“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, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact they still haven’t met yet, it seem this flatshare is more complicated than expected.“
One thing I genuinely love about this story is that you are thrown in depth into the lives and thoughts of the two main characters, you witness first hand their struggles, their fears and interactions with others around them – this has genuinely made me love this story even more so. For me when it comes to a great novel, I need two things: characters you feel so connected to that you are that typical ‘soccer parent’ on the sidelines cheering and rooting them on no matter way. And secondly, a great romance, that isn’t cheesy but feels so genuine that it could ultimately be real. This is what The Flat Share is all about.
You have your two main characters; Tiffy – a liberal and kind-hearted free spirit who has a penchant exuberant fashions and knickknacks. A girl who is trying to rebuild herself after the breakdown of her relationship with Justin, who is an absolute prick and I hate him so much – if you read the book you’ll know why I want to beat the crap out of him for hurting Tiffy, good thing this is a novel. But the point is as a reader I feel so touched by her selflessness that you do just want to support, guide and protect her similarly to those of her three best friends: Mo, Gerty and Rachel. Your second lead character is Leon, our awkward and shy hospice nurse, and I just want to wrap him up in bubble wrap and give him a big cuddle. He has this Irish swagger and warm heart and this lion fighter spirit to protect his brother, someone who has been framed and currently suffering in prison. His determination to exonerate his brother and later to protect Tiffy from her douchebag ex has made him into such a relatable and genuine hero of this story (not that Tiffy needs saving, by the end of this novel she is also strong and heroine like in her own way.)
One of my favorite things about this novel is that yes the idea of sharing a one-bed flat with a stranger just feel out of this world unrealistic, but the way the story pans out and the realism between the characters makes the story completely plausible – the use of post-it notes as their communication makes me smile and giggle, I wish I had something like these two do. Instead of overly cheesy romance books that make you gag, this story is a serious page turner, with so many avenues and cliff hangers that I was left hooked from the start. Also with how the book has been written, each chapter goes back and forth between the perspective of our main characters, something that offers greater depths and adds more juiciness to this incredible work of art. Even more so, the style of how these chapter changes are conducted are so different but again gives so much insight into the working minds of men and women. With Tiffy’s chapters in depth and narrative, normally taking twice as long as the Leon chapters. Whereas with Leon’s perspective, it is short and to the point and incredibly focused – which to me reiterates the personalities of our main characters.
I have absolutely loved this book and I couldn’t put it down, I had to read it all in one day once I got started, it was an absolute beauty of a story. And for those of you self-isolating, you can pick it up on Amazon, and for those I’m following on Twitter and have dropped me your Amazon wish lists, I will be surprising many of my followers with this book.
Beth O’Leary is my new favorite author and I cannot wait to read her next story, which I pre-ordered straight away after reading the Flat Share.
Make sure to follow my social’s, I’m currently isolating for the next 12 weeks and I’d love to connect with so many of you who are also anxious about our current world situation with the coronavirus 💙
Love, Leo x