Body Leaping Backward by Maureen Stanton

Body Leaping Backward

For Maureen Stanton’s proper Catholic mother, the town’s maximum security prison was a way to keep her seven children in line (“If you don’t behave, I’ll put you in Walpole Prison!").  But as the 1970s brought upheaval to America, and the lines between good and bad blurred, Stanton’s once-solid family lost its way. A promising young girl with a smart mouth, Stanton turns watchful as her parents separate and her now-sing...

Details Body Leaping Backward

TitleBody Leaping Backward
Release DateJul 16th, 2019
PublisherHoughton Mifflin Harcourt
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Literature, American

Reviews Body Leaping Backward

  • BlackOxford
    Bourgeois Boomer BluesSexual intercourse beganIn nineteen sixty-three(which was rather late for me) -Between the end of the "Chatterley" banAnd the Beatles' first LP.Up to then there'd only beenA sort of bargaining,A wrangle for the ring,A shame that started at sixteenAnd spread to everything.Then all at once the quarrel sank:Everyone felt the same,And every life becameA brilliant breaking of the bank,A quite unlosable game.So life was never bett...
  • Cori
    This book was read by my bookclub and it brought up interesting conversation. All of us learned something about Angel Dust/PCP and how much it influenced the community in Walpole where Maureen grew up. The story of Maureen's childhood brought up fun memories and conversation for us to discuss from parenting philosophies to our high school experiences (which all were thankfully different than this book!). Overall it painted a very good picture of ...
  • Nancy Carty Lepri
    I have reviewed this book for New York Journal of Books where it will be posted on the site the evening before the publication date. Body Leaping Backward: Memoir of a Delinquent Girlhood by Maureen StantonHoughton Mifflin HarcourtJuly 16, 201910-1328900231MemoirMany young teens turn rebellious as they grow up. They're trying to gain their own individuality to become independent, and many times they do this by bucking the system. This is the situ...
  • Kasa Cotugno
    I was reminded of Light Years, Chris Rush's excellent memoir. Both Stanton and Rush came from Catholic backgrounds with many siblings in families that imploded, and both overcame teenage extravagances to realize their potential as first rate artists. Of course the details were different, but I was struck more by the similarities of the era and how the 1960's and '70's, an age when many of us were raising our own families under the same pressures,...
  • Kathy
    Maureen Stanton's memoir Body Leaping Backward: Memoir of a Delinquent Girlhood is the story of the trials and tribulations of growing up in Walpole, Massachusetts in the 1970s. Overall this is an engaging, well told memoir, with an amazing sense of place (as a person who grew up in Massachusetts, I especially appreciated the shout-out to Building 19!) Though, honestly, I expected this memoir to be a bit more dramatic, (see the author's addiction...
  • kelly
    "Body Leaping Backward" is a memoir of Maureen Stanton's life growing up in the mid-70's in a working class family in Walpole, Massachusetts. Throughout the book, the shadow of the maximum security prison in the area looms large, in both the author's mind and in the warnings her mother gives her to behave herself, lest she end up on the inside of the gates. For the first several years of her life, Stanton grows up in a happy home with her six sib...
  • Bex Wiles
    Body Leaping Backwards is a gritty memoir about a teenager growing up in Walpole with the shadow of the prison looming over her. It is an interesting read for giving some context about what drug culture was like in the 70s and how it permeated normal life. The author drip feeds in cultural information about famous Walpole prison inmates and how PCP affected well-known people in American society. Nonetheless, though it has some very interesting pa...
  • E.j. Levy
    Brilliant and hilarious and heartbreaking, Body Leaping Backward is a book to savor. Timely and timeless both, Stanton's memoir of coming of age in a prison town chronicles a childhood undone by loss and drugs and the long journey home. Luminous and moving, Stanton's book speaks to our current drug crisis and to anyone who has had a family.
  • Wm. Anthony Connolly
    Really, Maureen Stanton should be dead.Or behind bars.To be honest, it’s surprising she made it out of the Vietnam War-Bomb-Scare-Watergate 70s riding a delinquent crest of the second wave of feminism.Stanton should have beached or burned out. She was a scapegrace on PCP, bound for an early obituary. But no, today Stanton's very much alive and she’s one of the leading lights of creative nonfiction prose in America. The professor of the art at...
  • Christine
    Maureen Stanton was just fifteen when she got into angel dust. She was the middle child in a huge family that lived in the small town of Walpole, the most interesting fact of which seemed to be that it was home to Walpole Prison. Maureen's mother would warn her kids when they were growing up that if they didn't behave, they'd end up in behind bars there. The story of Maureen's drug dabbling didn't really get going until about fifty pages in. Up u...
  • Carolyn
    I’m grateful to Maureen Stanton for Body Leaping Backward - Memoir of a Delinquent Girlhood. I, too, grew up in Walpole, Massachusetts, though am younger than Maureen and did not know her personally. However, we moved through the same north Walpole neighborhoods, attended the same schools, had many of the same teachers, and witnessed the same surge in drugs in suburbia during the 1970s. Stanton’s ability to capture the dangerous and grim dark...
  • Jason Anthony
    Maureen Stanton's Body Leaping Backward is a gorgeous, powerful story about a heartbroken young woman losing herself in the troubles of her time and place - drugs and drinking in a Massachusetts prison town - and then finding her way home again. If you were a teenager who struggled against your better angels and stayed out all night in altered states, this memoir will bring you back; if you weren't that teen, then now's your chance to learn what ...
