''Her account of this Alice-in-Wonderland life is rendered with…grace, and without self-pity.'' (Elle)
''North of Normal contains so many jaw-dropping scenes it makes Jeannette Walls' childhood (The Glass Castle) look almost conventional.... [it] illuminate[s] family relationships that juxtapose love with torment, and illustrate the power of forgiveness.'' --(Toronto Star)
''A former international model charts her unconventional childhood in the 1960s with a hippie-ish family.…Written with stylistic clarity and studded with family photos, Person's lucid memories present a stirring scrapbook.'' --(Kirkus Reviews)
''Accounts of early childhood are tricky -- too many details and it's impossible to trust the writer's memory -- but Person navigates the challenge with real grace. Her clear-eyed memoir captures her family's quest and its collapse without bitterness. '' --(Boston Globe)
From the Back Cover
Determined to abandon civilization for a hand-to-mouth existence in the wild, Cea Sunrise Person's charismatic grandfather Papa Dick uproots the Person clan from suburban California to the forests of Canada in the late 1960s, when she is just a baby. Together with her teenage mother, Michelle, Cea will spend the next decade of her life living in and out of canvas tipis with neither electricity nor running water, at the mercy of fierce storms, food shortages, and an array of grown-ups more interested in having a groovy time than in parenting a child.
For Michelle, though, one crucial element is missing: a man. When she strikes out to look for love, spinning from one boyfriend to the next, Cea is forced along for the ride—and into a harsh awakening. Consumed by a desire for a more normal life, she begins to question both her highly unusual world and the hedonistic woman at its center. But the escape she finds, through a career as an internationally successful model, brings its own challenges.
Shocking, heartbreaking, yet often funny and infused with warmth toward her damaged family, this riveting memoir of growing up off the grid (amid multiple generations of dysfunction) describes Person's journey to reclaim her life on her own terms.