Publishing the history & culture 

of Southeastern New England • Since 1981

Paperback • ISBN 978-0932027-580 • $14.00

Hardcover • ISBN 

978-0932027-573 • $24.00

268 pages • 6” x 9”

Also available as an eBook!


Brick by Brick

A Woman's Journey

Lynn Donohue

Brick by Brick is a memoir - the tough, inspiring story of a young woman who comes of age in New Bedford, Massachusetts in the 1970s. Lynn Donohue drops out of school at 15 and is heading nowhere, without a plan or a future. Eventually, she takes a masonry course and embarks on a career as a bricklayer. The work is hard and the money is good, but the beauty and rhythm of the work also give her a sense of purpose and empower her as never before. 

 Enduring harassment and torment nearly ever step of the way from the men with whom she works, she moves on and up through the ranks, educating and transforming herself, eventually running her own multi-million-dollar masonry business.

 Lynn's story begins in 1976 at the Belmont Club, where she is a bartender. The story flashes back to her childhood, growing up with an alcoholic father and a mother who endured with a stiff upper lip. Lynn leaves home as a young teen and adopts a hippie lifestyle. While tending bar one day, her attention is drawn to a newspaper article on women in the trades. She is impressed by the wages of a bricklayer - and her life is changed forever.

 Lynn breaks into the union, battles prejudice, and helps construct the schools, hospitals and churches of southeastern Massachusetts. But when the time comes, no one will accept a woman as foreman of a building project. Undaunted, Lynn forms her own company, which earns a solid reputation in the construction world, proving that a woman can be in charge and win big.

Brick by Brick is not just a book about a bricklayer; it's an exploration of one woman's life journey. It's about a lost girl who gains a sense of self through work. It's about a young woman who shows extraordinary courage in a man's world. There is no magic here - Lynn Donohue built her life brick by brick, and that's what makes this story so compelling. The reader lives her struggle, feels her turmoil when she doesn't know how she can go on. But she endures, she wins?and we as readers celebrate her triumph.

Donohue takes the reader “brick by brick” on the road from despair to confidence... With a fresh, intimate voice, Donohue honors the will to survive and thrive. 

– Publisher's Weekly