After escaping an abusive marriage, Cara Brookins had four children to provide for and no one to turn to but herself. In desperate need of a home but without the means to buy one, she did something incredible.
Equipped only with YouTube instructional videos, a small bank loan, and a mile-wide stubborn streak, Cara built her own house from the foundation up with a work crew made up of her four children.
It would be the hardest thing she had ever done. With no experience nailing together anything bigger than a bookshelf, she and her kids poured concrete, framed the walls, and laid bricks for their two-story, five-bedroom house. She had convinced herself that if they could build a house, they could rebuild their broken family.
This must-listen memoir traces one family's rise from battered victims to stronger, better versions of themselves, all through one extraordinary do-it-yourself project.
This program is read by the author.
©2016 Cara Brookins (P)2017 Macmillan Audio
This book is a rare glimpse of what it's like to walk in the shoes of someone extraordinary. It will simultaneously uplift and humble you... making your seemingly insurmountable problems seem trivial in comparison.
Many people would be paralyzed with the idea of having to raise 4 kids as single mother with a full-time job coupled with freelance work. Now consider adding the threat of a stalker haunting you and your kids safety on a daily basis. Mix in having to cope with emotional scars left from a violent marriage. Next imagine what its like to build a house from scratch with limited resources and no experience under these conditions. Finally imagine doing all this hard physical labor with no more than 3-4 hours of sleep a night and you'll begin to appreciate what Cara Brookins and her children endured for 9 months.
This must-read memoir will take you to shockingly dark recesses of thought begotten from Cara's uncompromising and raw honesty. It will also make you weep, cheer and celebrate the power of the human spirit.
SciFi/Fantasy and Classics to History, Adventure and Memoirs to Social Commentary—I love and listen to it all!
My dad was nuts... so I was truly intrigued by this memoir; after all, I've spent decades trying to rebuild my life, my psyche, from the ground up.
I can't tell you what a joy "Rise" was. This is for people who have fear in their backgrounds, fear in their lives that they'd like to live without. This is a book for people who are ready to let go of sadness so they have room for happiness.
Brookins has some pretty spectacular children: A nurturing organizer, a traumatized man child looking for hope, a preteen who draws happy pictures but has night terrors, and a rambling two-year old who just wants love and cookies. It was mind boggling being with them on this extraordinary journey where the hard work of growing up and healing is done with the firing of a nail gun, the watching of a YouTube video, and with a million tiny acts of faith.
Expect vivid depictions of the terror they lived through, from "ordinary" throat strangling abuse, through the devastations of schizophrenia and obsession. I was happy that Brookins got her children away from the former, but there was no getting away from the latter. Horrifying. And what you can do to an animal, you can do to any living being.
Also, while I sometimes find that authors who read their own work do so mechanically, I thought Cara brought warmth and feeling to a sometimes wooden performance. And when she gets to the tough parts, her voice sometimes chokes, sometimes becomes thick with emotion, heavy with fear and unshed tears.
While a sometimes heavy journey, "Rise" is mostly a celebration of life, of love, of family, and of being the person your spirit means you to be. It's a wonderful song: You can do ANYthing!
You can even build your own "freakin' house"!
Amazing woman. Amazing children. Amazing family. Cara and her children have inspired me to move...get off the couch and DO! God bless her blessed family .
Cara Brookins tells her family's tale of struggle and empowerment with the suspense of a psychological thriller, the heroism of your favorite sports film, and the country charm of Little House on the Prairie. I didn't want it to end.
This book has a great beginning, middle and ending. It left me, not questioning and complete. My kind of story.
This stands shoulder-to -shoulder to the books of other powerful women, like Strayed and Gilbert. To me, this was even more inspiring though. It convincingly says, if you believe in yourself you can accomplish anything, even building your own 3,500 sq. ft. house with your own two hands.
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