From the author of the bestselling memoir North of Normal comes the harrowing story of a past that won’t let go, and one woman’s attempt to put her life back together after everything falls apart
In her bestselling memoir North of Normal, Cea wrote with grace about her unconventional childhood—her early years living in a tipi in Alberta with her pot-smoking, free-loving counterculture family. But her struggles do not end when she leaves her family at the age of thirteen to become a model. Honest and daring, Nearly Normal reveals the many ways that Cea’s unconventional childhood continues to reverberate through the years.
At the age of thirty-seven, Cea has built a life that looks like the normal one she craved as a child—husband, young son, beautiful house, enviable career. But her carefully art-directed world is about to crumble around her. As she confronts the death of her still-young mother, the disintegration of her second marriage and the demise of her business, all within a few months, she finally faces the need to look at her past to make sense of her present.
The Globe and Mail says “Person’s best gifts as a writer are her memory, her knack for knowing when to dig down into the finer details of a scene, and when to pull back.” Nearly Normal chronicles the many stories Cea left untold but that needed telling. Settled into a new and much happier life after the release of her first book, she is nonetheless compelled to continue searching for answers about her enigmatic family. She discovers the value in the lessons they taught her, and the power of taking responsibility for her own choices.
“A former international model charts her unconventional childhood in the 1960s with a hippie-ish family.…Written with stylistic clarity and studded with family photos, Person’s lucid memories present a stirring scrapbook.”
“Person’s best gifts as a writer are her memory, her knack for knowing when to dig down into the finer details of a scene, and when to pull back.”
“North of Normal contains so many jaw-dropping scenes it makes Jeannette Walls’ childhood (The Glass Castle) look almost conventional.”
“Think your family is weird? Cea Sunrise Person slept in a tepee in the Canadian Rockies for most of her childhood, then by age 15 was modeling in Paris. Her memoir, North of Normal, retraces her unique path.”
“Accounts of early childhood are tricky—too many details and it’s impossible to trust the writer’s memory—but Person navigates the challenge with real grace. Her clear-eyed memoir captures her family’s quest and its collapse without bitterness. ”
“Warmly told with a strong, clear and funny voice, peppered with dramatic action, and full of quirky characters...equal parts harrowing and convivial.”
“Her account of this Alice-in-Wonderland life is rendered with…grace, and without self-pity.”