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.
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.
Set in the UK, O'Leary's clever debut follows the unlikely romance between two flatmates. Assistant editor Tiffy Moore, who is trying to get over a breakup, and Leon Twomey, who works night shifts at a hospice clinic, agree to live together, though they never run into one another, as their schedules don't overlap. Instead of speaking to one another, Tiffy and Leon communicate by leaving notes about menial things whose food is whose, when trash night is, etc. In parallel plots, Tiffy tries to overcome the traumatic memories of her emotionally abusive ex-boyfriend, Justin, who strung her along for months while cheating on her. Meanwhile, Leon diligently tries to reopen his imprisoned brother's robbery case. It's only when Tiffy is running late one morning that the two meet in the shower. Suddenly more interested in each another, Tiffy and Leon find that they are able to help each other in exactly the way the other needs. Somewhat conveniently, Tiffy has just the friend to help Leon with his brother's legal troubles, and Leon is just the person to help Tiffy recover from her breakup. O'Leary's story packs plenty of laughs and gasps; fans of Bridget Jones's Diary will want to give this a look.
Customer ReviewsSee All
You’re My Home
What a wonderful debut novel! The Flatshare was such a sweet and emotional story that surprised me in the best way. I absolutely fell in love with the idea behind this book and was instantly intrigued by the tagline "What if your roommate was your soul mate?"
Tiffy and Leon were such interesting characters and complemented each other so well, even though they seem to be opposites in every way. Tiffy is eccentric and has a tendency to overshare, while Leon is quieter and much more reticent. Their meet cute and intimate living situation are atypical, but all the awkwardness only endeared me more to the characters. I loved how a simple note exchange set in motion such huge changes for both of them. It had me asking myself if you really can get to know someone through the traces they leave behind? The author allowed Tiffy and Leon's friendship and relationship to develop naturally and I loved the slow burn between them.
The story is told in dual POV, and I will admit that Leon's chapters took a bit of getting used to. I ended up loving his abbreviated speaking/writing style, however, and I really feel like it fit his character perfectly. Some of the Britishisms went over my head, but the author's sense of humor and witty banter had me gasping for air because I was laughing so hard. With all the laughs, there are some serious issues as well, and I felt that they were addressed very honestly. For example, Tiffy struggles for a large portion of the book with her past relationship. I appreciated that the author didn't rush through her healing or downplay the effect that emotional abuse can have on an individual as well as their friends and loved ones. I really loved how patient and supportive Leon and all of Tiffy's friends were. They stood by her and lifted her when she needed them, but what I loved best, is that ultimately, it was Tiffy who had (and did) save herself.
The secondary characters really were amazing (please tell me a Richie book is in the works!) and added some wonderful comic relief at just the right moments. I was smiling ear to ear as I turned the last page, and Leon and Tiffy's story couldn't have ended in a cuter way. Definitely recommend this one and can't wait for more from Beth O'Leary.
*I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this book*