  • Stephanie
    Perfectly captures that weird razor's edge of adolescence, the place and the time. Written in a deceptively simple way that rings true and effortlessly pulls you in before you know it. Definitely not a hazy nostalgic all happy in the end story, and quite possibly one of the best memoirs I've ever read.
  • Tracy
    I don’t know what potion this author has in her back pocket, but I have never read a memoir that so accurately recalls not only the time of adolescent finding of one’s voice, purpose, and self, but also the raw emotions of fear, anger and darkness that tend to envelop these painful years. Ms. Stanton’s laid bare memories of her childhood and especially sophomore and junior years as an individual hungry to leave her current state are brutall...
  • Seth Ruderman
    Unbelievable. Raw, of the best memoirs I've rever read.
  • Sara King
    Excellent read. She writes a captivating story from a genuine perspective of a young girl finding her way. Couldn’t put it down.
  • Rita H
    3.5 starsunflinchingly honest-- also depressing-- but it's true life, so...recommended for fans of true coming-of-age and women's memoirs
  • MarylineD
    The kind of life story that makes you feel things, emotions, make you realize how hard some people's lives have been and how you should stop complaining about simple things or be bitchy when you have a small headache. I felt for Maureen.Well written, deep and meaningful. I wish I read more books like this. 5 stars from me! Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC of this book. This is my honest review. All opinions are my own.
  • Kathy
    Thanks to Net Galley I received a digital advanced copy of Body Leaping Backward: Memoir of a Delinquent Childhood. I learned a lot about PCP, angel dust, and drug culture of the 1970’s. I know how easy marijuana was to get in the 1980’s in suburbia but I had no idea what other drugs were readily available especially in the 1970’s before the Just Say No campaign and the “War on Drugs.” I am now a mother of teenage daughters which gave m...
  • Sandra Miller
    I read a review copy of this memoir, and it is stunning. Stanton's writing here is probing, smart, lyrical, and, in places, hysterically funny. Her story about growing up in a large Irish family in the 1970s in the shadows of Walpole Prison will appeal to anyone who lived through that decade or is interested in the strangeness of what went on in those years. Stanton captures the craziness of the times--yes there's sex and drug and rock 'n' roll--...
  • Christine
    This memoir starts out with the typical large Irish Catholic family growing up near Walpole prison (there are some interesting tidbits about the criminals the Boston strangler). Her parents amicably divorced and Maureen (always independent and curious) experimented with drugs (also part of the era). I found this part of the book quite tedious. Then she stops using, “ages out” (no rehab, no arrest etc.)Story was ok (I did like the cultural ref...
  • Krisette Spangler
    I really enjoyed the first one third of this book, but the rest of it was just a slog. The author roams all over her memories and adds so many random facts in weird places. She often repeats herself, and I just lost interest after about the 50th page of her telling me she was stoned and committed acts of theft and vandalism. Her bad language ramped up as the novel progressed as well. I would definitely look for another coming of age novel. This o...
  • Joanne King
    Wonderful memoir of a girl's coming of age in the 1970s and her slide into drugs and delinquency. Stanton writes with sure-handed and eloquent prose to spin a compelling narrative, lightly intertwined with research that gives the larger sociocultural history of the decade and how the zeitgeist of the country, one's hometown, and family situation can shape a developing consciousness. I highly recommend this memorable and affecting book. So well wr...
  • Susan
    I guess 3.5 on this one. I really enjoyed the first third of the book about her childhood in Walpole, Massachusetts, growing up in a city shadowed by a prison. But once she got to high school and started smoking angel dust, oy. I was bored senseless with page after page of how she got high, skipped school, mouthed off to everyone, etc. I'm glad she sraightened out in the end but it was a long road getting through this tome.
  • Buddy Scalera
    I had high hopes for this book, but I just could not get into it. I appreciate an author who sets things up, but the observations were meandering and lacked impact for me. Does the author have a great memory for details related to the 1970s? Sure. But it didn't really feel like she was sharing the best, most compelling stories. It felt like every memory had equal weight. I thought I could plow through because of the short page count, but I just c...
  • Rose
    I know that parents divorce is a tsunami in a child's life, and these kids didn't even see it coming. The parents sounded like good Catholic folks and good parents together, but not apart, and their lives sounded so miserable thereafter. This book was so heartbreaking that I almost wished I hadn't read it.
  • Ann-Marie Stanton
    I love how honest this book is and how brave Maureen is to share her journey. I think of what a journey it is from teen to adult, the things we survived and changed us. Thank you Maureen for taking us on your journey. So glad you found your way to the light!!!
  • Cheryl
    Really 3 1/2 stars. I enjoyed all the references to growing up in the 70's in Massachusetts and I saw the parallels to some of my friends lives in this story. The sad parallels, that made me wonder where some of those people are now and did they pass through that difficult time intact.
  • Joyce Qallison
    Well Written. would recommend. not an easy read
  • Diana
    This book took me back to my youth. I had a lot in common with the author, even having lived near a town known for its correctional facilities. Never got “dusted” though...