North of Normal: A Memoir of My Wilderness Childhood, My Unusual Family, and How I Survived BothNorth of Normal: A Memoir of My Wilderness Childhood, My Unusual Family, and How I Survived Both by Cea Sunrise Person
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Mainly in the genre of “victimization literature”, the Oprah fueled school which considers literature to be a long recounting of woes without much of a quest for meaning, this book does have some redemptive value which makes it better than the typical Oprah book.

Cea Sunrise is a likable narrator with a funny and pretty name. The series of photos throughout add a lot to this book, and really helped me refrain from judgement. Cea’s mom, Michelle, just looks like a little kid. She actually looks like her daughter’s sister.

Papa Dick, Cea’s grandfather, is a less than admirable character. He basically pimps his own daughter for a wood stove, a metal barrel the local Indians had. His philosophy of living in the moment is not especially original. There was a Aleister Crowleyesque kind of “Do what thou wilt, let that be the whole of the law” mentality to him. He was a throwback to pagan times, an atavism. Not so much a 60’s thing, though the 60’s get blamed, but rather a Baal worship thing, very old.

This book describes why weed should be legal. The black market in weed dictates you wind up getting exposed to knuckleheads like the Persons if you like to smoke weed at any point in your life. You have to buy into a lifestyle in order to procure some herb, which The Bible clearly states we have dominion over. I don’t smoke weed personally, but I would rather people buy if from a store than have to pick it up at a hippie orgy. Also, legalization of weed would have removed a primary source of funding for this family of idiots (excluding the author herself from that designation).

I hate to rate a book I just read, because I read every book I start to non-stop completion, and won’t be able to tell if it’s good or bad until i think about it for awhile, but I want to write this while I am still freshly traumatized. I did get some insights into wilderness survival, though. My approach would be to have a well funded ATM card and be able to be able to return to civilization to stock up in case I forgot anything. The scenery looks spectacular, but anyone who would take a bunch of young people and new baby into the middle of nowhere like that without a solid game plan deserves a Darwin Award.

Congrats to Cea for surviving. I do like how she eventually understands how her upbringing made her strong and resourceful. Most wouldn’t, but most wouldn’t have survived it.

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