Good morning! If you’re like me the end of the working week is rapidly approaching! I hope everyone has something to look forward to this weekend. For today’s review I’m taking a break from the usual crime genre that my adult reviews tend to take and sharing my review of The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary that I read back in April.
Title: The Flatshare
Author: Beth O’Leary
Publication Date: 18th April 2019
About The Book…
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…
What I Thought…
Tiffy needs out of the flat she’d been sharing with her now ex-boyfriend, the only problem, most of the places in her budget are not places that anyone would really want to live. The solution… A rather unusual flatshare, what makes it unusual, well there’s only one bedroom, but Leon works nights and Tiffy works days so they’d never have to actually see one another right…
The Flatshare begins in February and spans a number of months through to October, before an epilogue which takes place a couple of years later. It’s also told from the point of view of both Tiffy and Leon. I think the split view works so well in The Flatshare, I think that we get a better understanding of both Tiffy and Leon by reading chapters from both their perspectives and the layout of the book makes it really clear whose point of view, and story we’re currently following along with which month we’re in. I was definitely taken in by the journeys that both Tiffy and Leon go on throughout the story. I was so invested in the outcome that I struggled to put it down.
As the book is told from Tiffy and Leon’s perspective I feel like we get to know the pair of them really well. I definitely liked both characters a lot. Tiffy works in publishing and I adored following her journey at work and her interactions with her friends. At points some of her story is difficult to read as she deals with her manipulative ex, however I do think it is important to see these sorts of relationships portrayed in books to help normalise the idea that an abusive relationship does not solely equate to physical abuse. I think Leon’s story that runs alongside Tiffy and his growing relationship is particularly interesting, I particularly loved the way the relationship between Ritchie and him, I am all for showing positive male relationships in books! I also want to give a quick mention to Tiffy’s friends Gerty and Mo, I thought they were both great friends to Tiffy and I was so pleased they were there for her throughout.
If I had one slight criticism of The Flatshare it would be that Leon’s girlfriend, Kay, is just a little bit too easy to dislike. There are parts of me that understands some of her frustrations, but at the same time there was no part of the book where I was willing Leon to stay with her. I would have loved the love triangle in the story to be one that left me a little more torn, had me going back and forth about what I wanted the endgame to be. That wasn’t to be but I did still love it!
What a wonderful debut novel from Beth O’Leary! For me The Flatshare was just the right book at the right time. I read this still relatively early in the Covid 19 lockdown, I was just beginning to feel a little bit down, I live by myself and the social isolation was starting to get to me but this was the perfect pick me up! It was a really heartwarming story that had me smiling by the end. I’ve already got my hands of a copy of The Switch that I’m looking forward to reading, and I love the sound of Beth’s next book The Road Trip which was recently announced and comes out next year!
About The Author…
Beth studied English at university before going into children’s publishing. She lives as close to the countryside as she can get while still being within reach of London, and wrote her first novel, The Flatshare, on her train journey to and from work.
You’ll usually find her curled up with a book, a cup of tea, and several woolly jumpers (whatever the weather).
Connect With Beth
Want To Buy It?
As always if you’ve read the book let me know what you thought! If you’ve not read it yet will my review convince you to pick it up?