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The House of Broken Bricks

"Recommended as a LoveReading Star Book, this debut novel emotionally connects with heart and soul while traversing the difficulties of living within a family fractured by grief. "

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

Taking place across a cycle of seasons, this dazzling, devastatingly moving debut sees a broken family try to find a way to heal, renew and recover from the deepest loss.

What a sublime debut. Poignantly plotted, Fiona Williams’ The House of Broken Bricks sees a fractured family move through a transformative turn of the seasons, with external shifts of nature mirrored by shifts in the family’s internal emotional states. There’s an almost magical quality to the writing as it tells a heart-breaking, heart-stirring story of unbearable loss, and the most powerful love.

Tess is struggling. She, her husband Richard, and their ”rainbow twins” Sonny and Max have relocated from South London to her husband’s insular, flood-prone home village, where racism simmers in the form of stares, “where are you really from?” remarks, and the twins not being invited to their classmates’ birthday parties. Sonny is known as “the black one”, and people don’t believe white-skinned Max is truly his twin: “They always think I’m fostered or just a friend.” At the same time, Tess and Richard’s marriage is all but broken. 

Through the twins’ love of nature and birds and their parents’ struggles, The House of Broken Bricks speaks in the language of the heart and soul as heart-breaking revelations come to light and – ultimately — as Tess comes to feel a tide-turning shift: “Optimism floats me out of myself like a raft soaring over the moor in flood”.  

Absolutely spot-on in how it portrays children’s emotional intuition, this is a beaut of a book.

Joanne Owen


An emotionally eloquent and exquisitely astute debut novel about the power of grief, love, and family. Meet a fractured family, each living within their own very personal world as they travel through days, months, and seasons. Author Fiona Williams looks behind and beyond the obvious, she opens half formed thoughts to make them sing. When words make your heart ache this much, then you know they've been stitched together with consideration and compassion. The setting is as much a part of this tale as the characters, it gathered me up to become a part of every space and memory. It is fascinating to spend time with each member of the family as they explore their feelings, to see how secrets can unravel, and memories alter. From the beginning I had an awareness and felt empathy, yet full understanding takes time to arrive. I have completely fallen in love with this novel, and so as well as being a Liz Pick of the Month, it also sits as a LoveReading Star Book. The House of Broken Bricks is a thoughtfully electric and devastatingly beautiful read I can wholeheartedly recommend, it is absolutely wonderful. 

Liz Robinson

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