Tuesday, April 10, 2012

This Life is in Your Hands Review

This Life Is in Your Hands: One Dream, Sixty Acres, and a Family UndoneThis Life Is in Your Hands: One Dream, Sixty Acres, and a Family Undone by Melissa Coleman


The book is not so much a story as an experience involving all of the senses. Melissa's parents were ahead of their times when they decide to forego the chemical world and grow their own food and get back to nature. Full of information regarding the chemicals used in food growing, the book provides insight to the origins of pesticides. It would almost be a political book except that Melissa is simply narrating her parents', more specifically, her father's beliefs. Melissa maintains the childlike perceptions and experiences rather than providing many interpretations or owning her parents' issues or opinions and choices. The story lacks judgment which is a sign of a well written memoir. Beautiful language and descriptors with a writing style reminiscent of Jeanette Walls.

The story is not action packed but gently tugs the reader along with a well developed narrative voice. There is the hint of possible signs of her father's health problems and her mother's discontent and mild depression, but the author respectfully allows the reader to reach any conclusions. The story is a narrative on the author's unconventional childhood, homesteading in the wilderness written in visceral prose. I found it moving and colorful. I am also more aware of how to make good soil for my garden for the best results but sadly still wondering what to do with my chicks and questioning why I have chicks in the first place. I am going with the answer that complements my previous sentence. To improve the soil in my garden. That is my answer and I'm sticking with it.

*I received a free copy of this book from publishing company in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

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