In the second book of Rosie Millard's the Square series, well-to-do couple Jane and Patrick pack for an Ibiza vacation with their eight-year-old son, George, and his nanny, Belle. Coinciding with their holiday is the filming of a reality TV show, Ibiza (or Bust). Two of Jane and Patrick's London neighbors--TV financial adviser Alan Makin and artist Phillip Burrell--are starring in the production alongside a cast of eccentric small-time stars, and Jane is desperate to weasel her way onto the show.
As Ibiza (or Bust) director Simon puts the show's actors through a series of humiliating, reckless and well-scripted challenges, Jane keeps busy on the island. All the childcare responsibilities are left to Belle, who's been sneaking out every night to meet up with her boyfriend. So when she falls asleep on the job and George turns up missing, the Ibiza (or Bust) troupe teams up with the child's parents to scour the island.
This zany representation of feigned reality and privileged disconnect from normal existence makes for satirical fun on a Mediterranean island. Mix in a donkey, a professional soccer star and a lesbian encounter, and things can't get much more exciting. But in the realm of reality TV, it's every man or woman for him- or herself, so the contestants will stop at almost nothing to earn their fame--and cash prize.
A humorous, lighthearted read, The Brazilian will likely charm fans of Bridget Jones or provide a welcome escape for anyone needing an entertaining diversion. --Jen Forbus, freelancer