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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.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
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"!
12 of 15 people found this review helpful