Title: The Flatshare (review copy)
Author: Beth O’Leary
Genre/Themes: Contemporary, Emotional, Dramedy, Twist on One Bed Trope, Romance, Toxic Relationships, Coercive Control
Blurb from Goodreads
Tiffy Moore and Leon Twomey each have a problem and need a quick fix.
Tiffy’s been dumped by her cheating boyfriend and urgently needs a new flat. But earning minimum wage at a quirky publishing house means that her choices are limited in London.
Leon, a palliative care nurse, is more concerned with other people’s welfare than his own. Along with working night shifts looking after the terminally ill, his sole focus is on raising money to fight his brother’s unfair imprisonment.
Leon has a flat that he only uses 9 to 5. Tiffy works 9 to 5 and needs a place to sleep. The solution to their problems? To share a bed of course…
As Leon and Tiffy’s unusual arrangement becomes a reality, they start to connect through Post-It notes left for each other around the flat.
Can true love blossom even in the unlikeliest of situations? Can true love blossom even if you never see one another? Or does true love blossom when you are least expecting it?
Oh I have been waiting for a book like this one to come along FOR YEARS!
The Flatshare is exactly what I want from a romantic comedy/dramedy type book…
It’s got hugely likeable protagonists in the form of Tiffy and Leon, a highly original setup for the meeting of these two characters, a cast of interesting supporting characters and side storylines but most of all…
It feels fresh!!!
Hallelujah for that.
I have found myself getting so jaded when it comes to this genre of book but this one is a veritable diamond in the rough. ‘The Flatshare‘ does not feel like so many of the countless romantic-comedy/dramedy books I’ve read throughout the years.
The setup for this book is a bit bonkers but it really works. Tiffy and Leon are flatmates with a twist. They share a bed! But Leon is in the flat only during the day as he works night shifts. Whereas Tiffy is in the flat at nights and on the weekends. Their lives are so separate that they haven’t even met…
I mean we know where this is going right?
BUT THE JOURNEY IS FABULOUS!
Tiffy and Leon start leaving generic post it notes for each other around the flat (regarding things such as bin day, leftover food etc) but these notes gradually evolve into a deeper intimacy and the two find themselves wondering a lot more about the other person and if maybe there is a significant connection.
The pacing is perfect btw; I thought the book might have the error of using the notes as the sole point of contact between the two leads for too long, but, the author got it spot on with how she kept building upon their burgeoning relationship.
Tiffy is the traditional quirky type of leading lady that we so often get in these books BUT because of the great writing and the fact that she has a fabulous backstory and is a character laden with genuine feelings and emotions, her quirkiness feels authentic to who she is as a person. And who she is is also incredibly relatable. She’s got a wonderfully human quality about her and is fabulously dynamic in that at times she’s spunky but others is vulnerable and weak.
Leon bless him is just lovely. He’s so quiet but filled with lots of hidden emotions. The backstory regarding his mum and his brother and how that translates to his chosen career is quite touching to read about.
So what I really wasn’t expecting is that this story is far more emotional than I ever thought possible from a light read. This is because it deals with some heavy issues regarding destructive and controlling relationships; all of which I thought were handled in quite an appropriate fashion for such an accessible / easy read.
And what happily contrasted with that emotional side of the book were a great number of humorous moments. I laughed out loud FREQUENTLY at the fabulous jokes and witty dialogue between the characters. FYI, for those of us who enjoy that sort of thing, there are some fabulous patriarchy bashing jokes in the book that are absolute gems!
If you’re a fan of romantic comedies and romantic dramadies then this book is definitely one you should pick up.
An e-copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher, Quercus, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.