The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
Content Warnings: Domestic Abuse, Toxic Relationship, Gaslighting.
I recently used one of my Audible credits on The Flatshare. Contemporary reads aren’t usually my go to but I do enjoy them from time to time. I’ve seen this one recommended on Bookstagram a few times and have been curious about. The audio is dual narrated by Carrie Hope Fletcher and Kwaku Fortune.
I rated The Flatshare 5 stars.
Basic Synopsis of The Flatshare
The Flatshare is a contemporary romance read in dual narrative; Leon and Tiffy. Leon needs money, Tiffy needs somewhere to live. She responds to an add to share a flat with someone for cheap rent and bills in London. It’s a slow burn read as the two have issues with ex relationships and it takes them around five months or so to actually meet and cross baths and when they do it’s hilarious!
Review of The Flatshare
There was so much I loved about this story and I now want to read more from this Author. I found myself nodding along to a lot of this and I really loved Tiffy and Leon. The concept of the book is really interesting too. Tiffy and Leon share a flat, a bed yet they’ve never met. One has the flat during the day and the other during the night and weekends. It had that sort of feeling of ships passing when you’re in a relationship, sharing a space but almost living seperate lives. It took me a while to get around to listening to this but I really enjoyed it. Tiffy works as a publisher for a small company that specialise in eccentric diy books and Leon is a palliative care nurse. The side characters really add a compelling plot which really brings them all together in the very last chapter. I loved it.
What I really loved about this romance was the fact that neither of the characters was trying to push the other into commiting to anything. I also loved that despite the abuse Tiffy faced with her ex she was healing in this book. It really dismantled a lot of tropes in that way. Tiffy isn’t a typical girl but she doesn’t become this perfect female, she isn’t the trope ‘not like other girls’ because she’s really relatable and interesting. She has lovely friends which was brilliant to read.
Leon is the good guy that you want to win. He’s kind and thoughtful and introverted and he recognises the signs of an abusive ex but he doesn’t push Tiffy to do anything she isn’t ready to. He doesn’t advise her, he just listens, comforts, and asks what she wants. He is so respectful of Tiffy’s boundaries which is amazing. Both characters had a bit of fear getting into something new so the build up was full of tension and anxious but ultimately it was the respect of each other, the mutal fear and for once, in the end, talking to each other that made this romance work so well.
There were moments where I thought the plot would go in a completely different direction but didn’t and I loved that I was unexpected and didn’t end the book in tears. There was enough drama to keep me going but ultimately it was actually just a really lovely read. I have to give a special mention to Rachel who had some of the funniest moments in the book as well as some ball of rage moments. He castle dance and double thumbs up reminded me a lot of how I would react to certain conversations.