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North of Normal: A Memoir of My Wilderness Childhood, My Unusual Family, and How I Survived Both (2014)

de Cea Sunrise Person

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26514101,744 (4.12)28
Sex, drugs, and . . . bug stew? In the vein of The Glass Castle and Wild, Cea Sunrise Person's compelling memoir of a childhood spent with her dysfunctional counter-culture family in the Canadian wilderness-a searing story of physical, emotional, and psychological survival. In the late 1960s, riding the crest of the counterculture movement, Cea's family left a comfortable existence in California to live off the land in the Canadian wilderness. But unlike most commune dwellers of the time, the Persons weren't trying to build a new society-they wanted to escape civilization altogether. Led by Cea's grandfather Dick, they lived a pot-smoking, free-loving, clothing-optional life under a canvas tipi without running water, electricity, or heat for the bitter winters. Living out her grandparents' dream with her teenage mother Michelle, young Cea knew little of the world beyond her forest. She spent her summers playing nude in the meadow and her winters snowshoeing behind the grandfather she idolized. Despite fierce storms, food shortages, and the occasional drug-and-sex-infused party for visitors, it seemed to be a mostly happy existence. For Michelle, however, now long separated from Cea's father, there was one crucial element missing: a man. When Cea was five, Michelle took her on the road with a new boyfriend. As the trio set upon a series of ill-fated adventures, Cea began to question both her highly unusual world and the hedonistic woman at the centre of it-questions that eventually evolved into an all-consuming search for a more normal life. Finally, in her early teens, Cea realized she would have to make a choice as drastic as the one her grandparents once had in order to save herself. While a successful international modeling career offered her a way out of the wilderness, Cea discovered that this new world was in its own way daunting and full of challenges. Containing twenty-four intimate black-and-white family photos, North of Normal is Cea's funny, shocking, heartbreaking, and triumphant tale of self-discovery and acceptance, adversity, and strength that will leave no reader unmoved.… (mais)
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» Veja também 28 menções

Mostrando 1-5 de 14 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
well written memoir of a woman who grows up in a very dysfunctional hippie type family.. Lots of details of the life style. She becomes a very strong independant woman., ( )
  loraineo | Jan 22, 2024 |
My current kick is memoirs of difficult childhood and survival. I enjoyed this one overall, though I felt the early years were better written and more interesting than the later. ( )
  CarolHicksCase | Mar 12, 2023 |
Wow - talk about Glass Castle on steroids!! What a life story. I know that Cea has scars from all she went through, but once again, a memoir like this one shows how resilient kids can be. I will be reading her follow up book also! ( )
  carolfoisset | Apr 6, 2021 |
If you liked the Glass Castle, then you will enjoy Person's North of Normal. This is a well-written narrative memoir. The story is well paced, and moves forward with enough momentum to make it a page turner in places. The latter half of the book seems to move too fast, with little of the detail that filled the first half (which may be why she wrote a sequel!) All in all a recommended read about a difficult childhood and an overcoming spirit. ( )
  ColourfulThreads | Feb 18, 2021 |
No review because I don't know how to judge memoirs - I don't know what I like and what I don't like, but I DO know that out of every memoir I've read, I've loved every one. It's the 'watching the car crash' kind of thing. It's the mix of the happy moments and the dreadful moments, and how strangely they're all perceived by a kid.

Also, hey, Calgary! ( )
  Chyvalrys | Aug 5, 2020 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 14 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
By the end of the first chapter, heck, by the end of the title, you are aware of this narrative arc, and with Cea’s easygoing writing style, you just settle in for the ride.
 
North of Normal serves to expose counterculture realities, illuminate family relationships that juxtapose love with torment, and illustrate the power of forgiveness.
adicionado por Nickelini | editarThe Star (Toronto), Marcia Kaye (May 28, 2014)
 
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Sex, drugs, and . . . bug stew? In the vein of The Glass Castle and Wild, Cea Sunrise Person's compelling memoir of a childhood spent with her dysfunctional counter-culture family in the Canadian wilderness-a searing story of physical, emotional, and psychological survival. In the late 1960s, riding the crest of the counterculture movement, Cea's family left a comfortable existence in California to live off the land in the Canadian wilderness. But unlike most commune dwellers of the time, the Persons weren't trying to build a new society-they wanted to escape civilization altogether. Led by Cea's grandfather Dick, they lived a pot-smoking, free-loving, clothing-optional life under a canvas tipi without running water, electricity, or heat for the bitter winters. Living out her grandparents' dream with her teenage mother Michelle, young Cea knew little of the world beyond her forest. She spent her summers playing nude in the meadow and her winters snowshoeing behind the grandfather she idolized. Despite fierce storms, food shortages, and the occasional drug-and-sex-infused party for visitors, it seemed to be a mostly happy existence. For Michelle, however, now long separated from Cea's father, there was one crucial element missing: a man. When Cea was five, Michelle took her on the road with a new boyfriend. As the trio set upon a series of ill-fated adventures, Cea began to question both her highly unusual world and the hedonistic woman at the centre of it-questions that eventually evolved into an all-consuming search for a more normal life. Finally, in her early teens, Cea realized she would have to make a choice as drastic as the one her grandparents once had in order to save herself. While a successful international modeling career offered her a way out of the wilderness, Cea discovered that this new world was in its own way daunting and full of challenges. Containing twenty-four intimate black-and-white family photos, North of Normal is Cea's funny, shocking, heartbreaking, and triumphant tale of self-discovery and acceptance, adversity, and strength that will leave no reader unmoved.

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