As someone who was a teenager during the 1970’s in love with all things hippie and now a self-proclaimed local foodie, This Life Is in Your Hands: One Dream, Sixty Acres, and a Family’s Heartbreak by Melissa Coleman has it all for me.
It is a memoir of Melissa Coleman. Well, really it is a memoir of Melissa’s parents and family. In 1968, Melissa’s parents, Eliot and Sue set out to live off of the land. They are inspired by Helen and Scott Nearing, authors of the homesteading bible Living the Good Life. They purchase land next to the Nearings and begin the hard and laborious process of building a home and a life with the land.
It is a learn as you go experience, with Eliot becoming nationally known for his organic farming techniques.
The memoir almost reads as a novel, with the lyrical phrases the author chooses, making me feel like I am there. The book is full of detail and thoughtful insight. Because it is more than just the story of a family living off the land, it is the story of a family. A family with dynamic relationships. Relationships that I at times found puzzling, but isn’t that how it is with real life.
This book has it all..from details on organic farming, a look at the free spirit of the hippie movement, family dynamics, tragedy, hope, descriptions of fresh foods to make your mouth water, simple childhood memories…everything.
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For more information on the author, you can visit their website, here.
Usual disclaimer: I received no compensation for this review, other than a copy of the book. All opinions are my own.