The Square by Rosie Millard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Jane has the ideal life: loving husband, beautiful house and delightful son. Her fashionable dinner parties are perfect - and so are her secret assignations with her neighbour's husband, Jay.
From Tracey and her New Money lottery winnings to eccentric artist Philip and his pornographic portraits, the residents of North London's most privileged enclave The Square are a very satisfied bunch.
To raise money for communal fencing, the Residents' Association decides to hold a Talent Show, produced by Jane and hosted by TV celebrity Alan Makin. But when the show lurches into public disarray, reputations are shattered and everyone has to learn to live with a far less glossy reality than before.
Really enjoyed this fun read, effortlessly readable, full of both ordinary and quirky characters who live on an up market square of town houses in London. From the new monied lottery winners to resident eccentric artist Philip and his once rather risqué Russian born wife Gilda, the square gives up its' secrets and dramas.
Rosie Millard introduces us to the 'players' via Roberts who is the music teacher tutoring pupils on the square. Without giving too much away, things start to unravel for several residents when a talent show is organised to raise money to repair/restore railings round the square.
In addition to the planned talent show one of the residents, Harriet, takes lottery winner and new resident Tracey to a talk given by Alan Makin on how to manage debt. Alan Makin is a celebrity expert who hosts television chat shows on financial management and is appearing locally. Tracey is worried their lottery money won't last forever and although she runs a beauty business it is not doing as well as it should. She has watched Alan Makin on the television and when her neighbour Harriet says she is going to see him at a talk he is giving Tracey is enthusiastic to go along. At the talk Tracey finds herself speaking out in defence of the poor 'victim Alan Makin she using as an example of someone who has got himself into debt. Later Alan Makin asks to meet Tracey and once he knows her lottery story he asks her to appear on one of his shows and in return she provides a kind of 'counselling' service for him. Having said he would pay her she agrees.
We discover secrets and assignations, hidden jealousies and dramas with the residents of The Square as the story unfolds. It's a lovely frivolous read, like being a voyeur being able to see into the residents lives and learn their innermost secrets, witty and although predictable it was great fun to follow the characters.
I loved the young boy George and his one liners, priceless. This book gets a well deserved 4 stars from me, I sincerely hope she does a sequel and I will definitely read it.
I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.