The Flatshare was all over social media last year but for some reason I didn’t get around to it, despite reading various reviews which made me sure I would love it. Well, finally, I have got around to this book and listened to it on Audible. And let me tell you, that it’s just BRILLIANT!
Tiffy and Leon are flatmates but they are rather unusual flatmates in that they have never met. Leon works permanent nightshift as a palliative care nurse while Tiffy works in publishing. So Leon has the flat – and the bed – during the day while Tiffy has the place the rest of the time. They communicate to begin with through Leon’s girlfriend Kay and then through a series of post-it notes.
I adored following Tiffy and Leon’s story. Initially, we were getting to know the characters, much in the same way they were getting to ‘know’ each other. Later in the book as things progressed I was willing them to get together as it seemed they would be absolutely perfect for each other. As well as the will-they-won’t-they romance element of the book which was so brilliantly set up by the author, there were some rather more serious elements included in the book. No spoilers as these things are mentioned on the back of the book but Leon’s brother is in jail so there is a fair bit about his case and the effect of his imprisonment on him and his family. Tiffy has a horror of an ex-boyfriend who she is only beginning to realise has been emotionally abusive and controlling towards her. The contrast between him and gentle Leon couldn’t have been more stark. Again we see the effects this has on her relationships and quite how manipulative this character had been. And there is a rather lovely romance from the past which plays quite an important role too. I must mention too Leon’s lovely mam who, although generally on the end of the phone, was a fabulous character, always looking out for and protective of both her boys.
This being an audiobook version I am reviewing, I have to talk about the two narrators. Tiffy was played by Carrie Hope Fletcher while Leon was played by Kwaku Fortune (I adored his accent). The story is written in chapters told alternately by each character so having two narrators was essential really. And what brilliant narrators they were, bringing the author’s words to life and really capturing Tiffy and Leon’s personalities perfectly. Having looked up the actors, they are just how I imagined the characters to look and should a film version ever be made (YES PLEASE!!) I think these two would be absolutely perfect for the roles.
The Flatshare is a book I loved every audio minute of. At times, I seriously considered going for a drive just to listen to some more! The audiobook equivalent of one more chapter perhaps? It was often very funny, sometimes had me groaning in frustration (much like the characters I think) and was such an uplifting story. Having enjoyed The Flatshare so much, I’m delighted to say that there is a new book coming very soon from Beth O’Leary. It’s called The Switch, it’s being published in April and I will definitely not be leaving it so long to read that one!
My audiobook copy was purchased with my Audible subscription. The Flatshare is published by Quercus and is available now in hardback, ebook and audiobook formats. The paperback will be published next month You will find buying option for various retailers on the publishers’ website here: The Flatshare
From the back of the book
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 rule book out the window….
About the author
Beth studied English at university before going into children’s publishing. She lives as close to the countryside as she can get while still being in reach of London, and wrote her first novel, The Flatshare, on her train journey to and from work. She is now writing novels full time, and if she’s not at her desk, you’ll usually find her curled up somewhere with a book, a cup of tea, and several woolly jumpers (whatever the weather).