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American Book 427140 This Life Is in Your Hands


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About the Author

As a freelance writer, Melissa Coleman has written about health, gardening, food, art, and travel. She lives in Freeport, ME, with her husband and twin daughters.


"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
"A fascinating look at the roots of the organic movement as well as a cautionary tale about the limits of idealism and the importance of forgiveness."--Washington Post
"Rendered with sublimity.... [Coleman] fluently describes the power of the natural world, familial love and heartbreak, grace after loss."--New York Times Book Review
"Coleman's moving recounting never loses hope of redemption."--People, Lead Review "People Pick"
"The Colemans and the Nearings . . . worked hard to create an alternative economy that is still growing in rural America. This memoir is evidence of their great sacrifices.--Los Angeles Times
"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."--Wally Lamb, The Hour I First Believed
"Her memoir is as wrenching as it is beautifully written."--Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Melissa Coleman's enthralling account of '70s back-to-the-land living is an important cultural and emotional document: this is a story about surviving and, eventually, thriving amidst the shadows of loss."--Heidi Julavits, author of The Uses of Enchantment
"An absorbing read that intelligently arrays the romanticism of living off the land against the emotional challenges of moving off the grid."--Grist Magazine
"This uncompromising memoir is tender, nonjudgmental, and heartfelt."--Tuscon Citizen
"A beautifully rendered memoir about growing up in a unique environment fueled by experimental back-to-the-land living. . . . Coleman illuminates the beauty of growing up in a family culture that valued nature and freedom of expression, but also frankly exposes farming's negative impact on her family.--Star Tribune

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