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Nearly Normal

Surviving the Wilderness, My Family and Myself

About the Book

In her bestselling memoir North of Normal, Cea wrote with grace and candour about her unconventional childhood—her early years living in a tipi in Alberta with her pot-smoking, free-loving counterculture family; the numerous misadventures she survived with her mother and her mother’s boyfriends; and the bold escape Cea made from her family at the age of thirteen through a modelling career. After putting such a unique life on paper, one would expect Cea’s tale to be all told—but that’s far from the case.

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 just a few months, she finally faces the need to look at her past to make sense of her present. But even as she bares her soul through writing a memoir, stories too difficult to reveal fail to make it to the page.

Nearly Normal chronicles the many stories Cea left untold. 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. Drawing connections between her early experiences and later life mistakes, Cea identifies how her family’s extreme and often selfish behaviour contributed to her downfall. But more importantly, she discovers the value in the lessons they taught her, and the power of taking responsibility for her own choices in the face of great challenge.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

“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.” —<em>The Globe and Mail</em>

“Warmly told with a strong, clear and funny voice, peppered with dramatic action, and full of quirky characters...equal parts harrowing and convivial.” —National Post

“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.” —Cosmopolitan

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

“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. ” —Boston Globe

“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.” —Kirkus Reviews

North of Normal contains so many jaw-dropping scenes it makes Jeannette Walls’ childhood (The Glass Castle) look almost conventional.” —Toronto Star

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781443449045
  • ISBN 10: 1443449040
  • Imprint: HarperCollins Publishers
  • On Sale: 02/07/2017
  • Pages: 304
  • List Price: 34.99 CAD
  • BISAC1: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs
  • BISAC2: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / General
  • BISAC3: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Women

Nearly Normal by Cea Sunrise Person

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