Title: Hippie Boy: A Girl’s Story
Author: Ingrid Ricks
Publisher: Ingrid Ricks
Number of Pages: 242 (nook edition)
Reason for Reading: acquainted with the author, interested in the subject matter (Note: my review and opinions are strictly my own, and I purchased my copy of the book.)
I thrashed around, trying to break free from her grasp. Then Earl grabbed me, pushed me backward, and helped Mom pin me to their bed.
“Ingrid, listen to me,” Mom said, her voice suddenly filled with concern. “I think you have Satan inside of you. Earl’s going to give you a blessing.”
They still held me down on the bed,discussing where the sacred ointment was hidden so Earl could use his priesthood powers to bless the evil spirits out of me. Their voices became a muffled jumble around me. My head was pounding and I could hear a single word repeating itself in my mind: Escape. Escape. Escape.
Ingrid Ricks had a rough start to her life. Her parents divorce due to her father’s infidelity, and her father is excommunicated from the Mormon church. Her mother, ever eager to have a righteous priesthood holder ruling over the house, gets remarried to Earl. Earl is a piece of work–he has very unpleasant body odor, due to his refusal to eat anything but meat; he is extremely controlling not only of the children but of his wife; he lies to his wife, who wants to have more children, not telling her until after they are married that he has had a vasectomy. Ricks’s mother, for the most part, meekly yields to Earl’s outrageous demands.
Ricks’s father is a traveling salesman, with an eye to becoming vastly wealthy. The title of the book comes from her father’s nickname for her, Hippie Boy. She loves going out on the road with him, and in many ways is far more mature than her father. She helps him set and achieve his sales goals when she is with him, and is as much a parent to her father as he is to her.
The story is as much about the Mormon church as it is about Ricks’s family. The patriarchal structure of the religion unfortunately yields itself to situations such as these. Women cannot enter into the highest level of the kingdom of heaven without a worthy priesthood holder to pull them through.
It’s a good book. Ricks’s writing style immediately engages the reader, and you find yourself pulling for her from the start.