Review: Here’s the Story

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

Author:  Maureen McCormick

Published:  October 14, 2008

Page Count:  288

Genres:  Nonfiction, Memoir

My Rating:  3/5

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 LOVED The Brady Bunch when I was a kid.  Keep in mind I was born in 1983, so it wasn’t exactly new when I was watching it, yet I still watched The Brady Bunch marathons every Saturday and Sunday for years.  I’ve probably seen each episode at least three times.  And my favorite Brady was always Marcia.  Even though the clothes she wore and the music she liked were out of style by the time I was old enough to idolize her, I still wanted to be just like her – just as I’m sure many young girls did when she first graced their TV sets in the seventies.

So it goes without saying that when I saw Maureen McCormick’s memoir at the library, I knew I had to read it.  I wasn’t expecting much, to be honest – I had heard a lot about McCormick throughout the years related to her drug problems, her stint on Celebrity Fit Club a few years back, and mostly about the fact that she had an incredibly tough time finding work after The Brady Bunch was done.  And although Here’s the Story wasn’t an amazing or insightful read, as celebrity memoirs go, it wasn’t bad at all.  It was interesting to read about the dynamics between the Brady actors throughout the years they were filming the show – there were some interesting stories that I never would have been able to predict.  And I was glad to find out that Florence Henderson is every bit as wonderful in real life as I’d always assumed she would be.  And the hookups, my goodness – these six teens were NOT like brothers and sisters in real life, if you catch my drift.

Overall, I’d recommend this read for fans of The Brady Bunch.  Maureen McCormick definitely had a tough life, and although the book was a little whiny at times (especially when talking about her family), it was very interesting to read about her life after the show.  It is also a pretty inspiring story, to be honest – she recovered from a MAJOR drug problem, has a wonderful husband and daughter, and is actually doing very well even without considering all the stuff she’s been through over the years. 

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9 thoughts on “Review: Here’s the Story”

  1. I didn’t watch The Brady Bunch as a kid – my dad called it “The Bratty Bunch.” I did watch the re-runs when I got older, so I’d like to read this one. (I’m kind of embarrassed to admit it, though.)

  2. I loved the Brady Bunch growing up and thought Marcia was great. I’m not sure, even after reading your review, if I need to read this book. Maybe I’ll read your review one more time and consider it done 😉

  3. I’m all over this book! I was an avid Brady Bunch fan when I was growing up. I thought Marcia was awesome and of course I loved Greg!!! Great review and I hope to grab this one soon!! FYI: I never knew until her book was published that she had a drug problem !!! I’m out-of-touch!!

  4. I’m of the age; the Brady Bunch is my era – and I still had to catch my breath when I read “After fifty years, she’s…”
    What?! how can she be 50?! oh yea… I guess she could be. Funny how we trap these child stars into the age we knew them when…

  5. Great review. I’ve had this on my tbr list for a while. I actually got it from the library but it had to go back before I could get to it. I think I’ll check it out again when I have the time to read it – it does sound interesting. But omg she’s 50??

  6. I remember watching the show when I was younger, but I don’t think I idolized Marcia. I never thought about what her life was like offstage- or what happened when she got older. I don’t often read books about celebrities, but it does sound interesting.

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