy has an attractive, popular and perfect daughter on t.v. Real life for her was filled with drugs, romantic flings, very high highs and very dark lows. Her parents, it would seem, barely stayed married and her mother suffered from a dark depression and family secret that was passed on for Maureen to fret about as she grew older. Maureen McCormick has spent her life plagued by uncertainties and self-doubt.

Despite all of these challenges, of which there were many, she has stayed married to Michael Cummings for the past 24 years and is now a mother to her own blond haired daughter, Natalie. Even though McCormick has seen the darker side of life, she seems to indicate that her recovery from drugs and a rather sketchy lifestyle began with the attendance of church. She never claims to have a conversion experience although she does state that her husband is a Christian.

I don't really care to read about Hollywood actors and actresses as a general rule, finding that it's harder for me to enjoy their performances when I know how messed up their private lives are! However, I grew up watching The Brady Bunch (in syndicated reruns, mind you!) and have always been curious about the lives of the actresses and actors that were involved with the show. Having now read this book, I feel like I know everything that I would ever want to know and can just sit back and enjoy the reruns, confident that real life people with real life problems are performing for my pleasure.

McCormick is obviously still living and so continues on with her life journey, jumping hurdles and overcoming obstacles in her personal and family life. However, she has kicked the drug addiction and admirably takes care and caution not to compromise her life's walk and throw herself back down any of her old paths. She is moving on, perhaps not confident in the future, but acknowledging her past and is being honest. It's not Marcia Brady - but it is real. And that's her point.


Melissa said...

I was interested in this book when I first heard about it, but the reviews weren't consistently I didn't put it in my pile.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

AudreyO said...

I too grew up watching The Brady Bunch. Heck, I think I know every episode out there. I did not get the book due due to very mixed reviews. I'm loving visiting the blogs from Bloggy Carnival and actually having time to read and comment on the many blogs out there.

Nikki in Niagara said...

I quite enjoyed this. It certainly changed my opinion of her and I am one of those people who still call her Marcia Brady.

It was also eye-opening about the 70s scene for child actors, I recently read Valerie Bertinelli's autobiog. and she fell into the same trap.

I have to say though that I did come away with the feeling that she had accepted Christ into her life (born-again Christian, if you will)even though she does not describe her personal walk in detail.

Stephanie said...

Thanks for the review ... this is one of the shows I look forward to sharing with my girls when they are older. I agree - sometimes it's hard to enjoy their acting once you know more about them personally. (There are several movie stars today that I just can't watch because of those types of things...)

Ronnica said...

The Brady Bunch was my favorite show as a kid (and yes, I watched it reruns too =) ).

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