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Hippie Boy: A Girl's Story
Ingrid Ricks
Added: 1/20/2012
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Hippie Boy: A Girl's Story
Date Posted: 1/20/2012 | Go To Book Page

Being a kid can scare the living crap out of a person.

In Ingrid Ricks' powerful memoir HIPPIE BOY, the adults in her childhood provide an environment that burdens the children with fear, acute asthma, religious tyranny, shifted responsibility, and devastating insecurity. The good news is: what Ricks suffered did make her stronger and hopefully her parents, who supported her retelling of their stories, learned untold lessons from their child as a result.

The author is the daughter of mismatched Mormon parents. Her mother's faith makes her run to the sect's bishops for answers and her father's earns him banishment for failing to live by Mormon tenets.

But this is not a book about being Mormon so much as the story of a kid forced to become an adult because the grown-ups around her aren't up to the task.

Ricks' father, a sales' man who called his daughter HIPPIE BOY and thereby named her memoir, is a man with a gift of gab and also the central force of Ricks' life and her driven motivation. Jerry Ricks is, at heart, a good man who stretches the limits of truth, honor and the American Way. He appears to be ignorant of Ingrid's utter devotion to his every move, though he frequently brings her on his business trips pitching low-quality tools, high-fallutin' dreams, and tall-tale stories about the women he meets along the way.

Ingrid's mother, however, is the "before" implied in the adage: When you know better, you do better. She is a woman who fought and scratched her way to maturity under the burden of the paternalistic demands of her Mormon faith. Ricks' mother divorces Ricks' father, only to enter a church-sanctioned marriage to Earl, a man who makes the entire family - and every reader of the book - squirm.

Earl's smell is enough to make a reader gag, much less his presence as a stepfather to Ricks and her four siblings who live in fear of his threats and misdeeds. Earl tries to cast the devil out of Ingrid, but since her moral compass is set early on, it is she who helps cast this devil out of their home.

Ingrid's teenage treks across the country as a sales' assistant to her father's every whim somehow manage to take her on a ferry ride to the Northwest and her future. 

Today Ms. Ricks is a woman who has travelled the world to help its children, while nurturing a happy family of four, combatting a fearsome eye disease and giving hope on so many fronts with her powerful writing voice.

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