Rise: How a House Built a Family

Cara Brookins. St. Martin’s, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-09566-4
In this honest, tough memoir, Brookins documents how building a home for herself and her four children created a pathway out of domestic abuse and into a new life. One of her husbands suffered from schizophrenia; her next husband drank heavily, used drugs, and, within a few months of their wedding, began abusing the author. Brookins, a computer analyst based in Little Rock, Ark., calls herself an optimist, noting she always “believed things would get better.” Brookins, as well as her children, lived in fear even after the author’s divorce. Selling the family home was a financial necessity. During a family outing over Thanksgiving, Brookins spots her dream home. Though recently ravaged by a tornado, the once “regal and very Southern home” plants a seed in her consciousness. “Why couldn’t I build a house?” The narrative alternates between describing the fear her children and the author lived with for years with the complications and rewards of building a home from the ground up with no experience. Brookins finds land, obtains a loan, and sets out with the help of her four children to build their new home in nine months. Brookins deftly narrates the extreme learning curve the family experienced during the construction process, while putting a family back together again. Agent, Jessica Papin; Dystel & Goderich Literary. (Dec.)

This review has been corrected. A previous version misspelled Brookins's name.

Reviewed on: 08/08/2016
Release date: 01/24/2017
Compact Disc - 978-1-4272-8224-8
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-250-09567-1
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