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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 w 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-single mother descends into shoplifting, then grand larceny, anything to keep a toehold in the middle class for her children. No longer scared by threats of Walpole Prison, Stanton too slips into delinquency—vandalism, breaking and entering—all while nearly erasing herself through addiction to angel dust, a homemade form of PCP that swept through her hometown in the wake of Nixon’s “total war” on drugs. Body Leaping Backward is the haunting and beautifully drawn story of a self-destructive girlhood, of a town and a nation overwhelmed in a time of change, and of how life-altering a glimpse of a world bigger than the one we come from can be.         


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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 w 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-single mother descends into shoplifting, then grand larceny, anything to keep a toehold in the middle class for her children. No longer scared by threats of Walpole Prison, Stanton too slips into delinquency—vandalism, breaking and entering—all while nearly erasing herself through addiction to angel dust, a homemade form of PCP that swept through her hometown in the wake of Nixon’s “total war” on drugs. Body Leaping Backward is the haunting and beautifully drawn story of a self-destructive girlhood, of a town and a nation overwhelmed in a time of change, and of how life-altering a glimpse of a world bigger than the one we come from can be.         

30 review for Body Leaping Backward: Memoir of a Delinquent Girlhood

  1. 4 out of 5

    BlackOxford

    Bourgeois Boomer Blues Sexual intercourse began In nineteen sixty-three (which was rather late for me) - Between the end of the "Chatterley" ban And the Beatles' first LP. Up to then there'd only been A sort of bargaining, A wrangle for the ring, A shame that started at sixteen And spread to everything. Then all at once the quarrel sank: Everyone felt the same, And every life became A brilliant breaking of the bank, A quite unlosable game. So life was never better than In nineteen sixty-three (Though just too lat Bourgeois Boomer Blues Sexual intercourse began In nineteen sixty-three (which was rather late for me) - Between the end of the "Chatterley" ban And the Beatles' first LP. Up to then there'd only been A sort of bargaining, A wrangle for the ring, A shame that started at sixteen And spread to everything. Then all at once the quarrel sank: Everyone felt the same, And every life became A brilliant breaking of the bank, A quite unlosable game. So life was never better than In nineteen sixty-three (Though just too late for me) - Between the end of the "Chatterley" ban And the Beatles' first LP. Annus Mirabilis Philip Larkin, 1967 Larkin was right. Something happened to culture, and not just in Britain, in the 1960’s. “Between the end of the ‘Chatterley’ ban and the Beatles' first LP” is a reasonable poetic approximation of the timing. And it wasn’t just attitudes towards sex and the other things that sociologists, as well as poets, think about that changed. There was a social revolution within the family itself that redefined what it meant to its members and how it worked. For many years I thought these changes were peculiar to my family and were too idiosyncratic (and embarrassing) to consider seriously. Stanton’s memoir provides some stunning insights which prod not just my memory but my judgment about the generality of my own experiences. Like Stanton, I was brought up in a large American Catholic family (seven children in hers, six in mine). Both our sets of parents had escaped from respectable but decided urban poverty to relative suburban luxury (hers outside Boston, mine outside New York City). We even both had substantial prisons housed nearby (hers state, mine county). Stanton’s descriptions of the trivial routines and rituals of this new middle-middle class life must be familiar to most members of my generational cohort - weekly church attendance, involvement in the local community events and celebrations, the ‘unchallenging’ (read: non-existent) cultural scene, and the typical entertainments of insipid network television, drive-in movies, backyard pools, and the beach. In short, a caricature of itself as a life of the ‘long 1950’s.’ Where we differ is that I was the eldest in my family while Stanton was a middle child of a slightly younger family. This is significant because, as we both experienced, the social changes which took place occurred within this generation not between this generation and its parents. The parents were as much involved in these changes as their children. Every year counts. The older siblings ended up as the adults their parents might have been if they had maintained a sort of cultural continuity. The parents themselves simply stopped behaving and believing as they had been. And the younger siblings made what have come to be called unusual ‘life style choices.’ There was less a generation gap than a fusion (or confusion perhaps) of generations.* Stanton describes this process of familial reformulation (or dissolution if you prefer) from the perspective of the middle of the pack; I experienced it from the vanguard. But the pieces fit like parts of a jigsaw puzzle. There is a before and after which are as definite as Larkin’s description. Before was a family system of clear patriarchal hierarchy, the discipline of which was maintained by the threat of physical violence which was administered by the resident male but directed by the female. Relations among family members were established competitively but were always subservient to the relationships among the parents and other adults. The community of adults was supreme. This implicit structure established a sort of extreme familial vulnerability to the community. It kept the family in check and prevented it from the extremes to which it was tempted. One’s family was not just one’s own business. How one’s children acted and how parents acted in response to criticism of their children’s actions was of paramount importance. One way in which this was signalled to the community at large was church attendance, the equivalent perhaps of the Dutch Calvinist tradition of keeping one’s curtains open in the evening. Trivial misdemeanours, much less authentic crimes were scandals sufficient to rouse community attention and righteous comment. So they rarely occurred. For good or ill, this was the middle class Paradise I left to go to university in 1965. From conversations with my next younger brother who started university two years later, it appears that his experience is similar, although strains were even then beginning to appear in the fabric of suburban existence. And progressively each of my siblings seems to have inhabited an increasingly strange universe. By the time I finished university in 1969, no one in the family any longer attended church services; my mother was working; my father was still in the picture but almost never at home during waking hours; one sister was living in a tree house somewhere in the mid-West; the other was involved with an abusive partner; one brother was about to drop out of high school; and another was on the verge of being wanted by police in three states for armed robbery. All the younger ones were involved to some extent with drugs. Clearly there are any number of sociological explanations for such a dramatic transformation. Quite apart from the psychological imbalances that were undoubtedly present (I always knew all the rest were crazy), there were enormous social upheavals underway - the profound changes in the Catholic Church, the war in Vietnam, the Civil Rights movement, economic recession... and oh yes the contraceptive pill. But none of these can account for the speed and depth of transformation I observed. Whatever was the root cause of the family reshuffle was internally generated not externally created. And although it was self-generated, it was simultaneously self-generated by other similar families in similar places. It is my hypothesis that the family succumbed not to the unexpected changes that arrived with the 1960’s but to the very conscious construction of the environment of the past-WWII suburb which was meant to foster it. These places were communities only in the sense that there were numbers of people living in some proximity to each other. Their participation with each other in joint projects and services was expected to establish something like a Jeffersonian self-regulating society of mutual regard. And this seemed to occur, but for a very short time only. Without ‘natural’ or historical ties, this sort of artificial neighbourliness is simply tedious, especially when more and more urgent headlines draw attention way from the vague dream of independence within a caring community. So my guess is that it is not the deterioration of family that caused the collapse that Stanton and I experienced. It is is the absence of authentic community on which the family depends for its existence that is the driving force, or rather the driving vacuum, to which the family relationships succumbed. The centerless, soulless, cultureless collections of economically and racially homogenous family groups which were really only concerned with their own health and welfare are not sustainable as communities and induce an adaptation in the participating families that appear less than functional. And here is a thought about the implication of that adaptation: The right-wing political reaction that has been growing in America for decades and that has culminated first in the Tea Party and then in Trumpism is primarily a reflection of this planned destruction of community through these faux suburban expanses. These are inhabited by disappointed people. The world has not worked out as planned. They want the rewards, the family, the community, the world they had hoped and planned for. They feel cheated. The fact that they continue, fifty years on, to build and inhabit the same kind of maladaptive, idealised but unsustainable, communities is not something they really want to consider. *I am reminded of the wonderful British comedy series (and film), Absolutely Fabulous with Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley which features just this kind of generational confusion.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mackenzie - PhDiva Books

