Ever since she joined OS back in February, Ingrid Ricks has been sharing elements of an extraordinary life story – her own.
Born to a devout Mormon mother and a father who can’t resist the call of the open road, Ingrid grew up in poverty and a certain amount of oppression. Things only got worse when her parents divorced and her mother married a man who ended up being the epitome of a wicked stepfather.
Luckily for Ingrid, her dad’s wanderlust didn’t keep him from his kids; she often travelled with him along the country’s highways, hawking tools, eating at fast food places, and spending the night in motels – or even their car. The contrast between her home life and her life on the road is astonishing.
In posts like this one, Ingrid has told us about how she’d dreamt of turning this time in her life into a book, and how, finally, she did it. Hippie Boy: A Girl’s Story is the result.
I’ve been reading and relishing Ingrid’s OS posts since she started here, and I found that same voice in Hippie Boy – direct, honest, and incredibly effective. Even the most subtle emotions are as sharply defined as highway markers in car headlights as you race through the pages.
The book is a fantastic read – I can sincerely say I had a hard time putting it down. But it’s not just a joyride: Ingrid has an impressive talent for plunging you into powerful experiences like the tensions of family life with a cruel step-parent, or the exhilaration of being out on the open road. Though her journey is a personal one, she takes us along for the trip, explaining things like Mormon religion and culture, and her and her father's life on the road in such a natural way that we feel like we fit right in.
I’d recommend this book, which is available in digital and paperback formats, to just about anyone: adults, adolescents, armchair travelers, those who had a difficult childhood, and those who didn’t, people who’ve been stuck in one place most of their lives, and people who can’t stay tied down.
Like Ingrid’s summers driving with her dad, Hippie Boy: A Girl’s Story is an unforgettable experience.