The Brazilian by Rosie Millard, is a well-written novel, however its story line feels unfinished in a sense. I really never understood the direction or overall purpose of this book. I understand it was intended to be a novel filled with satire, a mockery of the well-mannered upper class, and an exaggeration of modern day celebrities, and although I admit it had its moments, I felt like the vision and the product never quite matched. I was also very disappointed in the ending.
This novel follows the perspectives of several different characters, whom for different reasons, ended up in Ibiza at the same time. First is the family consisting of Jane, Patrick, their son George, and George’s nanny Belle. The reader finds Jane to be a sself-absorbed mother who is focused on fame. Jane views herself as someone with little flaw and up until the end of the novel, she does not view herself to have the body of a middle aged woman, but one who is still young and limber. Jane believes that her son George should fit into her life and not the other way around. Jane’s husband Patrick doesn’t seem to be too caught up in the glamorous world his wife idolizes. Instead, Patrick enjoys spending time with his family and wishes that Belle wasn’t hired to come on their family vacation in Ibiza. George, Jane and Patrick’s son, is eight years old. George is a little boy who at times is wise beyond his years, but simply just wants to spend his vacation with his friends. George wishes his mother had more time for him, but because he is used to being overlooked, he proves to be a brave child and takes control of his own happiness throughout the story. Then there is Belle, George’s babysitter. Belle is a seventeen year old girl who agrees to take the job in order to save up money. However, Belle can’t stand to be away from her boyfriend Jas and comes up with an elaborate plan to spend time with him during the vacation.
Jas, Belle’s boyfriend, decides that the only way to visit Belle in Ibiza is to join a walking group and stay at a hostile with them. Jas and Belle decide to meet up every night after George is in bed and spend until dawn together. This arrangement works for a while until there becomes a problem during the climax of the story. This unfortunate incident prompts Jane to involve friends who are working on a reality show nearby to become involved.
Simon is the director of a celebrity reality show that is conveniently filming in Ibiza. The contests consist of Philip, Alan, Gemma, Jasper, Nigel, Jocelyn, Moo, and Cresta. However, out of these contestants, only Alan, Gemma, Jasper, and Cresta have a point of view within the story. Philip is a contemporary artist who is not fond of his fellow contestant Alan. Philip is married to Gilda, who ends up in Ibiza because she cannot stand to be away from Philip.
Cresta, a beautiful girl who certainly gets a lot of attention, definitely has a little something going on with Philip as well. Gemma is a ‘celebrity estate agent,’ who is very self-assertive when it comes to defending herself. Alan is a TV financial advisor, Jasper is an ex magician, Nigel and Jocelyn are married and presenters of a travel show, and Moo is a ‘celebrity farmer.’
This novel is one that is full of drama, satire, climax, and proves to be an easy read, however, I felt it was too easy. The plot was structured correctly, the writing was well written, and the events were somewhat organized according to plan, but I felt the detail was missing, the spice and flare was missing, and the ending was dull and unfortunate. It’s not a worthless read, it just wasn’t for my taste. The Brazilian is also a short novel and because it is an easy read, if you enjoy minimalistic, wholesome, and humorous drama with a bit of a sexual flare, than you may find entertainment within this novel.
By Rosie Millard
Following a sensational scandal at one of London’s most desired postcodes, Jane and Patrick decide to escape the gossip with a family holiday to Ibiza, their eight-year-old George in tow. Also on the island that week is a TV reality show involving an eccentric artist, a horny It Girl, a Brazilian soccer player, and a famous musician. As hapless celebrities are picked off one by one, Jane is desperate to be on the program, leaving childcare in the not so capable hands of a teenager. One lesbian escapade and an explosive row over hair removal later, the contestants of Ibiza or Bust leave the island with more than sand in places they never knew existed.