    A haunting, often humorous, and though-provoking story of one woman’s journey of delinquency, self-discovery, and healing. I found Stanton’s words captivating, I read her story in a single sitting. Her memoir taught me a lot about a time period in our country that I never really had as much of a grasp on before this. I want to seek out more about this time, and learn more from people who lived it. Though for the most part this book is told chronologically, there is a weaving through time as Stant A haunting, often humorous, and though-provoking story of one woman’s journey of delinquency, self-discovery, and healing. I found Stanton’s words captivating, I read her story in a single sitting. Her memoir taught me a lot about a time period in our country that I never really had as much of a grasp on before this. I want to seek out more about this time, and learn more from people who lived it. Though for the most part this book is told chronologically, there is a weaving through time as Stanton reflects on lessons learned that felt very fluid—the way memories feel. Beginning as a child when she was asked to go to confession, and Stanton ponders whether she was agnostic even then, as she made up things for confession each week. Her childhood was punctuated by the separation of her parents. A story told at times matter-of-factly, but in a way that also felt ripe with the sadness that comes from a young person who hasn’t yet grasped what happened. Actually, I took the news of her parents’ splitting up hard as well. I was never totally sure why it didn’t work, but in the final chapter she provides a lot of insight and reflection that can only be gained from growing up and getting to know our parents as people outside of being our parents. From a young age, Stanton and the town itself are fascinated by Walpole Prison. The prison is like a character in the town, and I often felt like the town sort of existed around the prison, rather than being a town that happened to have a prison in it. The prison was a place to be feared. And yet, as Stanton grows up, her stories left me feeling that the prison felt like a symbol of the racial inequality in the 60s and 70s. The disproportionate punishment for people of color, and the disproportionate diagnosis of mental illness. As Stanton slips into her delinquency as she calls it (a whimsical word that doesn’t quite capture the sadness she feels for herself as a young girl trying to escape the pain of life), she begins to experiment with angel dust. Stanton’s is a story that ends well—she manages to pull through her addiction and learn to feel again and heal herself. But the story was peppered with a variety of outcomes and statistics around the drug crisis and how the country was dealing with it at the time. I’ll be honest, I thought of the 60s and 70s drug use as being more fun, free-love, and laidback than today is. Through Stanton’s story, I learned a lot about the darkness that crept beneath the surface of this time. It wasn’t all fun and freedom. The drugs marked a generation who wasn’t equipped for some of the pain that they felt through what was going on around them at the time. The stories of Stanton’s mother also fascinate me. It seemed hard for Maureen to learn morals and what is and is not ok, when she would see her mother casually shoplift. Of course, it wasn’t casual at all. Stanton’s mother was barely able to support her kids after her separation, but the kids were perhaps not aware of the need they were facing. Then there were moments where Stanton’s mother would cook an entire roast and bring it to the beach for them that just made my heart swell with the love of a mother who doesn’t want her children to worry. Stanton’s happy memories of sandy roast sandwiches on the beach with her family, before they split up and she lost her way were so beautiful and vivid. The depression of Stanton’s youth was a powerful theme to the story. Stanton was a person overwhelmed by her own emotions, it seemed, and she wasn’t able to fully process them. For as Stanton’s parents loved their kids, they weren’t perfect. I felt through Stanton’s words—before she fully acknowledged it herself—the pain and abandonment she felt, even though she still had both parents in her life. There were so many raw moments in this book. The moment when a teacher mentions she comes from a broken family, and Stanton first realizes that they are broken. The moment when Stanton realizes how lonely her dad is. The moment where she realizes that neither of her parents noticed her extreme drug abuse. The moments where she realizes how lucky she was to never seriously hurt herself or others with her drug use. These moments are told in such a reflective way. The book may sound sad or hard to read, but for me it wasn’t at all. Stanton’s writing captivated me. She wrote with an authenticity that made her stories feel relatable even for someone who didn’t really live through the same things. This is a perfect choice for non-fiction November. Or really for any time. Thank you to TLC book tours for my copy. Opinions are my own.

