Breaking Night

by

Liz Murray

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New Yorker and security guard with whom Jean Murray, Liz, and Lisa go to live in the mid-1990s. Liz doesn’t provide a tremendous amount of detail about Brick’s life or personality, but she suggests that he’s an irrationally angry, occasionally violent man. Though he’s unusually responsible (he’s one of the few adults in the entire book with a reliable job), he resembles Liz’s parents in that he seems dependent on drugs to get through life, even if the drug in question is alcohol instead of cocaine or heroin.
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Brick Character Timeline in Breaking Night

The timeline below shows where the character Brick appears in Breaking Night. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4: Unraveling
Willpower and Independence Theme Icon
Drugs and Addiction Theme Icon
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...stay up late, getting high and talking. Liz overhears Ma talking about a man named Brick who she is sleeping with. Leonard encourages Ma to spend time with this other man,... (full context)
Willpower and Independence Theme Icon
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A month later, Ma takes Liz to meet Brick. Brick is a former officer in the Navy, Ma claims, and he works in a... (full context)
Willpower and Independence Theme Icon
Drugs and Addiction Theme Icon
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Sex and Power Theme Icon
Ma and Liz spend the day with Brick. From time to time, Brick goes into an alleyway to drink from a large bottle... (full context)
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Drugs and Addiction Theme Icon
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After saying goodbye to Brick, Liz tells Ma that she doesn’t want to see Brick anymore. Ma hesitates and then... (full context)
Drugs and Addiction Theme Icon
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...graduation. A few weeks later, Ma calls to tell Liz that she’s moving in with Brick, and that she wants Liz to come with her. Lisa goes with Ma, but Liz... (full context)
Drugs and Addiction Theme Icon
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...a call from Ma, explaining that she hasn’t been using cocaine and that she loves Brick’s apartment. Meanwhile, Liz’s life with Daddy is sad. Daddy doesn’t complain about Ma leaving, but... (full context)
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...other good luck. Liz is about to be taken to live with Ma, Lisa, and Brick, but she’s worried that this home will turn out to be “another place I didn’t... (full context)
Chapter 5: Stuck
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Liz arrives at Brick’s apartment, where Ma embraces her. The truancy officers tell Liz that she’s been sent to... (full context)
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Back at home, Brick goes to work every day while Ma spends much of her time drinking at a... (full context)
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One day, Brick and Ma get in a fight because all the forks are dirty. Brick becomes so... (full context)
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...to school, but manages to erase any voicemails from the truancy officer, so that neither Brick nor Ma know that she’s been cutting class. (full context)
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...gone, or if he’s even alive—she’s visited only once since being moved to live with Brick and Ma. Later on, Liz learns that Daddy had fallen behind on rent and gone... (full context)
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...first two weeks, but quickly gives in and starts cutting class every day. She breaks Brick’s answering machine to ensure that the truancy officer never gets in touch with him. On... (full context)
Chapter 6: Boys
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...them move away somewhere. Sam also begins spending more time at Liz’s apartment, even though Brick sometimes catches her sleeping over and kicks her out in the middle of the night.... (full context)
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One night, after Brick yells at Sam for sleeping over with Liz, Liz and Sam decide to leave their... (full context)
Chapter 7: Breaking Night
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Late at night, Liz calls Brick’s home. Lisa answers the phone and explains that Liz should come home: Ma “doesn’t have... (full context)
Chapter 8: The Motels
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Once, Liz calls Brick’s home, and Ma picks up the phone. Her voice is faint and confused, suggesting that... (full context)