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Publisher's Summary

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 counterculture 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 24 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 listener unmoved.

©2014 Cea Sunrise Person (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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    3 out of 5 stars

what a life

what happens if you are born in a family run by ultra orthodox hippie paranoia ridden grandparents. it changes your prospect of your own life. nicely read.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Compelling look at a wild life

Car lived a live so different from my own, it was fascinating to listen to. I love a good memoir.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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An amazing story

Unbelievable, couldn't put it aside
Story being told very well by the author herself, makes you think about your life and how you bring up your kids

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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I loved this book!! Cea is an incredible writer!

Her life story and experiences are amazing!
I couldn’t stop listening! The fact that she narrated it also makes it so personal and real!!
I was so anticipating the next book!! I am so proud of her and glad that Cea became the amazing woman that she is now!!


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5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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amazing story

this is an amazing story that made me feel the entire range of emotions, ending in me fighting back tears for the final hour. it makes me think how lucky I am to have the family I have and how my life and the authors have had many similarities.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Amazing 😉

This is well written, kept you listening and we couldn’t wait to get back in the car to here more. Cea her words are heartfelt, moving and so amazing. Thank you for writing your story and sharing with us. Truly amazing you are! Thanks

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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my favorite book!

This is such a wonderful memoir to listen to, it breaks your heart, inspires and comforts.

Hearing the story from the author adds more to an already wonderful story. Thank you Cea for sharing your story ❤️

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Not to be forgotten.

I loved every minute of this book. Sea Sunrise Parsons took an unusual, inappropriate, abusive and wildly dysfunctional childhood and somehow carved herself a happy and functional adult life out of it.

I cried tears of joy for her at the end of the book because I grew so attached to her story and wanted good things to happen to her. Her story was inspirational and I will not soon forget it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great story

I love memoirs about people who live non conventional lives and this was a great one!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Great Memoir

Such a descriptive and child like memory. The words are captivating. This is a favorite.