  3. 5 out of 5

    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 what life was like in the 70s and the diary entrie 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 what life was like in the 70s and the diary entries and the music/song references throughout. The Walpole prison played a big role in the life in the community for Maureen and we wished there had been more about that in the story. The mom was the character that most of us could relate to the most and enjoyed the most (as well as who the book was dedicated to). Although she seemed overwhelmed and we found her a bit clueless as to Maureen's lifestyle we found her the most likable (and creative at times). Who brings a roast to the beach!?!? So fun! Maureen touches upon her academic successes and athletic abilities but we wanted to hear more about that and more about her family interactions. We know her siblings were an important part of her growing up and we craved more about the bonds (good and bad) with siblings and more of those experiences in the book. The final thing we discussed was how as parents we could be more aware of our children when they are in high school. Maureen mentioned her mom's biggest concern in high school was unplanned pregnancy and so mom seemed unaware of the drugs her daughter was taking. Life has changed so much since we were children with technology, cellphones, e-cigaraettes, etc. and so as parents we want to make sure we are staying ahead of the challenges for our children to support them. Maureen had an interesting childhood and using her diaries to write the book with a unique story in the 70s and it was a good read overall. Thank you to The BookClub Cookbook galley match program as well as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt publishing for the opportunity for my entire book club to read this book!

