Book Review: Hippie Boy: A Girl’s Story

Hippie Boy: A Girl's StoryTitle: Hippie Boy: A Girl’s Story

Author: Ingrid Ricks

Publisher: Ingrid Ricks

Copyright: 10/1/11

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.)

Grade: A

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.


About a thinker

I am. And today, that's good enough.
This entry was posted in Memoir, Nonfiction, Posts by Faith and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Book Review: Hippie Boy: A Girl’s Story

  1. This one is going on my list! It reminds me of the kinds of families that horrify me, but that I can’t stop reading about…kind of like watching a train wreck.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. izzybella says:

    It’s interesting to me to read stories of how people can recover from abuse like that. Difficult subject matter!

    • ingridricks says:

      Thanks for your comment, Izzybella. I think resilience is human nature but I also know I was fortunate to have an escape route by spending my summers as a tool-selling vagabond on the road with my dad. And life on the road ultimately taught me that I could take care of myself and had the power within me to face my challenges head on (huge life lesson).

  3. ingridricks says:

    What a nice surprise to wake up to this review of Hippie Boy. Thank you so much for buying, reading and then sharing your thoughts about it. I’m so glad you enjoyed the book and really appreciate this write up about it. Best, Ingrid

  4. It is difficult subject matter, definitely. But Ingrid definitely pushes through and rises above it. I think you’d really like it.

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