Sex, drugs and . . . bug stew? An utterly compelling
tale of survival-of nature, family and genetics
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.
Finally, in her early teens, Cea realized she would have to make a
choice as drastic as the one her grandparents once had made in
order to get the life she craved.
From nature child to international model by the age of thirteen,
Cea''s astonishing saga is one of long-held family secrets and
extreme family dysfunction, all in an incredibly unusual setting.
It is also the story of one girl''s deep-seated desire for
normality-a desire that enabled her to risk everything, overcome
adversity and achieve her dreams.