Betsey, January 5, 2012 (view all comments by Betsey)
I know that farming is a tough job, but this young family set out to homestead in Maine, with no electricity and no running water and quickly had three young children!
Melissa Coleman describes the hardships and joys of growing up in the family of famous farmer Elliot Coleman.
merg, April 28, 2011 (view all comments by merg)
This Life is In Your Hands is a fantastic story that also happens to be true which makes it all the more compelling. Coleman presents her childhood with elements of the absolute best and worst that life has to offer and the reader gets to experience the unfolding of the consequences (big and small) of the choices the major characters make. It's impossible to put down because you just want to know how it all turns out!
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pw, April 24, 2011 (view all comments by pw)
There's a lot in this story: the culture of the back-to-the-land movement, the life of a family, and the impact of a tragedy. Just like the subject matter, there's a wide emotional range: funny, thought-provoking, and sometimes achingly sad. For all of these reasons - for all I learned and all I felt, I loved this beautifully written book.
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by Ann Hood, author of The Red Thread and The Knitting Circle,
“Lyrical and down-to-earth, wry and heartbreaking, This Life Is In Your Hands is a fascinating and powerful memoir. Melissa Coleman doesn’t just tell the story of her family’s brave experiment and private tragedy; she brings to life an important and underappreciated chapter of our recent history.”
by Peter Behrens, author of The Law of Dreams,
“With beautiful lyrical prose, Coleman shows us what life in a 1970s back-to-nature farm was like, and the dear price her family paid pursuing their dream."
by Heidi Julavits, author of The Uses of Enchantment,
“A dream, a family, a heartbreaking tragedy — and a book I could not put down. Melissa Coleman’s memoir of a back-to-the-land childhood is fresh, organic, and gorgeously written.”
by Janet Maslin,,
“Combine the sincerity of Walden with the poignancy of The Glass Castle, add dashes of the lush prose found in The Botany of Desire, and you get This Life Is in Your Hands…. I was engaged and deeply moved by this evocative tale of Paradise found then lost.”
by Tom Perrotta, author of Little Children and The Abstinence Teacher,
“Coleman’s moving recounting never loses hope of redemption.”
In a work of power and beauty reminiscent of Tobias Wolff, Jeannette Walls, and Dave Eggers, Melissa Coleman delivers a luminous, evocative childhood memoir exploring the hope and struggle behind her family's search for a sustainable lifestyle. With echoes of The Liars’ Club and Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, Coleman’s searing chronicle tells the true story of her upbringing on communes and sustainable farms along the rugged Maine coastline in the 1970’s, embedded within a moving, personal quest for truth that her experiences produced.
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