  4. 5 out of 5

    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 Stanton Houghton Mifflin Harcourt July 16, 2019 10-1328900231 Memoir Many 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 situation Maureen Stanton faced. Born in 1960 and one 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 Stanton Houghton Mifflin Harcourt July 16, 2019 10-1328900231 Memoir Many 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 situation Maureen Stanton faced. Born in 1960 and one of seven siblings, she and her family lived in Walpole, Massachusetts, a small town south of Boston known for its maximum security prison. Every time they drove by the facility, Maureen's mom would comment that unless the children behaved themselves, they would end up sequestered behind the high concrete walls topped with barbed wire. Maybe she thought this would keep them in line. For some reason, the prison fascinated Maureen. "The prison reminded me of the castle we visited in France, in the Loire Valley, where we lived for two years when my father worked on computer systems for the military . . . " At that castle is where they got lost and locked in a room until a guard discovered and freed them after an half an hour. ". . . For years after I had dreams of wandering in the castle, the damp stone walls, those tall wooden doors. When my mother said, 'If you're not good, I'll put you in Walpole Prison,' I envisioned the castle in France." Maureen displayed ambivalence toward her deeply religious, Catholic mother. Too young to understand the tenets of the religion, Maureen questioned going to confession. "I realized that no one checked whether you said the prayers, or said them right. The church used the honor system. Why did the priest trust someone he knew to be a sinner, someone who regularly—every Saturday!—arrived with a fresh litany of sins? Did he really think this person, this incorrigible recidivist person, was to be trusted carrying out her own penance? I must not have believed in God, or else I'd have worried that He was watching. Could I have been agnostic at the age of seven, eight? Instead of repenting, I kneeled at the altar for a certain amount of time, studying the intricate frescoes, Jesus on the cross, nails pounded into his living flesh, the ignominy of hanging alongside two thieves, his slow, agonizing, cotton-mouthed miserable death." When Maureen turned 12 and her parents separated, things fell apart. Not long after, her mom, a strong proponent of the Ten Commandments began shoplifting. Could she be doing this due to lack of money? Maureen, embarrassed by her mom's actions saw this as a case of "do as I say, not as I do," and she, too, took up the act. In 1975, at age 15, Maureen developed a sudden overwhelming depression. She cried constantly without understanding why. Two visits to a psychiatrist did not help so she refused to return. Before long, Maureen became incorrigible. Stealing from local stores, as well as drinking, she smoked marijuana and other drugs then escalated to angel dust on a daily basis. She tried any and all substances, and one can wonder, did she hope to self medicate the depression, use this as retribution for her parents' split and the fact that her overworked and overstressed mother did not have time for her, or was this "normal" teenage angst and hormones? Where she had once been a superior student and quite popular, Maureen's world spun out of control. The friends she associated with yearned for "thrills" no matter how dangerous or illegal their actions. Though Maureen did not actually commit a crime, being in the presence of those who had, made her liable. Hardly ever home, she stayed out most nights, and when her mom was away for the weekend, her home became party central where it often got trashed by other teenagers out of control. "I didn't see my family as broken, but it was true. Broken was the perfect word to describe what happened to my family when my parents separated; we splintered like a mirror dropped to the floor, the whole broken into individual units." Maureen's recklessness began at a young age, especially her mother's threats of being incarcerated for wrongdoing. Did the prison, along with Norfolk, a minimum-security penitentiary in the next town, Pondville, a state-run cancer hospital, and Wrentham and Medfield State Mental Hospitals in close proximity to her home incite Maureen's imagination? This was the era of the assassinations of President Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., and Bobby Kennedy, the upsurge in Vietnam, Nixon's war on drugs, hippies, bra burnings, protests, and free love. It's no wonder some of the younger generation went to the extremes. Morals and norms were shifting quickly, and the country was in chaos. Walpole, MA, and the surrounding areas are very aptly described during that time, and the emotions, not just that the teens experienced, but also Maureen's parents demonstrate how difficult times and circumstances were. Maureen states: "Sometimes I wonder how I survived those high school years, how I wasn't maimed or killed the hundreds of time I got into car with people so fucked up they could barely stay in the lane, or by getting behind the wheel of a car myself after drinking, smoking pot or angel dust, taking speed or acid. Worse, I might have hurt or killed someone else. I could have been raped by strangers with whom I hitched a ride, or by boys on whose couches or in whole cars I passed out." One can only empathize with young Maureen, and it would be no surprise if many of her contemporaries suffered the same disillusion as she. To open up and share her story with others must have been difficult, but also cathartic for her with the hope it helps other youngsters who feel alone and disenchanted with their lives.

  5. 5 out of 5

    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, affected these two talented people and their resp 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, affected these two talented people and their respective redemption.

  6. 4 out of 5

    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 siblings. Around 11 or 12, her parents divorce amicab "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 siblings. Around 11 or 12, her parents divorce amicably and thus begins the family's slide toward poverty, dysfunction, drugs, and criminal behavior. Stanton's mother, left with 7 children to raise, begins to steal food from local grocery stores. Maureen becomes depressed, the confusion of which leads her into taking drugs, mostly angel dust. A significant amount of the book details her drug use, which come to an end right around the time she finishes high school. Although she commits many petty crimes during this period, Stanton never actually spends time in Walpole Prison. She credits her turn away from a destructive life to counseling and positive friendships with non-drug users. This book has some interesting parts. In addition to details about her childhood, Stanton writes extensively about what the suburban drug culture was like in 70's-era Massachusetts and feeds in informational tidbits about the War on Drugs, Walpole prison and its famous inmates, and other things. There are also her personal diary entries throughout the narrative, which read like some angry girl manifesto. Unfortunately, none of this ever really gels into a cohesive, consistent narrative. The overall pacing is slow, and the sections where I wanted details there were few (i.e., like where her parents were during all this drug use) and where I didn't want details there were many (i.e., the family's installation of backyard pool). Also absent from this book was any kind of discussion about the external forces that really kept Stanton and her family out of prison--namely, their socioeconomic status and race. She lists all the "crimes committed" during the time period in the appendix, yet fails to mention the obvious fact that had she been a few shades darker and living within the Boston inner-city limits, she would have undoubtedly served time in jail and/or prison. It would have been inevitable. All in all, this book is just ok for me. [Note: Thanks to Edelweiss for a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.]

  7. 4 out of 5

    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 to Angel Dust, her short career as a petty crimin 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 to Angel Dust, her short career as a petty criminal, the ever looming specter of Walpole Prison), it all just sort of washes over you like a drug-addled dream of the 1970s, with no real drama, no real consequences. The most interesting facet of this book is the idea of a life lived in the shadow of Walpole prison. What does that mean for the identity of a town? For a young person? And while I appreciate Stanton's struggle, the fact that she was able to overcome so many obstacles and create a successful life for herself, it would have been nice to see a bit more awareness of the privilege that kept her out of the prison system. On the whole, this was a really enjoyable read. Though I suspect it will resonate most with readers who have some knowledge of the area in the 1970s, I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys memoirs about delinquent girls, and their ability to rise from the ashes of their own destruction. FULL DISCLOSURE: I received an ARC of this book from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Bex

