Upon its release in the United Kingdom, British Vogue said “if you want to find out what it is like to be a woman in England today [read] Brass.” Literary circles, critics, students, and readers of all stripes are talking about Brass for its raw, unrelenting, yet compassionate and utterly compelling portrait of Millie, a promising college kid drifting into a deceptively inviting world of rough hewn street culture, drug-induced adorations, and sexual hedonism.
Helen Walsh, at the age of 27, has produced a staggeringly alive debut novel that portrays a generation of youth—those coming of age in the 80s and 90s—through the prism of Millie. Millie and her best friend Jamie have been through it all together. However, as Millie is lured away from a promising academic career toward a life of numbing drugs and increasingly deviant sexual encounters, Jamie is finally settling down with his girlfriend. Millie feels betrayed by one of the few authentic and nurturing relationships in her life at a pivotal time of self-revelation.