the fall of 1968, Melissa Coleman’s parents, Eliot and Sue, a handsome,
idealistic young couple from well-to-do families, pack a few essentials into
their VW truck and abandon the complications of modern reality to carve a farm
from the woods. They move to a remote peninsula on the coast of Maine and
become disciples of Helen and Scott Nearing, authors of the homesteading bible Living
the Good Life. On sixty acres of sandy, intractable land, Eliot and Sue
begin to forge a new existence, subsisting on the crops they grow and building
a home with their own hands.
they establish a happy family and achieve their visionary goals, the pursuit of
a purer, simpler life comes at a price. Winters are long and lean, summers
frenetic with the work of the harvest, and the distraction of the many young
farm apprentices threatens the Colemans’ marriage. Then, one summer day when
Melissa is seven, her three-year-old sister, Heidi, wanders off and drowns in
the pond where she liked to play. In the wake of the accident, ideals give way
to human frailty, divorce, and a mother’s breakdown, and ultimately young
Melissa is abandoned to the care of neighbors. What really happened, and who,
if anyone, is to blame?
This Life Is in Your Hands is the search to understand a complicated past;
a true story, both tragic and redemptive, it tells of the quest to make a good
life, the role of fate, and the power of forgiveness. Download and start listening now!