    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 parts, not much actually happens in this text: the a 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 parts, not much actually happens in this text: the author's childhood is described, then her parents go through a relatively amicable divorce - the sadness of which pushes her into an adolescence of taking a lot of drugs. At times it felt a bit self-indulgent with the fairly conventional aspects of childhood being described in great amounts of detail. I think it would have benefitted from being a bit shorter. Thank you to NetGalley for the advanced copy of this text in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    DNF @ 44% as it’s still unclear what this is about

  10. 4 out of 5

    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. 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.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    Maureen Stanton's coming-of-age memoir in her working-class prison town in the 1970s, Body Leaping Backward- A Memoir of a Delinquent Girlhood, appealed to me for many reasons. I too grew up in a working-class prison town in the 1970s, and I came from a Catholic family with many children. Stanton took me right back to those days- kids playing Flashlight Tag or dodgeball, waiting to hear their mother's voice calling them in for dinner, riding bikes all over town, piling everyone in the car to go t Maureen Stanton's coming-of-age memoir in her working-class prison town in the 1970s, Body Leaping Backward- A Memoir of a Delinquent Girlhood, appealed to me for many reasons. I too grew up in a working-class prison town in the 1970s, and I came from a Catholic family with many children. Stanton took me right back to those days- kids playing Flashlight Tag or dodgeball, waiting to hear their mother's voice calling them in for dinner, riding bikes all over town, piling everyone in the car to go to the drive-in movies. Coming from a large family, (there were seven Stanton children) I could relate to her mom meticulously dividing up a bag of M&Ms so that each child got exactly the same amount. I vividly recall going to confession at church, and, like Maureen, worrying about what sins I would have to confess to (you don't want to keep repeating yourself week after week, but what kind of sins can a young child commit?). I found Stanton's memories of Walpole prison interesting. The prison occupied a large presence in the town, both physical and emotional, although I don't recall my mother threatening us with ending up in the local prison if we misbehaved, like her mother frequently did. The Stantons would visit the Hobby Shop, a gift shop located just inside the prison walls, where anyone could buy furniture, jewelry, dollhouses and crafts made by inmates. Most of the children's rooms were furnished from here. The man who ran the shop was a famous Boston mobster, and convicted Boston Strangler Albert DeSalvo made jewelry that was sold in the hobby shop. (The town I grew up in did not have a retail shop so I found this fascinating and very strange.) Life changed drastically for the Stantons when their parents divorced and their father moved out when Maureen was twelve years old. Money became scarce, and her mother resorted to shoplifting to feed the family. Eventually, her mother went back to school to become a nurse. She went to school all day, came home to do homework, and then fed her family dinner. It was a difficult life. By the time she was in tenth grade, Maureen was using angel dust (PCP). Angel dust causes you to lose depth perception and balance, causes difficulties in concentration, and apathy. It's a serious drug, and Maureen and her friends were using it frequently. She began skipping school, stealing, became involved in petty crime. (She thought this was typical teenage behavior, but I did not relate to that.) Stanton weaves in historical context to give the reader a good sense of what life was like at that time. Bomb scares were rampant in the 1970s, and "between 1971 and the end of 1972, the FBI reported 2500 bombings on US soil, an average of five bombings per day". Overall, crime rose in the 1970s, and the town of Walpole was no exception. In her junior year of high school, Maureen got a job at a gas station, where she earned work-study credits, and learned a lot about life based on the customers that she waited on. She also met a man who helped her reconnect with her love of literature and writing. She took a writing class in college, and when her mother found Maureen's high school diaries while moving, Maureen used that as the basis for this powerful memoir. Stanton's writing is crisp and poignant, like this sentence she writes describing her parents telling the children about their separation- "A tear slipped down my father's cheek, and then like a chorus we all cried, our last act as an intact family." If you came of age in the 1970s, Body Leaping Backward will take you back to that time. Fans of Mary Karr's The Liar's Club should put this one on their list.

  12. 4 out of 5

    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 until then, she told stories of her fairly typical 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 until then, she told stories of her fairly typical seventies childhood: riding bikes, swimming, hanging out with the neighbourhood kids. She always had a rebellious streak and spoke her mind, so it wasn't too surprising when she started experimenting with drugs in her early teenage years. Her parents split up and this, combined with the large number of siblings she had, allowed her to fly a bit under the radar. There were interesting elements, one being her straight-laced mother who ended up shoplifting, and stories of Maureen's childhood interspersed with infamous prisoners' stories from the Walpole Prison, like the Boston Strangler. Unfortunately, these stories dangled and then ultimately petered out. I found the same to be true of Maureen's own story. Yes, she had some interesting tales to tell, but they just felt as though they happened without much consequence. She never had an addiction so bad that she needed to go to rehab or struggled too hard to quit her drug habit. She never got in legal trouble. She barely even got in trouble from her parents. It all just basically took care of itself when she felt too introspective the final time she took angel dust and became depressed. I feel as though when publishing a memoir - particularly an addition-type memoir of which there are plenty out there - it helps to have an exceptional story to share. This one just fell a bit flat for me. I generally read books fairly quickly but was away for a few days just after I'd started this book and didn't have as much time to read as I normally do. I just didn't feel a pull towards this one. My curiosity wasn't piqued as much as it usually is with this particular genre and I wasn't dying to know what happened next. That said, the quality of the writing was good and, more importantly, I'm extremely happy for the author's sake that she didn't have a harder time coming off the heavier drugs she took and didn't become another tragic statistic. Judge the cover: 3/5

