Hippie boy A girl's story : a memoir

Ingrid Ricks

Book - 2014

For years Ricks yearned to escape the poverty and the suffocating brand of Mormon religion that oppressed her at home. Her chance came when she was thirteen and took a trip with her divorced dad, traveling throughout the Midwest, selling tools and hanging around with the men on his shady revolving sales crew. It felt like freedom from her controlling mother and cruel, authoritarian stepfather. But it came with its own disappointments and dysfunctions, and she would soon learn a lesson that would change her life: she can't look to others to save her; she has to save herself.

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 289.3092/Ricks Checked In
New York : Berkley Books c2014.
Main Author
Ingrid Ricks (-)
Berkley trade paperback edition
Item Description
With a new afterword, pages [291]-292: Where they are now, January 2014.
Physical Description
294 pages ; 21 cm
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Ricks' self-published memoir of a youth spent dodging the manias of her parents is a soft-spoken yet resounding reminder of the power plays tied to religion. Like many a good confessional, this revolves around an out-of-control authority figure, in this case, Ricks' stepfather, Earl. In fact, the book is loosely broken into B.E. ( Before Earl ) and A.E. Technically, Earl is a Mormon priest, which means the world to Ricks' mother, but mostly he's a peevish, shiftless tyrant who enjoys making up new rules for example, no one in the house can wear trousers except him. It's Ricks' father, though, who is the book's most intriguing character. Excommunicated from the Mormon Church after an affair, his traveling-salesman lifestyle and get-rich-quick schemes represent to the adolescent Ricks her only chance for escape. Though the book sporadically suffers from a memoir's most tenacious foe a meandering plotlessness Ricks' voice is true, and her prose has a poised confidence missing from the repertoires of many established authors. It will be interesting to see where she goes from here.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Originally self-published, Ricks's memoir recounts a childhood spent ping-ponging between two unstable parents. The author's clear-eyed prose keeps the pages turning as she depicts life with a deeply pious and insecure mother and an abusive stepfather. These chapters alternate with those recalling summers spent with her salesman father, Jerry. They drove all over the Western U.S., sleeping in a van and selling locals tool sets using her father's "golden tongue because he can talk his way in or out of anything." These sections are particularly engrossing as she adeptly captures a dysfunctional relationship that's steeped in love. With such a strong and eventful timeline of events, it's easy to overlook the missing pieces in her narrative. Ricks writes in her own young perspective, skimping in the type of reflection that makes this genre so powerful. We are rarely offered the gift of hindsight and the motivations behind her parent's actions are often left unexplored. One wishes she'd been able to provide perspective on how she survived and what she thinks of it now. It makes for a litany of trouble and abuse that's well written and heartbreaking but ultimately not very revealing or empowering. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review by Kirkus Book Review

A memoirist's account of growing up in a devout yet completely dysfunctional Mormon home. When Ricks' (Focus, 2012) mother married fellow Mormon Earl, a twice-divorced mechanic with a sketchy past, the author knew that things would never be the same. Cruel and controlling, Earl lived off his new wife and abused her children with impunity. The one bright spot in Ricks' life was her affectionate but at times unreliable salesman father, Jerry, whose "need to be free" she both understood and envied. She was his favorite, the daughter he called "Hippie Boy" for her long, tangled hair; he was her hero, the man with "the golden tongue[who] could talk his way in or out of anything." Before Earl's arrival, she was able to travel with Jerry from time to time to escape the oppressive environment her "religious fruitcake" mother had created at home. But afterward, those trips became a bone of contention between Ricks and Earl, who used his church-granted authority as head of household and "direct line to God" to deliberately thwart his stepdaughter's efforts to be with her father. Ricks still managed to circumvent Earl's tyrannical rules and spent summers working with Jerry on the road, washing up in gas-station bathrooms, sleeping in cars and living on fast food. When police arrested her father for suspected embezzlement, Ricks suddenly realized the dangerously fragile nature of Jerry's bold but often reckless existence. Her hero was a charming sham; the only person who could save her from unhappiness was herself. In clear, graceful prose and in a voice that is refreshingly authentic, Ricks tells an uplifting story of heartbreak, hope and self-salvation.]]]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.