Hippie Boy: A Girl’s Story
Author: Ingrid Ricks
Release Date: September 30, 2011
Rating: 4 birds
What would you do if your Mormon stepfather pinned you down and tried to cast Satan out of you? For thirteen-year-old Ingrid, the answer is simple: RUN.
For years Ingrid has begged her free-wheeling dad to let her join him on the road as a tool-selling vagabond to escape the suffocating poverty and religion at home. When her devout Mormon mother married Earl ― a homeless Vietnam vet who exploits the religion’s male-dominated culture to oppress and abuse her family ― she finally gets her wish. Ingrid spends the next few summers living on the margins while hustling tools with her dad and his slimy, revolving sales crew. Her dad becomes her lifeline and escape from Earl. But when he’s arrested, Ingrid learns the lesson that will change her life: she can’t look to others to save her; she has to save herself.
A few points to make first: 1) while this book does involve Mormonism, it does not speak against it. 2) This is a memoir of the author Ingrid Ricks, this is not fiction.
I don’t read many memoirs at all mainly because I feel that a person can embellish on what has happened in their life for the sake of a story or because they are involved, the events details can get muddled. I got neither one of these feelings from Hippie Boy; I felt Ricks kept the facts straight and together and that there was no fluff added. The reader feels for Ricks and the rest of her family as events unfold.
I mention initially that this book does involve Mormonism but not critically, which I find refreshing. Ricks expresses frustration at the confines of the level of her mother’s piety and at some of the actions by elders but it is directed at the character of the people and not the religion as a whole. Ricks has a book out with more direct relation to her religion but I have not read it to see if perhaps my view would change.
This is a solid; albeit short read at fewer than 250 pages but worth the read whenever you have some time to crack it open.