  13. 5 out of 5

    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 edges of the town is absolutely on the mark. She cour 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 edges of the town is absolutely on the mark. She courageously examines the sadness and separateness of her adolescence, and accompanies the reader to demystify her string of desperate choices. Although now compassionate toward her young self, Stanton offers no excuses here: during her drug-driven years, she put herself and others in danger, caused heartache for her family, and day after day she broke laws that were meaningless to her. Much was meaningless to Maureen due to her regular use of angel dust, a numbing street drug that leaves its users feeling burnt out and empty. The steps that Stanton took to turn her life around, to save herself from permanent ruin or an untimely death, are presented not as heroic or exotic, but as a mix of hard work and luck. This truth is as plainly yet vibrantly presented as her detailed descriptions of neighbors, classrooms, clothing, bosses, churches, small businesses, and teen hangouts, the mundane that compose the life of children, but also flood our memories when we look back in time. These scenes and moments made up her Walpole childhood and mine. Stanton adds to the telling with history and analysis of sociological phenomena including the Massachusetts drug market, trends in crime and incarceration, and divorce. She deftly unpacks the journey of a teenage girl who pursued, unsuccessfully, “everything from the sixties that we didn’t know was already gone.” What she found, in the end, was the existence of a core self that had survived the drugs and risks and loss. What we are now able to glimpse is a healed survivor who brings an honesty to her writing that sets an important bar.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Crystal Zavala

    Maureen Stanton grew up in Walpole, MA (home of the Walpole Prison) in the 1970s. She was a middle child with 6 siblings. At the age of 12, Maureen's parents were the first parents on her street to get separated and then divorced. Her family seemed to be the typical Catholic family and she had no idea that her parents weren't getting along. After the separation, Maureen's mother took to shoplifting in an attempt to keep up with their middle class lifestyle. Maureen had always done and said what s Maureen Stanton grew up in Walpole, MA (home of the Walpole Prison) in the 1970s. She was a middle child with 6 siblings. At the age of 12, Maureen's parents were the first parents on her street to get separated and then divorced. Her family seemed to be the typical Catholic family and she had no idea that her parents weren't getting along. After the separation, Maureen's mother took to shoplifting in an attempt to keep up with their middle class lifestyle. Maureen had always done and said what she wants. So when she decides to try PCP/angel dust at the age of 15, she is all in. Angel dust numbs her feelings (although she doesn't realize that's what she's doing) and she no longer cares about school, swimming or gymnastics. She only cares about getting dusted. Maureen is extremely lucky to be alive after all the drugs, hitchhiking, parties, vandalism, and theft. Body Leaping Backward does start slowly and I wasn't sure where the book was headed. It becomes clear that the background of Maureen's upbringing is clouded by Nixon's "war on drugs", Walpole prison and it's famous inmates, and Nixon's own legal troubles. Maureen is very lucky to have been a privileged white female because if she had been a minority, I believe that she would have ended up in jail and/or prison. As an adult, Maureen is very aware of her "luck" and privilege.

  15. 4 out of 5

    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 some of them were up to. The writing is excellent, 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 some of them were up to. The writing is excellent, from its finely-crafted sentences and rich metaphors to the perfectly-detailed scenes and tautly-drawn narrative. This is a memoir which clearly comes out of years of honest, brave meditation on the Why of a tough adolescence. Also, one of the many things which make this book special is that it shows that young women have all the same impulses as young men, even if we pretend otherwise. Stanton survives her adolescence to become a gifted writer. Here she returns to the crisis of her early life to inhabit the child she once was and find a way to offer her love and forgiveness. It's a lesson for all of us, and a beautiful one.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Chevy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I received this pre release for a book club. There were aspects of this book that I really liked; I loved the details of her early childhood, the imagery of the prison being so close and the threat of being bad and getting locked up, the way they spent the summer readying the pool...the beginning is so rich and really drew me in. But then the drugs begin and that for me was when the book ended. Having read Go Ask Alice I was VERY disappointed with the diary entries and the lack of details of her I received this pre release for a book club. There were aspects of this book that I really liked; I loved the details of her early childhood, the imagery of the prison being so close and the threat of being bad and getting locked up, the way they spent the summer readying the pool...the beginning is so rich and really drew me in. But then the drugs begin and that for me was when the book ended. Having read Go Ask Alice I was VERY disappointed with the diary entries and the lack of details of her later years. It was as if she couldn’t remember anything while she was “dusted” so there was nothing to write except just that “got dusted again” and again and again. The ending was lack luster although I’m glad she was able to get her life back together before it was too late. In all honesty the mother to me was a better main character and was much more interesting; would have loved to have a memoir based on her.

