The Square by Rosie Millard

Title - The Square 
Author - Rosie Millard
Publication Date - August 1st 2015
Publisher - Legend Press
Format - Kindle Edition (Provided via NetGalley)
Pages - 256

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.

Well, this was fantastic. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but once I'd had a gander at the blurb on NetGalley, and marvelled at how fabulous the cover image was, I just had to request it because it sounded brilliant and, thankfully, my assumptions turned out to be right. The Square by Rosie Millard was such fun, humorous and entertaining novel, and one which I read rather rapidly due to my sheer enjoyment of it.

In The Square by Rosie Millard, we're introduced to a handful of characters who are completely different to each other in their circumstances, as well as their characteristics. I think that's where the fun began for me, and I also think it's fair to say that Rosie opened her novel with a rather naughty bang too, quite literally! *giggle* As the first couple of chapters went by, Rosie brought forward a single character for the reader to focus on for the duration of said chapter. Despite there being quite a few characters to get to grips with, I found it fantastically easy to set each one apart from the other, and as the different lives of these characters began to take shape and form in front of me, I found myself incredibly eager to get back to each one, each time a chapter change took me away from them.

The Square, as the novel is so aptly titled, focuses on a small community gated away from the rest of humanity (okay, slight exaggeration on my part), but the people within the square appear to set themselves apart from the surrounding council estates and so on. It's a very tight-knit community, some living very luxurious lives with au pairs and children who take piano lessons, with one family having gained entry into The Square due to a lottery win! I adored the diversity of Rosie's characters, who each brought something different and unique to the cluster of people within The Square. What really gets the wheels spinning on this novel though, is the problem of the gate surrounding the square. It's in a state of disrepair and because of this, the inhabitants of The Square need to raise money to have it replaced. And so, during a meeting where everyone from The Square is present, the idea of holding a talent show is brought forward and begins to take place as the novel progresses.

Although the build-up to the talent show provided the plot with some thickness, it was the inhabitants of The Square that held my interest the most. There was so much going on within The Square, and I loved how the appearance of the place hid what went on behind closed doors so well! The houses on The Square were all so neat and proper, yet behind those pretty doors, disaster was taking place and there was nothing that could stop it. Affairs, deceit, lies and upcoming fame. Rosie Millard displayed her characters and their lives so fantastically to me, I felt like I was not just a reader, but a participant in the plot too. The author's choice of words and descriptions were witty and humorous to say the least, commenting on the snobbery and the battle of the classes. Rosie Millard put such a hilarious turn onto everything she wrote, it was a pure pleasure and joy to read. I was dying to see where each character would be by the end of the novel, and couldn't wait to reach that point! There were so many secrets, so much hidden from the other inhabitants of The Square that I was waiting for that moment of reveal with baited breath. Behind each closed door, a different story was waiting to unfold and it was truly brilliant, so unique and fresh and a fantastically enjoyable way to tell a story like this one.

Becca's Books is awarding The Square by Rosie Millard with four gorgeous cupcakes! A refreshingly different telling of a cluster of homes and families that reeled me in right in and had me racing through the pages with delight. A thoroughly enjoyable novel which I'd recommend to everyone who loves a good giggle!


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