The Flat Share by Beth O’Leary – Review

I was lucky enough to be given this book by Hannah from Quercus Books, this has not changed my opinion of the book and I was sent this book for an honest review. I had heard so much about this book and it sounded like I could relate to the story in so many different ways. I couldn’t put this book down, I had to stay up reading because I needed to know what happend, and I’ve not done this since the Harry Potter books!

The Flat Share is Beth O’Leary’s debut novel, written on her commute to work. The starting plot is about a flat/bed share where you never see the other person who lives there. O’Leary experienced a version of this when her and her boyfriend moved in together but worked opposite shift patterns.

Synopsis

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…

My review of The Flat Share

How is this O’Leary’s debut? The story is incredible. I have experienced the joy of trying to find a half decent flat/house-share that is not insanely priced, and I’m in the North where it is cheaper. I have also experienced some of the other themes in this book such as gaslighting. Even with some of the negative themes in the book, such as family members being in prison, obsessive exes and Leon being a palliative care nurse, the plot still remains uplifting. In an odd way, Tiffy’s character gave me hope that there is a life outside of negative relationships and headspaces, and that with the support of friends and therapy you can get through it.

O’Leary’s way of writing characters blew me away, the attention for the secondary characters like Richie, Mo and Gerty makes the story believable and ensured that I couldn’t put the book down. You learn about the positives and negatives of each of these characters in a way which makes them so real and relatable such as Mo’s ability to somehow know exactly what Tiffy is thinking and how much it annoys her.

The attention to detail O’Leary writes about builds the flat to life. It’s incredibly easy to visualise every small detail, and this is part of the reason that I found the book so compelling.

The audiobook for The Flat Share is narrated by Carrie Hope Fletcher and Kwaku Fortune who sound exactly how I thought Tiffy and Leon would sound when I was reading the physical book which made me fall in love with it more.

I am so excited to see the next thing from O’Leary! With The Flat Share being her debut it makes me wonder what she will write next.

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