  17. 4 out of 5

    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. 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.

  18. 5 out of 5

    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 brutally honest and haunting. The beautiful extended metaphor o 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 brutally honest and haunting. The beautiful extended metaphor of living in a town known for its prison while experiencing her own personal emotional incarceration (middle child in a family of seven children and product of divorced parents in the early 1970s when such things were the ultimate social taboo) weaves seamlessly throughout the book without feeling forced. Instead of looking on the past with hazy nostalgia, this author reveals what it was like to be a teenage girl in the 1970s whose drive was to be true to self—heart wrenching mistakes and all. How wonderful she chose to share this with the rest of us!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Seth Ruderman

    Unbelievable. Raw, honest...one of the best memoirs I've rever read. Unbelievable. Raw, honest...one of the best memoirs I've rever read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    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.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rita

    3.5 stars unflinchingly honest-- also depressing-- but it's true life, so... recommended for fans of true coming-of-age and women's memoirs 3.5 stars unflinchingly honest-- also depressing-- but it's true life, so... recommended for fans of true coming-of-age and women's memoirs

  22. 5 out of 5

    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. 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.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Tappin

    Stanton's memoir explores love and loss, and the often dangerous ways in which we strive to survive both in her brilliantly written memoir that transcends both time and place. If you haven't yet read Body Leaping Backward, you must do so. Right now. Share it with your friends, beloveds, strangers. You will find yourself within its pages. Without question, this is the most brilliant, important, and masterfully written memoir I have read in quite some time. Long may you run (and write, of course), Stanton's memoir explores love and loss, and the often dangerous ways in which we strive to survive both in her brilliantly written memoir that transcends both time and place. If you haven't yet read Body Leaping Backward, you must do so. Right now. Share it with your friends, beloveds, strangers. You will find yourself within its pages. Without question, this is the most brilliant, important, and masterfully written memoir I have read in quite some time. Long may you run (and write, of course), Maureen Stanton. Thank you.

  24. 4 out of 5

    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 written. 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 written.

  25. 4 out of 5

    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 me a different perspective; at times wanted to shake Maureen, 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 me a different perspective; at times wanted to shake Maureen, smack her, and hug her. I rooted for and her friends and family. This is a heart wrenching story of what happened when parents divorced at a time when it wasn’t common and when there weren’t the resources there are now. It was also interesting the impact a prison had on the community just by being there. Overall this is well worth reading!

  26. 4 out of 5

    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--but the more powerful story is her grappling with 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--but the more powerful story is her grappling with issues of coming of age in such a strange time and place.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ricki Treleaven

