Rather unlike me, especially for an author I’ve never read before, but I was so drawn to this book after seeing a Twitter video where the author dissolved into happy tears when unboxing copies of her stunning novel for the first time, that I felt compelled to place a pre-order immediately. I felt that the author must be a kindred spirit, a BFF I may never meet – simply because that is exactly the kind of reaction I would have. So social media marketing chalked up a major win as I whipped out my credit card and happily clicked my way through to checkout. It arrived, and it was shelved, awaiting the time I could pack it in my suitcase and head off to sunnier climes in early June.
Was I pleased that I reserved some of my precious baggage allowance for this rather gorgeous hardback?
I loved it! It was a breath of fresh air. I really enjoyed the narrative structure, with chapters alternating between Tiffy and Leon in the first person. Their personalities and voice come through really strongly, I never had any doubt who was ‘talking’ to me at any given time, and I had no trouble picturing them. Their developing relationship and misunderstandings led to some real laugh out loud moments and my husband was “thrilled” to have been treated to several out of context readings (sometimes when my giggling had woken him up), just because I found something so funny I had to share it!
But the humour is underpinned with seriousness. Tiffy’s realisations about her relationship with her ex, Justin and Leon’s quest to help clear his brother’s name set up some really emotional scenes which culminate in a brilliant conclusion. Then of course there is the beautiful ending. Yes. I did need tissues.
The supporting characters, Mr Prior (and the search through multiple Johnny Whites), the adorable Holly, wonderful friends, Mo, Gerty and Rachel and of course Leon’s brother Richie. Each has a vital role to play and each are lovable in their own way.
Beth O’Leary is an author I want to read more of in future and I will be quivering in anticipation for her next release, The Switch, which is out next year. In the meantime, The Flat Share has found a home on my forever shelf.
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…