Sunday, December 27, 2009
Here's The Story
Maureen McCormick, also known as Marcia Brady, child star of the TV Show the Brady Bunch. The show aired from 1969-1975. This is her memoir. Maureen talks about her early life and history of her mother and father.
Maureen suffered for years for fear it would come out about the dark hidden secret of her mother and grandmother's illness.
She talks about her TV show the Brady Bunch. Her love of her TV show family. Her close relationship with all of her TV family. Her desire to be with them rather than her real family. She had a off and on again love affair with Barry Williams. When the Brady Bunch ended that is when her problems started.
After the show ended her mother allowed her to move into a condo. She became involved going to parties with several celebrities. She became heavily involved with drugs, such as cocaine. She describes how she felt with the use of drugs, and her depression.
She sabatoged so many different job opprotunities because of her drug use. She thought she could keep living this kind of life style until she hit rock bottom. She had a chance to be interviewed for Raider of the Lost Ark with Steven Speilberg. Unfortunately she was so out of it, it never happened.
Also she was known as the goody-goody that I am sure she was type cast on TV and movies. She was probably never offered a real bite in role.
This went on for years untill she met her husband. When she turned to religion, and stopped the drug use. She got married and had a daughter.
But she did not know why she was so unhappy all the time. There were so many ups and downs to her marriage. She was crying for help. She finally went to counseling for help and medication. After heavy counseling and medication treatment she became stable and was on a even keel.
She had a hard time communicating with her mother when she was younger. But after her counseling sessions she finally opened up to her mother. They both discovered each other for what each one became and what they now are.
During this time, one of her brother's, with mental illness is now living with her parents. Her mother is diagnosed with Cancer. Her brother becomes abusive to their mother and father. There is nothing that Maureen can do to help the family.
Her mother and father deny that her brother is doing anything wrong. Her brother is very paranoid and obessive compulsive. He thinks everyone is unclean and dirty. He fires, and denies any care for their mother. After her mother dies, it get's worse for the family. The mother was the cement that held the family together.
In the meantime,Maureen's daughter now 15, gets her tongue pierced. She had been so busy. She wonders when did this all happen. She was so busy trying to help her father get away from his strong hold of her brother. She confronts her daughter and confides in her about all the things she has done.
Maureen decides at 50 to do a celebrity show. She is overweight. During the show she has enlighment that she should write a book about her drug use, and depression and how she overcame this.
I loved the Brady Bunch, I watched the show as I was growing up. I did not know she was a troubled star till I read the book. I am happy to hear she got her life together and back on track.
I usually don't read memoir. But I was looking for something to read that was light and different. This for sure was different. I had at times had a hard time following the story line. I would have liked to know what years she was talking about in her life. I read on other blogs that bloggers did not like this book. They may have not been able to connect because they are younger than Maureen. I, myself am about two years younger. I could connect to what she was talking about. I was not in the drug scene but could connect to the time and culture and the times.
I don't think I would have spilled the beans about all my life faults to my children. Sometimes it can back fire on you. There were times in the book that I said to myself enought already about the drug use. But, this was the point of the book. That she could not cope with her lonliness, she escaped into drugs.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
James Patterson Trial
Ben Corbett, a lawyer, the grandson of Alex Cross's family. Teddy Roosevelt asked Ben, to go to Eudora, Mississippi and investigate if there is any lynching. Which Ben does find out there is quite a bit. It is kept hush, hush. This is the town where Ben was brought in.
President Roosevelt has asked him to sniff around and if there are attacks on "negroes", to report back to him. In the mean time he's wife threatens him If he leaves she will leave.
In the town of Eudora, Mississippi after the Civil War, "Negroes are to have rights. But they don't. The southerners don't follow the law. He comes back to the town and finds the town still doesn't follow the law. The town still believes it is ok to treat blacks this way. Blacks are only allowed to eat at black eateries, and black only sections for bathrooms and water fountains.
When Ben gets to dowm to Eudora he's father treats him very cooly. He was raised by he's very strict father. Ben, was brought up as very rebellious and having very liberal values.
While Ben, was down in Mississippi. He is hooked up with Abraham Cross. He shows him how the black man is treated by the KKK, and sees lynching,first hand.
There is plenty of blood and violence in this book. If you are faint at heart you may not want to read this book.
At the end of the book when justice is served unfairly. Ben decides he is going to show off his friend, a black women in front of the whole town. He knows this is going to start trouble. He kisses her in front of the town. We all know the town will not tolerate this kind of behavior from a white man.
Ben finds out that Teddy Roosevelt used him to make him look good to win black votes and black sympthizers votes. Only when Ben returned did he realize how he was used. Because now that everything came out ok, would the President take the credit. While Ben was down South the President told him he would deny he knows about Ben in the south.
Our book club discussed Trial, today. I was wondering how this would play out. We all wondered, would he go back to becoming a bleeding heart liberal to continue helping the injustices of the world or would he listen to his wife. He's wife wanted him to become a lawyer that just cared about making money not a caring lawyer. I guess we will just have to stay tuned and find out.
We did have a good discussion of course you can not have a good literary discussion with this kind of book. But, it was spring board for discussions of the treatment of blacks,and the south.
Our book club are all transplants from the north and now we live in SC. We all wondered the same thing. What life was like for the blacks and their treatment by the whites after the Civil War.
We had forgotten how recent lynching was still going on in the 60's. Boy, as we age we forget how time flies. I remember when I was little, living in Michigan and the Detroit Riots. When segregation of blacks and white was going to happen in the schools.
One person in our book club brought up she did not like the book because she was sick of hearing the poor blacks that's all you hear about. All of us responding back and said how would you like saying that about us and the Holocaust. I think she realized how that looked after she said it.
I never read Patterson before. This book was easy to read and easy to follow and kept my interest. I have not read a book about the south like this. It was interesting what it was like from a outsiders view and a black person's view, living in the south after the civil war. I am not sure if Teddy Roosevelt ever did get involved in sending someone to the south to investigate the treatment of blacks.
What was so odd is that I read this book right after reading Batt Humphrey's book, Dead Weight. It has some similarities. Treatment of blacks and injustices of blacks in the south.
I met James Patterson many years ago in Ridgewood, NJ. Believe it or not I still have not read any of his books. I am a hoarding bibliophile that bought his books but have not read anything from him yet until now.
Till next time when we read Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman keep those pages flipping.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Just one more time, a few more days and I have a reprieve of school days. I have been sloughing off the last week or so since Thanksgiving. I should have been studying, instead I have been a social bug lately.
I did not get to cracking the books for final exams till yesterday. Pretty bad. With my sweet little dog sick last week I was pretty worried. He was pretty sick, thank goodness he is much better and now I can concentrate and focus on school. I just hope it still gives me enough time to crack the books. WISH ME Luck!
A little end note about my author visit. It was a great excuse not to study so hard yesterday. Our Hadassah group had a guest visit. He was amazing. If you want to check out he's book, Dead Weight. It is a good book to escape with on a lazy afternoon. I would recommend it. Great gift for someone that likes a little bit of history of Charleston, SC and a bit of mystery too. I will tell you about the visit after my exam.