Book Reviews · Recommendations

The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary

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The Flatshare
By: Beth O’Leary

Published: May 2019
Published by: Flatiron Books
Format Read: Hardcover
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Romance

Rating: 3.5/5


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 colored 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.

What if your roommate is your soul mate? A joyful, quirky romantic comedy, Beth O’Leary’s The Flatshare is a feel-good novel about finding love in the most unexpected of ways.

Source: Goodreads

My Thoughts

One of the most read releases of 2019 was Beth O’Leary’s debut novel The Flatshare. When I first read the synopsis, I knew I had to read it. The premise of two people who haven’t met sharing a flat and a bed, communicating via notes sounded like a great idea for a contemporary novel.

Tiffy and Leon were interesting characters that I could relate to. Written in dual perspective, Beth O’Leary really gave her characters their own distinct voices. I can understand why some people didn’t like how Leon’s sections were written but I thought it stayed true to his personality.

The story took a very serious turn, that I wasn’t quite expecting, as the tone of the book started in more of a lighter contemporary style. It is for this reason that I advise caution, as it might be a trigger to some people due to the subject matter.

Other aspects of The Flatshare, I enjoyed included how Tiffy and Leon got to know each other and Leon’s relationships with his patients at the hospice.

But for some reason this book didn’t captivate me like I anticipated, nor did it garner a 5 star rating. With so many aspects that I did enjoy, I’m not sure why that is. Perhaps it was the slow pace, or maybe it was the shift in the tone.

Regardless, I would still recommend The Flatshare to fans of slow burn contemporaries.

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