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…
This cover here that I have shared is my favourite from all the ones available. When I was looking up to buy a paperback I wanted this cover but unfortunately it was not available. So I opted for a combination of e-book and audiobook.
Rating and Review
The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary was introduced to me by book club Reader’s Lounge in which in it is the book of the month for June 2021.
As you all know by now, I am sucker for beautiful covers and this one definitely had that going for it and I could not wait to get to it. The library had both, the e-book and the audiobook available and I borrowed them both. I did not use them interchangeably depending on where I was, rather, I chose to listen to it at the same time as I read it.
The narrators, Carrie Hope Fletcher and Kwaku Fortune did a wonderful job bringing the characters of Tiffy and Leon to life. Made the story more entertaining and more emotional for me.
While the book is marked a Contemporary Romance, and it is one, it is much more than that. I will get to that part but I will start from the romance aspect of the story.
- The romance was not in your face and love / lust at first sight (that is not always digestible, really). I loved how the characters got to know each other and how their lives slid into place with each other. Or more like they made an effort and made spaces in their lives so that the other fit seamlessly. The effort is what endeared the characters and the story to me.
- Changes and sacrifices. Though all relationships require it, the characters remained true to their personalities even when they let go of some habits here and there and took on what their partner liked. That was cute. Again with the effort which was from both the sides and not a burden on just one.
- The awkwardness of not knowing someone yet knowing, probably intimate bits, was very cute and the level of cuteness and adorableness was amped up by the art of letter writing (yeah, yeah, I know those are post it notes and not letters but it is the written word!).
- I loved the fact that the main characters did not make it an ego issue / battle to become the centre of universe of their partner’s. The same is brought to fore from the scene where both had an important event to attend and they both support each other while they knew they’d be at separate places. Had to make it wordy and vague so as not to put in any spoiler.
The writing is simple and yet powerful, I’ll say. The story is so captivating that once I started, I could not stop before I finished it! The Leon perspective was a little difficult because the guy has not been given a course in grammar and punctuation or he just does not believe in it. Stating thus, I also want to add that it was not annoying in the audiobook because I was listening to someone speak and I have actually met people like that so that was okayish. Not completely on board with such people but I guess it was required as a quirk of the character.
As for Tiffy, I could see a lot of myself in her. The energy she exudes and the kindness she embodies. Her sense of self that she eventually regains is a battle everyone must face and never cower from. I was rooting for her for the entire time to get herself back like I keep rooting for myself to go out there and make my dreams happen.
Earlier on, I stated that this book was more than a romance and here is why I said it. If you do not want any spoilers, you got to stop reading because this cannot be done without spoilers.
Emotional Abuse – The book shows how emotional abuse can be integrated into the daily life by the abuser and how it becomes the norm for the abused without the abused being any the wiser. Rather, the abused becomes kind of thankful for all that is being dealt to him or her as the person believes thee are the ones to be blamed!
Gaslighting – While I was reading this book and experiencing secondhand what Tiffy was going through, it made me realise of so many instances from my life where I have been gaslighted too. Times where my words, and me, were not given the due importance and credibility and made to feel as if I was not worth it. This point struck home with me and I wanted to give Tiffy a hug. That is not possible. So, I am going to settle for praising Beth O Leary for penning such a story.
While at the basic things remain all light and fluffy, The Flatshare is a deep story. I will recommend this to you even if you are not a Romance reader.