** Rise by Cara Brookins

In Rise: How a House Built a Family, a thrice-divorced mother of four somehow conceives that building a house (herself, with the help of her two teenage children) is a realistic goal and a good way to escape both schizophrenic husband #2 and memories of abusive husband #3. What follows is the incredible story of how she did it, starting with convincing a bank to lend money to a DIYer with no experience and continuing through injuries bad enough to take her to the emergency room (and, ironically, summon a counselor to probe for partner abuse), a fainting spell after she applies floor polish without a respirator, and  disputes with various subcontractors selected for their low rates rather than their competence. And yes, in the end the house is finished. The story is certainly gripping and you will likely find yourself for the builder — but I kept wondering about the wisdom of the whole enterprise.


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