"North of Normal serves to expose counterculture realities, illuminate family relationships that juxtapose love with torment, and illustrate the power of forgiveness."
Shocking, heartbreaking, yet often funny, North of Normal is the singular story of a woman's desire to find her normal--no matter what it takes.
In the late 1960's, Cea's charismatic grandfather, Papa Dick, determined to abandon civilization, uproots his family from suburban California and moves them to the Canadian wilderness. Along with her teenage mother, Michelle, Cea spends the first decade of her life in and out of canvas tipis with neither electricity nor running water, at the mercy of fierce storms, food shortages and adults more interested in their own desires than parenting a child.
Knowing no other world, Cea is happy enough running nude in the meadows and snowshoeing behind the grandfather she idolizes. But for Michelle, one crucial element is missing: a man. When she strikes out looking for love, spinning from one boyfriend to the next, Cea is for along for the ride--and into a harsh awakening. Finally, in her early teens, Cea realizes she will have to make a choice as drastic as the one her grandparents made to get the kind of life she craves. Cea's journey of self-discovery and acceptance, which comes full circle when she has children of her own, is profoundly moving, celebrating the strength we all carry within us to shape our own destiny.