North Of Normal: A Memoir Of My Wilderness Childhood, My Counterculture Family, And How I Survived Both by Cea Sunrise PersonNorth Of Normal: A Memoir Of My Wilderness Childhood, My Counterculture Family, And How I Survived Both by Cea Sunrise Person

North Of Normal: A Memoir Of My Wilderness Childhood, My Counterculture Family, And How I Survived…

byCea Sunrise Person

Paperback | September 30, 2016

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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.

Cea Sunrise Person, now a happily married mother of three, supported herself from age thirteen to thirty-one as an international model, working primarily in Europe. She now lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Title:North Of Normal: A Memoir Of My Wilderness Childhood, My Counterculture Family, And How I Survived…Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.8 inPublished:September 30, 2016Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1443424382

ISBN - 13:9781443424387


Rated 4 out of 5 by from crazy It is crazy to get insight into how some people live their lives.
Date published: 2018-08-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book, Amazing Story This book was so easy to get into and a great read. It is one of the only books that has received a unanimous positive review in my book club. I definitely would recommend this book.
Date published: 2018-07-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly recommend! This is a fantastic book, I couldn't put it down! The book can get quite emotional but Cea's resilience is amazing. I could not recommend this book enough!
Date published: 2018-06-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Perfect for travelling or camping. Sometimes filled with laughter or sadness, this is still a fun easy read for when you're on the move.
Date published: 2018-04-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sadness and resilience. Mental survival. I can't lie. I stayed up all night and read this. Had a good cry and emailed the author through my tears. I never expected a reply, but got one. Rarely does a book hit home. This one did. It walked me through my own mother's death and helped me make sense of it. I preordered the next one and read it right away.
Date published: 2018-04-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent and heartbreaking An incredible story about an incredible life, but one that seemed so filled with sadness. Cea just seemed like she was failed by all of the adults who were supposed to love her. I'm glad that she was able to find peace and forgiveness, and break the cycle with her own family. A really worthwhile read.
Date published: 2018-04-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from North of Normal What a life! I had to remind myself it was a biography.
Date published: 2018-04-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this book This is one of my favorite books right now, loved every moment of it
Date published: 2018-03-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! Honestly could not put it down. It's an amazing tale of Cea's ability to overcome the challenging situation she finds herself presented with. You will go through every emotion when reading this book!
Date published: 2018-03-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from couldn't stop reading So shocking and intriguing, keeps you engaged, I never wanted to stop reading it (and when i did it was consistently on my mind until i picked it up again), almost every other page had something that made you gasp and take a moment.
Date published: 2018-02-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WOW I couldn't put this book down. Cea is an amazingly courageous and resilient woman. What she lived through is nothing short of a miracle. Thank you for writing this book Cea.
Date published: 2018-02-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fascinating Read This was a compelling read. Cea does a great job of sharing her unconventional childhood, and in a way that makes you want to keep reading. While it was an interesting read, there were also points that were sad and made you really feel for this child. This is a memoir, but the characters and experiences are so out there, it's hard to believe they aren't made up. Fascinating is the best way to describe this book.
Date published: 2018-02-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Read ! This book was a huge surprise, and impossible to put down. I found myself following the write through each story. It's always amazing to have a glimpse into someone else's life. Especially one that is 'north of normal' and unique in every way.
Date published: 2018-01-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from North of Normal I was amazed that a family could live like this!
Date published: 2018-01-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Easy yet enjoyable read I read this with my book club and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I'm not generally one for biographies, but the author had a quite a tale to tell about her very unique upbringing. I'm glad I read it.
Date published: 2017-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Normal is over rated So many things in this book you would not want to experience. But the relationships were real, and heartbreaking
Date published: 2017-11-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Canadian Experience Loved Person's story of her eccentric childhood, especially as she grew up moving around Alberta. She writes beautifully, simply and in a heartfelt way. I have passed her book around to many people and they all love it as much as I do.
Date published: 2017-11-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! Such an interesting read, loved it!
Date published: 2017-10-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book! Hard to put down, so interesting!
Date published: 2017-10-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from What a great read! This memoir is truly captivating! I loved everything about this book. It is gut-wrenching to hear about everything this little had to go through in her life. Hard to put it down.
Date published: 2017-10-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fascinating and gut-wrenching A courageous and engaging reveal of an unusual upbringing. Gut wrenching in parts but also insightful, and sometimes humorous.
Date published: 2017-10-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Memoir It is always interesting to read a great memoir and Cea Person certainly did have a lot happen in her life to fill a memoir. This was a very engaging and often at times sad and emotional read.
Date published: 2017-09-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Captivating Memoir It's hard to put this book down once you get started. Cea's child story and wild family are captivating, and hard to believe that they are not fictional characters. Sad and beautiful all wrapped up into a fascinating life story.
Date published: 2017-09-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Hard to put down A Canadian version of the glass castle. Not as well written but worth reading non the less
Date published: 2017-09-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it This one was hard to put down. Cea's unusual upbringing made for some fantastic stories, and the entire memoir was really grabbing. From a childhood spent in the wilderness to a career as an international model, her journey had various ups and downs that made for a great read.
