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The Flatshare: A Novel by Beth O'Leary

The Flatshare: A Novel (edition 2019)

by Beth O'Leary (Author)

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415413,301 (4.42)1
Title:The Flatshare: A Novel
Authors:Beth O'Leary (Author)
Info:Flatiron Books (2019), 336 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary



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After reading a few books with serious tones/subjects I wanted a lighter and brighter book. I very much enjoyed those previous books but I was ready for a chick-lit kinda thing to break it up.

The Flatshare is Beth O’Leary’s first novel. I knew the term flat share meant to have a roommate, sharing an apartment – each with their own bedroom. But in this novel they share a bed, not at the same time. One works nights and the other days.
The deal is that for a mere $350 a month she will have the flat from 6pm – 8am Monday through Friday and on weekends. The remaining times belong to Leon, who could use the extra cash that this arrangement will bring and never the two shall meet.

I’ve never heard of sleeping in the same bed as your room-mate and I can say it would never have been something I would have done.
They speak to each other via notes and letters left tacked to the fridge or on a table. When one is out at work and the other person at home, they find a note. And usually food! Sometimes they forget they haven’t had conversation in person. They are getting to know one another slowly as pen-pals who live together, but have not met. Weird and quirky.

The beginning was a bit confusing for me as Leon pondered about Kay and Ritchie, people who were not introduced to the story. Who are these people, I wondered. It all fell together shortly and I knew the character’s places.

Tiffy’s job is assistant editor at a DIY publishing house. She sums it up: “I love working here. This is the only possible explanation for the fact that I have been assistant editor for three and a half years, earning below the London living wage, and have made no attempt to rectify the situation…….”
As for the supporting characters a good deal of the book focuses on Tiffy’s favorite author, Katherin, who writes about knitting and crocheting. Also a treacherous coworker named Martin which you will just slightly loathe in the beginning and yes, this will deepen as you get to know him more.

Leon is such a good person. He’s a night nurse at a hospice, taking tender care of a little girl named Holly who has leukemia and senior patients who need constant care. Can’t be easy being a nurse. His supporting character is his brother Richie who resides in prison for a crime he says he didn’t commit. All the characters’ stories merge and overlap at different parts of the book.

I was looking for something light with a bit of humor and I found it in this book. What I wasn’t expecting was subject of emotional abuse and how well this author handled it. It wasn’t a constant but when it needed to be addressed in the story it was deftly woven in. Overall a funny, romantic lighthearted book but it certainly did touch on serious subjects at times. Happy endings for most 🙂

There was a bit of food in this novel! Tiffy is a baker and Leon likes to cook so we had a variety of tempting treats. Homemade oat bars, mushroom stroganoff, risotto, Victoria Sandwich with Homemade jam, carob date brownies, banana bread, ales and cocktails.

Much thanks to Netgalley for the complimentary copy of this book. Publication date is May 28, 2019. I will look for more by this author. All opinions are mine and I was not compensated for this review.

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  SquirrelHead | May 15, 2019 |
Tiffy and Leon share a one-bedroom flat but haven’t met each other -- Leon works night shift and spends weekends at his girlfriend’s, so he’s only ever home when Tiffy is at work. It’s a bit of a desperate arrangement, but Tiffy needed to move out of her ex’s place and Leon needs money for his wrongly-convicted brother’s legal fees. They communicate through post-it notes.

The flatshare arrangement had the potential to feel ridiculously contrived -- we’re sharing a bed because the plot says so! -- but it doesn’t, because so much of the story is about the circumstances which led them to agree to this arrangement. Tiffy has to deal with the aftermath of an abusive relationship (which was handled more thoughtfully than I expected) and Leon’s main focus is getting justice for his brother.

I enjoyed the characters getting to know each other through letters and through indications in the flat of the other’s personality and mood; I liked how they supported and cared about each other. I’m not always a fan of dual POV but it worked well here -- and a dramatically different narrative style and voice for both characters is much better than narrator’s voice being too similar.

(The epilogue left me feeling like the book was almost-but-not-quite something I could have liked more, but anyway, this book was fun to read.)

