North of Normal

North of Normal

A Memoir of My Wilderness Childhood, My Counterculture Family, and How I Survived Both

Book - 2014
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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 northern Alberta. 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 in a canvas Teepee, grew pot, and hunted and gathered to survive. 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 was a happy existence. For Michelle, however, 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.
Publisher: Toronto :, HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.,, [2014]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781443424370
9781443424387
Branch Call Number: 921 P467
Characteristics: 301 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : portraits ; 23 cm
Alternative Title: Staff picks.
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WVMLBookClubTitles Jul 22, 2015

“We slept beneath layers of bearskins with heated rocks in our beds," Person writes, "but even then, we woke up with icy ears and snot frozen to the tips of our noses.” Growing up in the forest of BC and Alberta was not always ideal! Person recounts with humour and honesty the unique e... Read More »

I haven’t read a book like this since Jeannette Wall’s The Glass Castle! What a read! Person describes how her unusual family fled to the Canadian wilderness in the late 1960s to grow pot, embrace “free love” and live off the land. Her childhood was anything but “normal”... and yet she proved ju... Read More »


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WVMLBookClubTitles Jul 22, 2015

“We slept beneath layers of bearskins with heated rocks in our beds," Person writes, "but even then, we woke up with icy ears and snot frozen to the tips of our noses.” Growing up in the forest of BC and Alberta was not always ideal! Person recounts with humour and honesty the unique experiences of her youth. How this lovely woman grew up was certainly “North of Normal!”

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