This book is a must-read.
Let me tell you why. I’ve included some tiny spoilers, to help convince you but mostly this is a spoiler-free review. Trust me, this book needs to move to the very top of your to be read pile – or shelf – no judging here 😉
In her debut novel The Flatshare, Beth O’Leary tells the story of Tiffy Moore, an editor of crafty books and Leon Twomey, a night hospice nurse, strangers who share a flat in London, and were never supposed to meet.
Tiffy is described as being tall with red hair, sort of quirky, she is underpaid at her job and has two close friends. Leon is more the quiet sort, with a girlfriend, he bonds well with his patients and cares about doing the right thing for them and his family. He is described as being tall with curly hair, and personally I think he sounds adorable.
I adore this friends to soulmates story – the tagline for this book was literally “What if your roommate was your soul mate?” I mean, if you love romance, how could you skip this?! Truthfully, I may have for a while, if not for a book club telling me to read it but now you have meee, telling you it’s a must-read.
Each chapter is devoted to either Tiffy or Leon, so you have the advantage of getting to know both characters intimately, while also getting to know what they think of each other. Their first impressions are highly entertaining, especially as they have not seen nor know anything about each other.
I love that this book is set in London, where we all know the rent is too high. We get to learn why both Tiffy and Leon end up in this odd living arrangement, even sharing a bed – which is discussed at length, psst everyone thinks it’s odd 😉 You get to see how two complete strangers get to know each other without meeting. You also get to see that people don’t need to see each other to be kind.
The story moves along at a good pace, with character development and interesting friends and family. I love it when there are interesting side characters. Tiffy has true friends who are there for her through thick and thin, and some very interesting work colleagues. While Leon is close to his family and two of his patients. I would call this a light read overall, but there is definitely drama in each of their lives.
For me, good books are all about characters and these two stole my heart before they stole each other’s. They seem like real people with real problems, neither perfect but they are perfect for one another, and this chance meeting makes it all the more romantic.
At the beginning of the novel they communicate through Post-It notes – I adore that the author chose these instead of text messages. It gave it a personal feeling, and really think it helped the two strangers know one another. Plus, we get to see how each reacts to the other’s Post-It notes – so sweet!!
Watching the two characters learn to genuinely like each other before ever meeting face to face was the most original meet-cute without being a meet-cute that I’ve read in a long time. It showed yet again that there are a million and one ways to fall in love.
This book made me laugh out loud, get teary and cheer with joy!! It was romantic and wonderful and perfect. I wouldn’t change a single thing!! It definitely has movie potential. Can’t wait to read Ms. O’Leary’s next book!