Book Review

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

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was telling my father-in-law's girlfriend about my current fascination with growing/gathering/raising one's own food (an idle fascination, since I am lazy and have no real desire to labor in a garden or chicken coop), and she told me I should read this book she'd just finished. So she sent it to me. But when I read the flap and realized that the book was also about the accidental death of a three-year-old, well--this mother of a three-year-old wasn't too enthusiastic about reading it. But eventually I did, and I'm glad. I was quickly engrossed, and read it in just a few days. I enjoyed the little tastes of information about organic farming--just enough to learn a little without getting bored, for a non-gardener--and was touched and drawn in by the emotional life of the author's family, which is observed and probed in such insightful detail that it's surprising that the author can write with such objective distance about her parents; and yet there is just enough of the author's own feelings--both sympathy and resentment--to keep it warm. I think Ms. Coleman must have spent a lot of well-used time in therapy to get to the place she's at in this book. I love to read stories that have this sort of spiritually balanced, clear-eyed perspective on the world--not preachy or chirpy or delusional but still positive.

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