Date published: 2017-08-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved It! I thought this book was beautifully written. I really enjoyed it and am currently reading it for the second time!
Date published: 2017-07-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! My very favourite book! Cea is amazing!
Date published: 2017-06-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this book A raw memoir of a life of a little girl who really Lived a extrodiary crazy life with a even crazier upbringing. I could not put this book down I was fascinated with this life and how people can live that way. I highly recommend this book #plumreview
Date published: 2017-05-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing story This is a truly unbelievable memoir unlike anything I've ever read. Fans of Jeannette Walls or memoirs of fascinating lives in general will love reading this book.
Date published: 2017-04-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from What a life! Wow! Quite the childhood. Amazing strength of character.
Date published: 2017-04-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not like anything that I have read before. I'm not really sure how I feel about this book! The author certainly is to be admired for her achievements and her strength of character after going through a less than ideal childhood. It is heartwarming to know that she he is happy with her husband and children.
Date published: 2017-04-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Witty, captivating and surprising. I couldn't put this book down. It takes you through every emotion and you truly feel like a part of the story.
Date published: 2017-04-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book! I bought this to take on vacation and finished it in two days! Couldn't put it down such an interesting memoir
Date published: 2017-03-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting! Very interesting read! I couldn't imagine living like this...
Date published: 2017-03-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting Read I was fascinated by the story and the vivid descriptions of the author's childhood. I found it very difficult to feel sympathy for her family, particularly her mother and grandparents. Her memoir is well written and her "survival" story is indeed worth reading.
Date published: 2017-03-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Book I Read This Year I loved this book and devoured it in one day. Cea tells the story of her childhood in the most authentic and honest way without any self pity. I found myself instantly invested in Cea's story and her future. It was a beautiful book and I highly recommend.
Date published: 2017-03-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting Read If you enjoy reading stories about someone struggling against odds to succeed then you will like this. Considering how she was brought up, it's amazing that her values and morals carried her to success. An interesting and enlightening read.
Date published: 2017-02-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible Story This was a heartbreaking novel full of raw emotion. Cea Sunrise Person is an inspiration to all for overcoming the difficulties that she did. This was one of the most captivating novels that I have ever read and I will surely never forget it.
Date published: 2017-02-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow. I couldn't put this book down. Very inspiring and well written! #plumreview
Date published: 2017-02-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A page turner A very interesting story that is very well written and easy to read. Loved it!
Date published: 2017-02-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from easy read enjoyed this very much... will pass along to my nieces and nephews
Date published: 2017-02-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cea Sunrise Such a good story! Cea is a wonderful storyteller who fully capture's your attention in her unique life. I loved the book and can't wait for her next one. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-01-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cea. Wow. Amazing journey. Cannot wait to read your next!
Date published: 2017-01-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible story! Hard to believe that not only would a mother neglect her own daughter but that her grandparents would be party to the neglect as well. Inspiring how she was able to cope and how she dealt with her childhood as an adult. Great read.
Date published: 2017-01-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from If You Haven't Read This Yet You Should... This was definitely one of the best books I have read in a while. I couldn't stop turning the pages, eagerly wanting to find out how Cea's life would turn out for the better... If not relatable, then this story will definitely help you appreciate your own childhood in some way. An inspiring story of survival.
Date published: 2017-01-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Just WOW Cea Sunrise Pearson has had an incredibly unique childhood. I was utterly baffled by the lifestyle choices of her family and couldn't believe that this was how she grew up. Not only was she born and raised in the wilds of Western Canada, she did not have a loving, supportive, healthy family environment. Her childhood and adolescence were turbulent and deeply affected the adult she became. This is one of the most special, riveting autobiographies I have ever read. I greatly enjoyed this book, but my heart broke for Cea Sunrise Pearson. It helped me to appreciate my own childhood.
Date published: 2016-11-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great bio Great bio inspiring story
Date published: 2016-11-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspired by this story A page-turner, life of a little girl in the wood, seen throught the eyes of a child
Date published: 2016-07-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Truly inspiring story of resilience and strength An a amazing and very eye opening memoire to the many different paths and realities we all learn to know as life.
Date published: 2015-09-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Captivating read Sooooo fascinating! I could hardly wait to find out how in the world the author ended up "normal" enough to write a book, but enjoyed the narrative along the way so much that I wasn't impatient to get to the end.
Date published: 2015-08-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing What a great story. I would have never thought people lived like this This in the woods. Just kept on wanting to read more
Date published: 2015-06-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read I am from a very dysfunctional family growing up very poor however in the city and i did live in a flat in Montreal. I could relate to the emotions significantly. Thank you for telling your story. I think about putting mine to paper some day.
Date published: 2015-04-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from North of normal This is one of the best books I have ever read, and I read alot. Cea's story is truly stranger than fiction and I wanted to take that little girl in my arms and truly give her "normal". Bravo for telling us your story.
