Contemporary · Romance

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

Here is a book that will bring sun and positive vibes to your cloudy day, after a busy day at work. You immediately fall in love with Tiffy and Leo and their unconventional story.

Tiffany Moore aka Tiffy and Leo Twomey both have a problem that needs a quick solution. Tiffy, an assistant editor in a small publishing house was cheated on and dumped by her boyfriend. She urgently needs a new place to start over. Leo, a palliative care nurse, needs to raise money to fight his brother’s unfair imprisonment. Leo has a flat he only uses from 9am to 5pm, as he works the night shift at the hospice. The arrangement? They share the bed but never meet. As their new reality comes a routine, they start leaving messages on Post-Its. As life, ex’s, patience and authors get in the way, can love bloom when you’ve never actually met?

It’s almost impossible not to fall in love with this book, its plot and its characters. Sophie Kinsella is brilliant in bringing inspiration and fun into her work. If you’re thinking this a traditional chick-lit, love-at-first-sight type of book, you’re mistaken. It’s much more than that. It’s about toxic relationships, opening up to your friends and yourself, facing demons, enjoying small moments and small victories. All wrapped up in a beautiful and simple style of writing spiced up with humour and warm-felt moments.

The plot is dynamic but incredibly simple to follow, as we jump between Tiffy’s and Leon’s perspectives in their individual lives in London city.

The characters are the best part of this novel. Tiffy and Leon are a great pair of main characters, each one in their different ways. Tiffy is a colourful and talkative woman with a troublesome history with her ex. Even so, she keeps her head held high and giving the people she cares about all her energy and attention. Her best friends, cool tempered Mo, feisty Gerty and fellow workmate Rachel, are great secondary characters that bring spicy to Tiffy’s life, unconditional support and lots of unfiltered, hilarious truths. Leon is the opposite. He’s a man of few words but caring, giving everything he has to keep his patients’ smiling. He struggles to deal with the wrongful imprisonment of his brother Richie, defending his innocence even when everyone thinks he’s guilty. Beth O’Leary created the perfect characters, giving them enough depth to make them so real it makes you just love them from the first moment you meet them. You simply want to keep reading about them, waiting to meet them in real life.

To summarise: a book for gloomy days, that will make you laugh and just smile for absolutely no reason, get this book. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Even when I remember it, I can’t help but feel all fuzzy inside. Beth O’Leary is a great author, who was able (and I hope keeps going) to bring something fresh, not-cliché romantic and cosy that makes you hug a book close to you, under a blanket and with a cup of coffee. Can’t wait to see what comes next with O’Leary.

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