Melissa Coleman is author of the memoir This Life Is in Your Hands. A New York Times best-seller and Indie Next Pick for May 2011, the memoir was excerpted in O, The Oprah Magazine, and has been lauded in the New York Times, the New York Times Book Review, Marie Claire, NPR, the Los Angeles Times, and the Boston Globe, and it was a People’s Pick in People Magazine.
In her memoir, Coleman, born in 1969, recounts her childhood in 1970s with her parents on the coast of Maine, homesteading with Helen and Scott Nearing, authors Living the Good Life. But, as Coleman writes, life was not all that good after Coleman’s sister drowns in a nearby pond. As an adult, Coleman says she knew she wanted to write about the event and her youth, yet it took years for her to begin. And once she did, she learned new things.
“Too young to have complete memories of the events, I interviewed my parents, our apprentices, and neighbors and began to piece together a narrative from my memories and the facts gleaned from others,” Coleman says. “The story that emerged helped me to finally understand what happened during those ten years on the homestead and why it crippled my family for years afterward. This understanding has led in turn to healing for us all.”
Melissa Coleman also is a columnist for Maine and Maine Home + Design magazines, and serves on the board of the Telling Room, a Portland writing center for children and young adults. She lives in Freeport, Maine, with her husband and twin daughters.