This Life is in Your Hands

This Life is in Your Hands : One Dream, Sixty Acres, and a Family's Heartbreak

3.7 (2,271 ratings by Goodreads)
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"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." --Tom Perrotta 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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Product details

  • Paperback | 326 pages
  • 132.08 x 200.66 x 27.94mm | 249.47g
  • HarperCollins Publishers Inc
  • HarperCollins
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Maps; Illustrations, black and white
  • 0061958336
  • 9780061958335
  • 794,932

Review quote

"Intense readability.... haunting power.... as well as lush, vivid atmosphere that is alluring in its own right.... [A] story so nuanced that it would be a disservice to reveal what was in store. If you want to know what happened, read it for yourself."--Janet Maslin, New York Times
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Back cover copy

A true story, both tragic and redemptive, This Life Is in Your Hands tells of the quest to make a good life, the role of fate, and the power of forgiveness.

In the fall of 1968, Melissa Coleman's parents pack their VW truck and set out to forge a new existence on a rugged coastal homestead. Inspired by Helen and Scott Nearing, authors of the homesteading bible Living the Good Life, Eliot and Sue build their own home by hand, live off the crops they grow, and establish a happy family with Melissa and her two sisters. They also attract national media and become icons of the back-to-the-land farming movement, but the pursuit of a purer, simpler life comes at a price. In the wake of a tragic accident, idealism gives way to human frailty, and by the fall of 1978, Greenwood Farm is abandoned. The search to understand what happened is at the heart of this luminous, heartbreaking, and ultimately redemptive memoir.
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Rating details

2,271 ratings
3.7 out of 5 stars
5 22% (492)
4 40% (918)
3 27% (614)
2 9% (204)
1 2% (43)
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