The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary was getting a lot of buzz in my online bookclub when it first came out. At the time, I was drowning in ARCs that I was on deadline for, so I wasn’t able to get to reading in right away. As I’ve mentioned, since being in the time of social distancing, I’ve been trying to keep everything I’m reading light and fun. Remembering that I purchased this book a few months back for my Kindle when it was on sale, I was so excited to dive it.
Tiffy and Leon share an apartment. Tiffy and Leon have never met.
After a bad breakup, Tiffy Moore needs a place to live. Fast. And cheap. But the apartments in her budget have her wondering if astonishingly coloured mold on the walls counts as art.
Desperation makes her open minded, so she answers an ad for a flatshare. Leon, a night shift worker, will take the apartment during the day, and Tiffy can have it nights and weekends. He’ll only ever be there when she’s at the office. In fact, they’ll never even have to meet.
Tiffy and Leon start writing each other notes—first about what day is garbage day, and politely establishing what leftovers are up for grabs, and the evergreen question of whether the toilet seat should stay up or down. Even though they are opposites, they soon become friends. And then maybe more.
But falling in love with your roommate is probably a terrible idea…especially if you’ve never met.
Another great book that I zoomed through, despite having precious little time for reading these days. The premise was quirky and fun, and the secondary plot lines were satisfying and deep. Yes, the main story was an incredibly satisfying love story, but throughout, Tiffy was being haunted by a not-so-obvious abusive relationship and Leon was trying to get his wrongly convicted brother out of jail. And it all came together beautifully.
The main conflict in the book (you know that part where the couple get together and something happens that puts it in jeopardy for a moment before they get back together) I didn’t think was in character for Leon and what we know about him, but I was able to look past it because it didn’t drag on forever as it does in some books. And the epilogue was really satisfying.
People who love British contemporary romance will definitely enjoy this story. I’m looking forward to O’Leary’s next book, The Switch, coming out later this year.
“It’s weird how easily you can get to know someone from the traces they leave behind when they go.” —Beth O’Leary, The Flatshare
Thank you to Christopher Jolly on Unsplash for the featured photo of the bedroom.