    The difficult thing for me in reading this book is trying not to be so judgmental about Maureen and her dysfunctional family. However, I think that we as readers and humans should judge bad behavior, because how else can we possibly set standards for ourselves and our own children? One commonality Maureen's family shares with almost 50% of other American families at the time is divorce. There was a huge spike in divorce in the late sixties and early seventies, and Stanton does a great job explain The difficult thing for me in reading this book is trying not to be so judgmental about Maureen and her dysfunctional family. However, I think that we as readers and humans should judge bad behavior, because how else can we possibly set standards for ourselves and our own children? One commonality Maureen's family shares with almost 50% of other American families at the time is divorce. There was a huge spike in divorce in the late sixties and early seventies, and Stanton does a great job explaining what was going on in society at the time that probably contributed to this phenomenon. I actually enjoyed reading about her family and their life in small-town Massachusetts in the shadow of a famous prison (Stanton does share stories about famous prisoners throughout the book). The antics on their cul-de-sac are very well-written, and I love Stanton's voice throughout the narrative. However, after about the first third of the book, after her parents' separation when things truly spiral out of control for Maureen's mother and her children, her story becomes a little too repetitive. Stanton describes doing drugs with her friends (mostly angel dust), doing really stupid things including breaking the law (larceny among others), saying disrespectful and stupid things, and never really getting caught or having consequences for said behavior. Then the same scenario is repeated. And repeated. And repeated.....it's almost as if Stanton is trying to comment on white privilege or something. I would have liked to have read more about how Stanton gave up drugs, went to college, and turned her life around. She just decided one day at school during her senior year that she wouldn't partake in the Angel Dust again because something scared her. But when her father gives her $100 for voice lessons, she uses it to purchase cocaine. There are many poor decisions in this book, book there were also many good choices in Stanton's life obviously as she has achieved many accolades in her field. I would've enjoyed reading more about her strength, resilience, hard work, and achievements. After all....her delinquency is only part of the story. If you enjoy memoirs, reading about the culture of the 1970s, large families and family drama, and narratives written with a likable voice, then you should enjoy Body Leaping Backward. I give this book 4 stars only because I want more about how Maureen Stanton overcomes her delinquency, but obviously that isn't this book's focus. Disclosure: I received a copy of Body Leaping Backward from the publisher via TLC Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    I received this book as a Goodreads Giveaway, and I am so glad I did. I am always captivated when someone can so honestly reveal their struggles, their missteps, their inner feelings, as most of us, me included, could not do. I was enthralled with Maureen Stanton's writing about her childhood and growing up in Walpole, Massachusetts, under the shadow of Walpole prison. Her reflection and introspection were truthful and, at times, so raw and detailed that it took my breath away. When Maureen was I received this book as a Goodreads Giveaway, and I am so glad I did. I am always captivated when someone can so honestly reveal their struggles, their missteps, their inner feelings, as most of us, me included, could not do. I was enthralled with Maureen Stanton's writing about her childhood and growing up in Walpole, Massachusetts, under the shadow of Walpole prison. Her reflection and introspection were truthful and, at times, so raw and detailed that it took my breath away. When Maureen was eleven, her parents sat her brothers and sisters and Maureen down and explained that they were separating because they were not getting along. "At that moment all the distractions - the shouts of kids playing in the street, the abrasive upholstery of the couch scratching my bare thighs, the bothersome warmth of my sister's arm brushing mine - faded to background. My eyes fixed on my father's lip quivering. I couldn't stop staring; it was so strange, his lip shivering on a warm spring night. My stomach clenched. A tear slipped down my father's cheek, and then like a chorus we all cried, our last act as an intact family." After her father leaves, Maureen's mother is left with seven young children and little money. She is often not at home as she works and goes to school to earn a nursing degree. Maureen observes her mother shoplifting at the local grocery store and decides to try shoplifting herself. Always a good student, on the swim and gymnastics teams, Maureen begins to hang around with the "bad" crowd. She is introduced to and begins smoking angel dust, regularly skips school, and when she attends, is usually "dusted." For a year and a half, Maureen and her friends live on the edge, stealing and getting high and even breaking and entering the house of a neighbor. Maureen does feel guilt and shame at some of her actions and finally seeks help, asking her mother to send her to counseling. Maureen begins to work three jobs, pays for her own counseling, and begins to get her life together. I was especially impressed at the end of the book when Maureen recognizes not only what sent her down the delinquent path but also the important people and events that helped her regain her sense of self. Her shame and guilt at her actions and the realization that she was fortunate to survive those turbulent years made her a strong and likable character.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    Maureen Stanton grew up in the town of Walpole, MA, home of the maximum corrections institution formerly called "Walpole Prison" and now renamed as Cedar Junction due to the association many made between the town and the prison. Maureen's mother used the prison as an example of where her 7 children would end up if they did not behave. Since 5 of those children were female, there is no way they'd serve time in that prison, but what do children know? Maureen's drug use certain showed the prison thr Maureen Stanton grew up in the town of Walpole, MA, home of the maximum corrections institution formerly called "Walpole Prison" and now renamed as Cedar Junction due to the association many made between the town and the prison. Maureen's mother used the prison as an example of where her 7 children would end up if they did not behave. Since 5 of those children were female, there is no way they'd serve time in that prison, but what do children know? Maureen's drug use certain showed the prison threat meant nothing to her. The amount of drugs used was incredible to think she survived it all. I lived in the town of Walpole years after Maureen grew up and left the town and I never saw this drug use even though my children were teens at the time. A lot seems to come down to who your friends are and who those friends also associate with. Her story is a scary one, but it also brought back memories of people mentioned in the story. I'm glad I read this. Thank you NetGalley for an advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    SheLovesThePages

    🌹BOOK REVIEW🌹⁣ ⁣ Body Leaping Backward: Memoir of a Delinquent Girlhood by Maureen Stanton⁣. ⁣ -DESCRIPTION-⁣ A memoir set in the backdrop of change in the 1970s. Stanton's proper Catholic mother, seven children, a small town, her parents' seperation and the subsequent spiral she found herself & her mother in.⁣ ⁣ -THOUGHTS-⁣ 1. So I felt like a lot of this hit home for me. I understand both what it's like to both go into a spiral you never thought you were capable of and to watch a loved on jump head fi 🌹BOOK REVIEW🌹⁣ ⁣ Body Leaping Backward: Memoir of a Delinquent Girlhood by Maureen Stanton⁣. ⁣ -DESCRIPTION-⁣ A memoir set in the backdrop of change in the 1970s. Stanton's proper Catholic mother, seven children, a small town, her parents' seperation and the subsequent spiral she found herself & her mother in.⁣ ⁣ -THOUGHTS-⁣ 1. So I felt like a lot of this hit home for me. I understand both what it's like to both go into a spiral you never thought you were capable of and to watch a loved on jump head first into deceit and betrayal.⁣ 2. Stanton really hits home about how fragile our lives truly are...and that going through such upheaval at such a critical time in one's life can have a lasting impact.⁣ 3. I loved that this was set in the 1970s because I truly haven't read that much about that time period. Stanton paints a vivid portrait of life then, not only in a small town...but in America.⁣ ⁣ -RATING-⁣ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⁣ I highly recommend this book!⁣ ⁣ -SIMILAR RECOMMENDED READS-⁣ The Glass Castle⁣ The Great Alone The Sound of Gravel⁣

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