menu
{ "item_title" : "Normal Family", "item_author" : [" Chrysta Bilton "], "item_description" : "This riveting, nuanced memoir about unforgettable individuals thrown together by chance and DNA tells a story of nature, nurture, and coming to terms with one's true inheritance.What is a normal family, and how do you go about making one? Chrysta Bilton's magnetic, larger-than-life mother, Debra, yearned to have a child, but as a single gay woman in 1980s California, she had few options. Until one day, while getting her hair done in a Beverly Hills salon, she met a man and instantly knew he was the one she'd been looking for. Beautiful, athletic, artistic, and from a well-to-do family, Jeffrey Harrison appeared to be Debra's ideal sperm donor.A verbal agreement, a couple of thousand in cash, and a few squirts of a turkey baster later, and Chrysta was conceived. Over the years, Jeffrey would make regular appearances at the family home, which grew to include Chrysta's baby sister. But how much did Debra really know about the man she'd chosen to father her daughters? And as a single mother torn between ferocious independence and abject dependence--on other women, alcohol, drugs, and the adrenaline of get-rich-quick schemes--what secrets of her own was she keeping?It wasn't until Chrysta was a young adult that she discovered just how much her parents had hidden from their daughters--and each other--including a shocking revelation with far-reaching consequences not only for Debra, Chrysta, and her sister, but for dozens and possibly hundreds of unsuspecting families across the country. After a lifetime of longing for a normal family, can Chrysta face the reality of her own, in all its complexity? Bringing us into the fold of a deeply dysfunctional yet fiercely loving clan that is anything but normal, this emotional roller coaster of a memoir will make you cry, laugh, and rethink the meaning of family.Named a 'Best Book of the Summer' by LA Times, People, USA Today, Vanity Fair, The Hollywood Reporter, Amazon, Apple, Cup of Jo, Kirkus, Parade, & Today", "item_img_path" : "https://covers4.booksamillion.com/covers/bam/0/31/653/654/0316536547_b.jpg", "price_data" : { "retail_price" : "29.00", "online_price" : "29.00", "our_price" : "29.00", "club_price" : "29.00", "savings_pct" : "0", "savings_amt" : "0.00", "club_savings_pct" : "0", "club_savings_amt" : "0.00", "discount_pct" : "10", "store_price" : "29.00" } }
Normal Family|Chrysta Bilton
Normal Family : On Truth, Love, and How I Met My 35 Siblings
local_shippingShip to Me
In Stock.
FREE Shipping for Club Members help

Overview

This riveting, nuanced memoir about unforgettable individuals thrown together by chance and DNA tells a story of nature, nurture, and coming to terms with one's true inheritance.

What is a "normal family," and how do you go about making one? Chrysta Bilton's magnetic, larger-than-life mother, Debra, yearned to have a child, but as a single gay woman in 1980s California, she had few options. Until one day, while getting her hair done in a Beverly Hills salon, she met a man and instantly knew he was the one she'd been looking for. Beautiful, athletic, artistic, and from a well-to-do family, Jeffrey Harrison appeared to be Debra's ideal sperm donor.

A verbal agreement, a couple of thousand in cash, and a few squirts of a turkey baster later, and Chrysta was conceived. Over the years, Jeffrey would make regular appearances at the family home, which grew to include Chrysta's baby sister. But how much did Debra really know about the man she'd chosen to father her daughters? And as a single mother torn between ferocious independence and abject dependence--on other women, alcohol, drugs, and the adrenaline of get-rich-quick schemes--what secrets of her own was she keeping?

It wasn't until Chrysta was a young adult that she discovered just how much her parents had hidden from their daughters--and each other--including a shocking revelation with far-reaching consequences not only for Debra, Chrysta, and her sister, but for dozens and possibly hundreds of unsuspecting families across the country. After a lifetime of longing for a "normal family," can Chrysta face the reality of her own, in all its complexity? Bringing us into the fold of a deeply dysfunctional yet fiercely loving clan that is anything but "normal," this emotional roller coaster of a memoir will make you cry, laugh, and rethink the meaning of family.

Named a 'Best Book of the Summer' by LA Times, People, USA Today, Vanity Fair, The Hollywood Reporter, Amazon, Apple, Cup of Jo, Kirkus, Parade, & Today

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316536547
  • ISBN-10: 0316536547
  • Publisher: Little Brown and Company
  • Publish Date: July 2022
  • Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.05 pounds
  • Page Count: 288

Related Categories

Is there anything original left to say about persevering through a dysfunctional upbringing? Normal Family: On Truth, Love, and How I Met My 35 Siblings by Chrysta Bilton takes this question almost as a dare and shows readers that the answer is yes. Bilton is one of at least 35 children conceived by her father, Jeffrey. He became an incredibly popular sperm donor for many families—a fact that may have been lost to history if not for the wonders of at-home DNA testing, Ancestry.com and Facebook. Yet that bizarre tale is only one small piece of Bilton's extraordinary life; in fact, contrary to what the subtitle implies, the memoir is mostly about experiences that have nothing to do with her prodigiously fertile father. Bilton's mother, Debra, was full of chutzpah and sparkle. She was a lesbian, a local LGBTQ icon in Los Angeles, an activist in progressive politics and a friend and paramour to countless celebrities. (The actor Warren Beatty was temporarily in the running as a sperm donor candidate.) But Debra kept some devastating family secrets to herself: She was addicted to drugs, a profligate overspender and an enthusiastic supporter of pyramid schemes. The narrative heart of this memoir is Bilton's bond with Debra, as well with her younger sister. The tight threesome navigated LA's wealthiest environs as one of the few openly queer families in the late 1980s and early '90s. This particular struggle may resonate with readers whose family structures are marginalized in today's society. And the author's complicated relationship with her mom—exasperation mixed with admiration—will also be familiar to many. Normal Family is about one of the most atypical families one can imagine, and in that way, it's certainly a page-turner. For most of the book, readers will simply have no idea where this wild tale is headed. But it also demonstrates that the most normal thing in the world is for a family to have—and overcome—its secrets.

BAM Customer Reviews