Date published: 2015-04-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful Amazing story of a complex life and the author's way through it. A true page turner. What a remarkable life!
Date published: 2015-03-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Could not put it down! Read this book over a long weekend! Such a great read and an inspiring author. I have recommended it to a few friends and family since!
Date published: 2015-03-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Such an Exciting Journey! I love this book! From the moment I picked it up I could not put it down! Cea takes you on a journey that most could not even imagine let alone live.
Date published: 2015-02-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from North of Normal Okay, this is a tremendously full life that seems to be so far removed from normal, definitely north. Enjoyable to read, thanks for sharing, glad I didn't have to live it with you.
Date published: 2015-02-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent book I absolutely loved reading this book I could barely put it down when it was time to go to sleep.I wish I was reading it again for the first time. Sometimes I was cringing when I knew she might be in trouble but she always got past stuff that I'm not sure I could of.How anyone can put they're child through this is beyond me. If you want a book that you can totally lose your self in .....this is the book...........thanks Cea Sunrise Person for writing this.
Date published: 2015-02-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read! Could not put this book down. Loved the way it was written. If you loved "The Glass Castle" - you'll love this book. Definitely worth reading.
Date published: 2015-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from North of normal Extremely interesting. What a childhood experience, life learning Lessons of life and survival. Not easy but the end sometimes justifies the means. Good job. Glad you are at pease. Thanks
Date published: 2015-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from North of Normal This book about a chaotic family life was wrtten with an honesty and vulnerability. The multy layerd individuals were portrayed with their flaws and beauty a great read.
Date published: 2015-01-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it ! I didn't know what to expect when I got this book, so I kept an open mind. Once I opened it, I simply couldn't put it down..always wanting to know more of how things turned out. This book touched many subjects that made me reflect on my own childhood,and my own path. A truly, inspirationnal read !
Date published: 2015-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Remarkable and Incredible I gave this book FIVE BRGHT and GLOWING stars because I was so absorbed in this true life survival story. It is so well written. I became a prisoner to this book because I could not escape it's content until I finished the last sentence, in just two sittings. Cea wrote her story as if she was sitting beside the reader and telling her gripping story in person. Cea Person's childhood was as complex as it was heartbreaking and heart warming at the same time. The book reveals how adult lifestyles and relationships can emotionally harm a child without any bad intent. The experiences of living in the Alberta wilderness with a family who's bizarre values were extreme and was also dangerous and selfish - BUT Cea survived beyond belief. A child this strong deserves to live a long and happy life. The ending is a happy one.
Date published: 2015-01-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good read Wow. Crazy life. Really enjoyed this book. Hard to imagine someone growing up in those conditions. Cea is a tough woman!
Date published: 2015-01-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from North of normal What an incredible adventure we went on. Loved this book. Life is betr than fiction. Cant make this stuff up
Date published: 2015-01-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Inspiring story of perseverance. An eye opener to what Cea had experienced living the life of “freedom” a la hippie style. Author deals greatly with the relationships of family members and the values placed on such relationships or lack thereof. Makes you realize how irreplaceable strong foundation in a family is and how vital it is to have a place to call home. The book concentrates on her childhood she does not talk much about her modeling experience nor her adult life. It ends rather quickly as if she wanted to finish the book due to exhaustion thinking about her past. Overall I was impressed with her strength and will to move on trying to overcome the past. Thank you Cea for sharing your experience! Great read.
Date published: 2014-12-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! I bought this book last week and could not put it down. Great read, highly recommend!
Date published: 2014-11-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great writer, disturbing I read this book for a book club, and it was certainly not a book I would've chosen to read. The writer is very good at describing things in a unbiased way from her view as an adult looking back on her childhood. Many of the things that occurred in her childhood, however, were very disturbing and sad. Makes me wonder how many kids there are living that type of life today.
Date published: 2014-11-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fascinating Read I really enjoyed this book. Amazing life Cea experienced.
Date published: 2014-08-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down My sister recommended this book to me and I am so glad she did. It was such a well written memoir. I couldn't believe the resilience of the author. I think I finished it in 3 days because I couldn't put it down. Read this book!!
Date published: 2014-07-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This is an inspiring story about a young girl's challenging relationship with her family, and her inner motivation to be true to herself. This amazing real-life story is told by Cea Person with honesty and integrity. Her unique history unfolds as her family decides to raise her in the wilderness. We are taken on a journey with Cea as she recalls and shares her unique experiences, family dynamics and a life that is shocking at times. What we take with us is her inspiring determination to create a life for herself that true to who she is. This book is hard to put down and will stay with you like a true life experience ..... a must read.
Date published: 2014-05-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WOW!! An incredible story told by a courageous and determined Person! We couldn't put this memoir down - a courageous and brave little girl determined to find "normal" ... We were touched and amazed at the story-telling from the POV of a child forced into a dysfunctional adult-world in the middle of the wilderness - congrats Cea on sharing with us an emotional, thoughtful and life-changing experience - the book makes you appreciate the normal we sometimes take for granted.
Date published: 2014-05-18

Editorial Reviews

“Her account of this Alice-in-Wonderland life is rendered with . . . grace, and without self-pity.”