Review of ‘The Flatshare’ by Beth O’Leary

This book is romantic, compelling, heartwarming and quirky. It’s told from the alternating perspectives of Tiffy and Leon. I don’t know how old they’re supposed to be, but let’s say they’re millennials. Their voices are distinctive and likeable. The basic concept of the story is that they’re sharing a flat in London – and indeed a bed – but never at the same time. You know this is leading to a happy ending before you even open the book, so the enjoyment comes from how their relationship develops and how their conflicts are resolved.

Tiffy has finally left the flat of her controlling ex-boyfriend, Justin. She’s moved into the flat of a stranger, Leon, who needs the extra income. The agreement (arranged by Leon’s girlfriend, Kay) is that Tiffy and Leon don’t meet; she has a day job in publishing while he has a night job as a nurse in a hospice. They don’t speak but even so, a friendship grows, based on home cooking and eccentric notes left around the flat. I won’t spoil the rest for you, but I will mention that Tiffy has brilliant friends and that Leon is trying to get justice for his brother. Although the romantic tension is a strong thread at the novel’s core, there are side plots which help to make the characters’ lives more rounded. The writing style reminded me of Andy Jones. I’m sure that if I was a more frequent reader of this kind of book, I would know of other comparable authors.

If you’re in the mood for a quirky rom-com, pick up The Flatshare and absorb yourself in the story of Tiffy and Leon. When reading this on the tablet at night, I literally had to force myself to stop reading and get some sleep. That’s how much of a page-turner this book is!

This book will be published on 18th April 2019. Thank you to the publisher Quercus for the advance copy via NetGalley.

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