At a party in London, Becky meets a woman named Harry. They connect, they part, and they reconnect when Becky starts, coincidentally, dating Harry's brother. When Harry is forced to set out on the lam, Becky goes with her. But are they meant for each other? Or no good for each other at all?
Love can be messy. Love can be a moral question. Love can be the same dull habit, and it's hard to know whether it's braver to stay or to run. But every love, Kate Tempest tells us, is a great love. And love animates her debut novel, rich with characters and restless in perspective, sprawling across London. Tempest delves deeper and deeper into Becky and Harry's worlds, examining their childhoods, their parents and siblings and uncles and friends, each with their own ideals and disappointments, all woven together in fluid, vivid prose with virtuosic highs and quiet refrains.
The Bricks that Built the Houses is about being young, but being part of something old. It's about how we become ourselves, and to what extent who we are can be changed. Driven by empathy and ethics, it's a blazing and beautiful novel, wise but never cynical, generous and vigorous. Kate Tempest, a major talent in the poetry and music worlds, sits poised to become a major novelist as well.