I recently read The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary. I kept hearing about this book across the blogging and social media world so when I came across it for 99p on iBooks, I decided to take a punt on it.
Synopsis [from Goodreads]
Tiffy and Leon share a flat
Tiffy and Leon share a bed
Tiffy and Leon have never met…
Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.
But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window…
Book: The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Fiction
Publication Date: 10th April 2019
This read was the perfectly relaxing, light-hearted novel I needed. I really like the uniqueness of Tiffy’s and Leon’s situation – even though they share the flat (and the bed) there is a strict no-meeting clause in their arrangements as they work and use the flat at alternating times. The little notes they leave behind for each other, even though they have never met, allows the reader to discover more about each character as their stories unfold. The dual narrative also compliments this perfectly – Leon has his own way of speaking by omitting some pronouns or determiners; it really does resemble the thought processes of (some) men and their actions/reactions to events happening around them. I like how Tiffy wasn’t the standard tall, thin, beautiful heroine yet also not a token of an overweight person trying to break the mould of literature. She was real, normal and so relatable (apart from her height, she’d definitely tower over me!). Her beauty came from both inside and out, and she wasn’t afraid to show off her passion for home-altered clothing and fashion.
Beneath the heart-warming tale of two people finding each other amongst their distinctive living arrangements is the story of both the dark and light sides of love. Proving that love traverses time and generations, Leon looks after an elderly gentleman called Mr. Prior and helps him to try and track down the long-lost love of his life and fellow war comrade Johnny White. This is paralleled against Tiffy’s past relationship with ex-boyfriend Justin and the traumas that she was faced with after her perception of their relationship drastically changed and she realises what Justin was truly like. Then there is Richie, Leon’s brother who is facing an appeal for being wrongly arrested and incriminated – he adds a humorous element to the novel and allows for the theme of justice to thread throughout the tale. Not forgetting Gerty, Mo and Rachel who all contribute and add their own fun dynamics.
Beth O’Leary created such a wonderful mix of characters which I grew to be fond of and enjoyed spending literary time with. The Flatshare brought me humour, joy and a sense that even the most painful and vulnerable memories can be overcome with the right people around you to help. It also gave me my new, perfect dieting excuse… upper arm “cake weight”, which has inspired me to also come up with forearm gin weight, upper thigh chocolate weight, lower calf Doritos weight and ankle pizza weight – albeit perhaps not the healthiest influence I’ve ever taken from a novel!
Have you read The Flatshare? Do you have the perfect dieting excuse like Tiffy’s? As always, drop me a comment to chat!