Cara Brookins is the author of a number of children's books. But Rise: How a House Built a Family is her own story.
A victim of domestic violence, Cara found the strength to leave that relationship. But years of uncertainty and fear had taken a toll on not just herself, but her four children. The home they were living in was full of bad memories and the abuser knew where they were living. In an attempt to heal herself and her family, Cara came up with a plan - they would build a new home for themselves. Not simply have somewhat build it for them - but actually do the work themselves. If they built a house, could they rebuild their family?
I was fascinated by this idea. Brookins herself is the narrator of the audiobook, which gave the book so much more depth. Hearing someone tell the story of their own life is very powerful.
Can you imagine building a house from the ground up with no previous experience? What would you do? Cara turned to YouTube videos and they went from there. The trials and tribulations of building a house with your children would be near impossible for many. Cara did it while still working full time as a computer analyst.
The descriptions of the abuse, (psychological and physical) danger and fear that the family lived in is hard to hear - but it is more than overshadowed by the strength Cara and her children draw on. Rise is one of those triumph of the human spirit stories that I love to read - uplifting and inspiring.
I really enjoyed Rise. But with an audiobook, there's no access to pictures. And pictures themselves tell a story. See pictures of their journey here. Read an excerpt of Rise. Or listen to an excerpt of Rise.