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Synopsis

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.

Book Reviews

North of Normal
Average rating
4.4 / 5
North of normal
December 5th, 2015
Really enjoyed this story and was inspired by the courage in sharing this experience of living in the wild and the trust of others.
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1 review
Truly inspiring story of resilience and strength
September 5th, 2015
An a amazing and very eye opening memoire to the many different paths and realities we all learn to know as life.
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1 review
Captivating read
August 27th, 2015
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.
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1 review
1 person found this helpful
Amazing
June 21st, 2015
What a great story. I would have never thought people lived like this This in the woods. Just kept on wanting to read more
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1 review
1 person found this helpful
Great read
April 29th, 2015
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.
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1 review
1 person found this helpful
North of normal
April 25th, 2015
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.
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1 review
1 person found this helpful
Wonderful
March 14th, 2015
Amazing story of a complex life and the author's way through it. A true page turner. What a remarkable life!
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1 review
1 person found this helpful
North of Normal
February 9th, 2015
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.
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1 review
2 of 2 people found this helpful
Excellent book
February 2nd, 2015
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.
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1 review
4 of 4 people found this helpful
North of normal
January 28th, 2015
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
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1 review
3 of 3 people found this helpful
North of Normal
January 25th, 2015
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.
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1 review
5 of 5 people found this helpful
Remarkable and Incredible
January 13th, 2015
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.
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1 review
2 of 2 people found this helpful
Good read
January 12th, 2015
Wow. Crazy life. Really enjoyed this book. Hard to imagine someone growing up in those conditions. Cea is a tough woman!
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1 review
4 of 4 people found this helpful
North of normal
January 9th, 2015
What an incredible adventure we went on. Loved this book. Life is betr than fiction. Cant make this stuff up
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1 review
1 person found this helpful
Great writer, disturbing
November 8th, 2014
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.
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1 review
5 of 7 people found this helpful
Fascinating Read
August 20th, 2014
I really enjoyed this book. Amazing life Cea experienced.
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1 review

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