Title: The Flat Share
Author: Beth O’Leary
Date Published: 10th April, 2019
Genre: Fiction, Modern, Temporary, Romance
Number of Pages: 400
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
THE SUNDAY TIMES TOP FIVE BESTSELLER
‘Set to become the romcom of the year – a Sleepless In Seattle for the 21st century’
‘The new Jojo Moyes… This has all the ingredients of Me Before You‘
‘Funny and winning… a Richard Curtis rom-com that also has its feet firmly planted in real life. A real treat’
‘The last book to completely emotionally absorb me in this way was Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, and I think fans of that will adore this’
The Flat Share Review
Leon is a palliative care nurse, working nights in a hospice. He is looking for any extra money he can get hold of as his brother is in prison for armed robbery – a crime he promises he didn’t do – so is in need of legal help. He puts out an advert to find someone to share his flat but it only has one bedroom.
As Leon works nights, he advertises his bed for somebody to sleep in on weeknights and and weekends. He agrees that the flat could be theirs any time outside of 9am-6pm, Monday – Friday, when he would not be occupying it.
Tiffy has a 9-5 job, and after an awful break up with ex-boyfriend Justin, she is looking for somewhere to live. She struggles to find a property in London within her budget, and responds to Leon’s advert. She assures him they would never cross each other and abide by their time frames.
Despite sharing a bed for months at different times of day, they don’t meet each other for a long time. Their friendship forms via post-it notes left in the flat – including left over dinners and sarcastic comments on laundry. They often leave tongue-in-cheek remarks, commenting on each other’s possessions.
“My dad likes to say, ‘Life is never simple’. This is one of his favourite aphorisms.
I actually think it’s incorrect. Life is often simple, but you don’t notice how simple it was until it gets incredibly complicated, like how you never feel grateful for being well until you’re ill. Or how you never appreciate your tights drawer until you rip a pair and have no spares.”
“I stop dead in my tracks. Someone behind me walks into me and swears (stopping abruptly in central London is a heinous crime, and immediately gives the people around you permission to kick you).”
As I started this book, it drew me in immediately. Usually it takes me a while to warm to a book but from the get-go I knew that I would read until the end – I was so curious about the whole premise.
I thought the idea of two people sharing a bed and never meeting sounded crazy but it’s written in a way that is really intelligent and totally believable. I found the main character, Tiffy, incredibly likeable. She seemed like a normal woman who would react very similarly to any one who read the book. This is one of the reasons I loved it so much as we could all relate to the hard times she experienced during the novel.
Both Tiffy and Leon have an interesting back story – this is not your usual “boy meets girl, they fall in love” novel which I was half expecting. Through out the book, Tiffy has many unwanted run-ins with her abusive ex-boyfriend, which we find more about towards the latter half. She ends up going to a therapist to express how she’s really feeling, and we see a more gentle side of her character.
Surprisingly In Depth..
There are many feelings I felt for the characters that I never expected. For example, Leon’s brother is in prison. We as the audience are unsure whether to believe his claims of innocence – my feelings personally went from disbelief, to pity, to disbelief again and as the novel progressed I really wanted clarity! (we do get it thankfully)
I had not anticipated to feel the intensity that I felt as I assumed The Flat Share would be your usual fluffy chick lit. In fact it went much deeper when discussing abuse, illness in children (at the hospice Leon works in) and snippets of World War II veterans. This is all discussed in a very sensitive way so I applaud O’Leary for that.
I’m not going to include too many spoilers in this review as I was really pleased with the ending. I felt like there were enough twists and turns to keep us all guessing right up to the very end.
Thanks for reading my review of The Flatshare By Beth O’Leary. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for an interesting and intriguing read! If you enjoyed this post make sure to check out my other post in the Books category.