If you were inspired by Wild and Eat, Pray, Love, you’ll love this extraordinary true story of a woman taking the greatest risk of her life in order to heal from the unthinkable.
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-read memoir traces one family’s rise from battered victims to stronger, better versions of themselves, all through one extraordinary do-it-yourself project.
In this honest, tough memoir, Brooking 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. Brookings, a computer analyst based in Little Rock, Ark., calls herself an optimist, noting she always "believed things would get better." Brookings, 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, Brookings 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. Brookings finds land, obtains a loan, and sets out with the help of her four children to build their new home in nine months. Brookings deftly narrates the extreme learning curve the family experienced during the construction process, while putting a family back together again.