Whether you like this book will depend on whether you like the people. There's an ensemble cast (always a good recipe), but not all the characters are as interesting as Collins thinks they are. There's an "everyman" family called the Privetts who irritatingly occupy the foreground. More appealing is their family friend Gus, though he's burdened with a northern accent spelled out in full ("Ah doan't knoa what yur mean" etc etc). Though sometimes you long for Gus and Mr Privett's scenes to be over, they throw up some good observations: Mrs Privett is annoyed by the way Mr Privett treats Gus as a giant toddler. The good bits are at the department store, in the fur department, the canteen, the foyer. The best character is Marcia, the permanently wide-eyed model who knows her days are numbered. Read it, then read Collins' London Belongs to Me, and Doris Lessing's In Search of the English.