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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 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. 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

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A good story

but Educated by Sara Westover is better written and more compelling. If like me, you spent your credit on this and didn't return it fast enough, then you may as well not waste your credit and listen to it. The story is okay....different way for a young girl to grow up. Somewhat akin to Glass Castle, another memoire about growing up through neglect or child abuse. Glass Castle is a really good read too. Choose it or Educated over this book

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Excellent. Power through adversity.

I loved it. it's a true story written through the eyes of a child as she tries to comprehend the crazy world around her. Written for all of us who feel our childhood was the craziest. Adult reading with adult situations. I could not put this book down and I'm glad that I didn't. Well done Cia, well done.

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Thank You

This book has been written from a place of a gracious heart. I appreciate the authors courage and ability to hold the vision for good in her life regardless of the obstacles she faced. Her love for self inspires me greatly. Thank you for digging deep and sharing your story with us🙏

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Could not stop listening!

Wow, I don't think I have finished an audiobook that fast before. Cea's story is both spell-binding and heart-breaking. I normally don't leave reviews but this book brought me to tears more than once. It reflects the importance and outcomes of (adverse) childhood events in such a detailed way. Would definitely recommend!!!

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Compelling and Heartbreaking Story!

I was not prepared for the absolute depth this story brings to the reader - to say Cea has lived an interesting and often, heartbreaking life, is an understatement. So much of this story shocked me, however her resilience and strength as a woman is unreal, and this story was so wonderfully worth the listen.

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highly recommend

if you enjoyed educated this book is for you. I am just about to start cea's second memoir. highly recommend this book!

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Entertaining & Enlightening

Everyone thinks their family is crazy. And most of us are right! This memoir shares Cea Sunrise Person's unconventional and straight up wild childhood. From living in hand made structures in the wilderness, to adventures abroad & lots of Canadian towns and scenery inbetween,this memoir follows the growing up and realizations of the author through the 1970 onwards. Some parts were very funny, some parts heart my heart. And some parts hit close to home. I'm thankful for this story and so happy to recommend it to my next bookish friend looking for sonething interesting to read.

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I loved this story

I enjoyed the raw truthfulness of this story. Thank you. Can't wait to read the next one.

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Glad to find this recording

I’ve had this on paper for years but haven’t finished it. Thank you for recording and sharing your story Cea!! Incredible. This has been a very moving book for me.

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Great book!

I couldn’t stop listening. Such an interesting life story. I didn’t want the book to end! Will recommend to others!

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  • 2019-05-26

Narrator is terrible.

The narration sounds like a third grader giving a speech. Sing songy and brutal. Impossible to listen to.