Rise: How a House Built a Family
written and read by Cara Brookins
Macmillan Audio

If you ever wonder whether you’re up to a DIY job, Cara Brookins’ story will bolster your confidence. Working 19-hour days (as a computer programmer, freelance writer and self-styled contractor), the mother of four built a house from its foundations, guided only by YouTube tutori­als and with the assistance of a US$25 an hour handyman. That alone could have filled a book but, movingly, she tells also of the domestic violence that had persuaded her to embark on the Herculean task: her children (the oldest was 17 when the project began, the youngest a toddler) needed a new start in a new home if they were to overcome the trauma of not one but two violent fathers. Was it worth the toil and tears? Her children answer­ed that question: “You built your own damn house. You can do anything.”