When the Tay Bridge collapsed in 1879 it killed everyone on the train that was crossing, leaving the son of the driver, young Brodie Smith, traumatized and reduced to poverty as a result of his father’s death. Leaving home determined to make his way in the world, Brodie finds safe haven with his kindly uncle in Edinburgh and studies engineering, intent on demonstrating that the bridge disaster was not his father’s fault. In search of adventure and further opportunities, Brodie then travels to Buffalo where he befriends Alistair, another young Scot filled with dreams and ambitions. Together the men bring industrialization to a small rural community where they establish a brickworks, changing the lives of all those they encounter with a sense of possibility and the reality of attendant loss. Told in beautifully crafted prose, it is Black's incomparable voice—her uncanny humour and an astonishing ear for dialogue—that renders The Brickworks both remarkable and unforgettable.
Lucy E.M. Black is the author of the short story collection The Marzipan Fruit Basket, the historical fiction novel Eleanor Courtown, and most recently Stella’s Carpet. Her award-winning short stories have been published in Britain, Ireland, USA and Canada in literary journals and magazines including Cyphers Magazine, the Hawai’i Review, The Antigonish Review and others. A dynamic workshop presenter, experienced interviewer and freelance writer, Lucy lives with her partner in Port Perry, Ontario.