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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An extraordinary story so beautifully written

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.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Gillian
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • 01-29-17

Inspirational. Truly Healing...

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"!

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

What a story

There were many moments in this book that found me crying or laughing. Cara has an amazing knack for storytelling. Being married to a contractor, I found this story incredibly inspiring since I understand how challenging it is to build a house with a crew of experienced people. And I can't imagine doing this with my children! God bless you darlin' !

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Plenty of content...

This book has a great beginning, middle and ending. It left me, not questioning and complete. My kind of story.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Hats Off To The Family

What an awesome story.
What a beautiful lesson.
What a wonderfully built family.
Thanks for telling the story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wow!

Wow, this book was hard to press “pause” on! Absolutely beautiful story about a resilient woman & her family.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

powerful!

This is such a powerful book and message of hope, narrated beautifully by the author.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story of rebuilding themselves

What determination! So impressive! Once again Nothing is Final. You can always grow change and improve from any situation.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

You Can't Make Up a Story this Heart-Breaking

What didn’t you like about Cara Brookins’s performance?

She read the whole thing with too monotone a voice. The stories themselves were extremely well written, but the performance was not engaging.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Yes. It would be either a thriller or a horror movie with inspirational tones throughout.

Any additional comments?

No family should have to go through this. It is a terrible story. It is an inspiring story. It is an amazing account of tenacity and grit. God bless this home and family.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Admirable

Their story is remarkable. The fact that they built their own house is admirable. Inspiring.