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Brass by Helen Walsh
In Brass, Millie O'Reilly is the 19-year old daughter of a doting father, a professor who has supplied her a comfortable life. Millie, though, feels disconnected from life and partakes on a binge of sex, drugs, depravation, and despair. Jealous at her best friend's engagement, her behavior threatens both their friendship and her friend's impending marriage. Millie moves through the seamy underside of Liverpool with its crackheads, pimps, and whores, often stoked on cocaine and moving from one loveless sexual encounter to another. Helen Walsh has managed to create a self-destructive character with a heart of gold and exposed a gritty side to Liverpool that's often ignored. Brass has received much praise with The Independent saying, "Millie is hard to like, but impossible not to love. In Brass, Walsh has created some of literature's sexiest sex scenes, most out-of-it drug-taking and a dark, cynical worldview. But her ultimate offering of love and redemption is something else. Brass is a novel whose imagery you won't easily scrub off the back of your mind. It is spellbinding and utterly unique."