Housebreaking by Colleen Hubbard - review by Aida Amoako

Aida Amoako

Brick by Brick



Corsair 368pp £16.99

Set in the 1990s, Colleen Hubbard’s debut, Housebreaking, tells the story of a sharp-tongued, recently fired twenty-something, Adela ‘Del’ Murrow, who returns to her small home town to sell the house she has inherited. However, she discovers that her uncle’s construction company actually plans to demolish it should she sell it to them. Fuelled by the desire to see her snobbish uncle Chuck eat crow, Del decides to dismantle the house herself, piling the rubble opposite what will be Murrow Construction’s new development.

The epic undertaking in this offbeat but intriguing novel is, on the surface, pointless. But this is, of course, an emotional excavation in which the hard-shelled, antisocial protagonist’s slightly gooey centre is revealed as the story progresses. As she deconstructs the house, Del finds herself both reminiscing about

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