As I peel the Post-its and taped scraps of paper off cupboard doors, tables, walls and (in one case) the bin lid, I find myself grinning. It was a weird way to get to know Leon, writing all these notes over the last few months, and it sort of happened without me noticing -- one minute I was scribbling him a quick note about leftovers, the next I was in a full-on day-to-day correspondence.
  Herenya | May 11, 2019 |
It’s going to be difficult to review The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary without seeming like a gushing fangirl mess. We’re only a third of the way through 2019, but I’m certain this will make my top reads of the year. It’s a fresh, funny and delightful story that will charm any reader with a heart. It’s got sustenance as well as laughs, plus it was written on Beth O’Leary’s commute. So, get off your phone tomorrow morning and start thinking. We need more touching stories like this in fiction.

Weirdly enough, The Flatshare is about two people who share a flat in London. But, it’s not your typical agreement. Leon works nights as a palliative care nurse, so on offer is the opportunity to sleep in his bed at night and have the flat on weekends when he’s with his girlfriend. During the day, the flat is his. And oh yes, there’s one bed. For Tiffy, trying to detach herself from ex Justin, this is the best arrangement out there. The flat is nice, has no fungi collections and is central. According to Leon’s girlfriend, all transactions will be done through her so Tiffy never meets Leon. Yes, it’s weird but Tiffy is happy to roll with it. Then the sticky notes start. Tiffy likes to pour her thoughts out onto the page as she asks about flat rules and quiet, reserved Leon finds himself writing more than the essentials. They are kind of pen pals through notes stuck to tables and the fridge, learning each other’s problems. Tiffy works a minimum wage job that is fun but involves being a crochet model and Justin keeps showing up in weird places (like on a cruise ship). Leon’s on a mission to help out one of his patients find a lost love and most importantly, to fund an appeal for his wrongfully convicted brother. When they finally meet, things become even more convoluted as good and bad things happen. But ultimately, this is a great uplifting read.

Tiffy and Leon are like chalk and cheese. Tiffy is outgoing, outrageously dressed and needs to discuss everything with friends Mo, Gerty and Rachel before a decision can be made. Leon is a quiet guy except to his patients and brother (i.e. those he knows well and truly cares for). He might seem like he’s pushed around, but when it comes to the crunch, Leon is ultra-loyal and very good fun. I really liked the idea of a quieter hero who likes stability and shies away from change. Tiffy is his opposite but definitely not bolshy. Her tough, loud exterior hides a woman who doubts herself and who has been shattered in the past. So on the inside, these characters are perfect for each other. There is enough angst to create excellent tension and a few scary moments. Don’t dismiss The Flatshare as lightweight because it deals with heavier issues and does so excellently. It never lost the tone of hope, nor did it let the light disappear from the end of the tunnel.

Simply put, this is an absolute must read if you enjoy uplit, rom-coms or general fiction. The Flatshare has everything a reader needs to fall in love with.

Thank you to Hachette for the copy of this book. My review is honest.

http://samstillreading.wordpress.com ( )
  birdsam0610 | May 4, 2019 |
Tiffy needs to move out and has found a place but it's a flat share. She has the flat evenings and weekends, Leon has the flat during the day as he works nights. They're living together but have never met until an accidental bathroom meeting brings them together.

I just have to say first of that I loved this book so much. I think it might be my fave read of the year so far. It was so funny and heart warming and brilliant. I read this so quickly because I just couldn't put it down. I love the notes between Tiffy and Leon they're so cute. There is so much more to this story as well what with Leon's brother and The Justin drama. The plot is steady but has some great dramatic moments. I loved the ending so much.

As much as I loved Tiffy, I loved Leon more he was just so sweet and Richie too. ( )
  Kezzlou85 | Apr 19, 2019 |
The FLATSHARE by Beth O’Leary
The book started out as a ditsy sex filled romance. By page 25 I could hardly wait to get to page 50 (my self-imposed cutoff) so I could abandon it and read something worthwhile or just entertaining. And then…. It turned into an intelligent exploration of boy-friend emotional abuse. Yes, the main character was still a bit of a ditz, but she made sense. Her flatmate, a slightly repressed male nurse, and her friends started to sound sensible, although still somewhat sex-obsessed.
The characters were unique and well-developed. The story was interesting and full of realistic situations and common sense. Her controlling ex-boyfriend did all of the horrid things controlling ex-boyfriends do. Her friends were supportive and intelligent. Even the comic character, Kathrin, was authentic and original.
Altogether, a very nicely done romance with both heart and intelligence.
4 of 5 stars (for a trashy beginning) ( )
  beckyhaase | Jan 29, 2019 |
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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 rulebook out the window... (from amazon.co.uk)
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